LinkedIn for Business: Market to Who Matters

LinkedIn is a business-oriented networking platform that aims to replicate the real-life process of word-of-mouth introductions between trusted contacts. In essence, it’s a bit like Facebook, but solely for professional purposes.

LinkedIn is well known for its international reach, with currently more than 500 million members, encompassing nearly all industries and sectors. Because it enforces trust and collects a lot of professional and personal details, it is also widely used as a recruitment tool.

Once you’ve set up your account, sign in at least a couple of times a week. Keep your personal and business information up to date – and aim to post some interesting updates.

Be selective about your connections

As your presence increases on LinkedIn, you’ll receive connection requests from other people. Don’t accept these without good reason. Try to keep your network relevant and don’t accept unless you can see a mutual benefit.

If you are in regular contact with a connection or you have produced outstanding work, results or products for them, you can ask for a written testimonial on your profile. These recommendations are a vital currency on LinkedIn and establish credibility and trust.

Stay Active and Involved

Set aside a small amount of time each week to update your profile, expand your network and engage with your contacts.

Target specific discussion groups and participate in them. This will help you establish groups of contacts with common interests and create opportunities to make connections with newcomers, as well as to share your business experience.

Being in a group raises your own profile and helps you find people to contact. Because you belong to the same group, the chances are you’ll get a reply. In short: if you are in the right places, you will be seen by people who share your goals.

Consider Advertising on LinkedIn

You can advertise your business on LinkedIn, targeting your message at specific people: by job title and function; by industry and company size; by seniority and age; and by LinkedIn groups.

Like pay-per-click advertising, it allows you to work within your own set budget. You can pay by clicks or impressions and you can stop your ads at any time. It’s possible to get started on a relatively small budget, but it takes time to learn how to get the best returns.

Many companies also use LinkedIn to advertise job vacancies. This is a natural fit for the site, as many job seekers visit research companies and make sure their own profiles are up to date. this social network also owns a massive amount of data to help match job seekers with roles. You can advertise jobs from around £190, which is likely to compare favourably with traditional advertising and recruiters. It’s certainly worth trialing.

If you only do one thing on LinkedIn…

Maintain a relevant, good quality network of contacts by connecting with people who share common goals and interests.