It’s time to include another powerful social networking site to your list of To Do’s for your business. Are you familiar with LinkedIn? LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network used to exchange knowledge, opportunities and to share yourself and your business professionally. LinkedIn listings are also ranked very high in Google search results. If you haven’t already, visit www.LinkedIn.com to set up an account for yourself and your business.
Now, if you’re saying, “But of course I have a LinkedIn account!” excellent, you’ve already completed the first step. The next step is to be sure that both your personal profile and business information is complete and up to date. For your business profile be sure the following areas are filled out and accurate: website address, the physical address of your business, the type of business, your industry, etc. Also, include a company logo to represent your business on LinkedIn. Stick with a logo that you have been using throughout all of your social networking accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) It’s important to be recognized by your audience right away and build a strong face and brand around your logo.
Your personal LinkedIn account and page should be professional. What do we mean by professional? Your profile picture should be a simple picture of yourself smiling, nothing showy or flashy. Think of your yearbook picture from back in the day. Make sure all of the following areas on your profile are also accurate: current employment, past employment, education and your past job experiences and achievements. Don’t be shy; give yourself the credibility you deserve!
Take it a step further by searching for past co-workers, managers, customers or business partners that you’ve worked with and request a recommendation from them. A recommendation is a couple sentences that someone writes commending you, your work ethic or your business. Remember, it’s all about networking and improving your online appearance professionally.
Once your personal and business LinkedIn accounts are set up and updated, begin searching through LinkedIn Groups that relate to your industry. Find related groups, join them, and engage with the members. Begin discussions that relate to the group and your business, answer questions that other members post, create polls and tactfully promote your business and the different services that you offer. When posting comments you can link back to your business directly if it is appropriate to the discussion. For example, if you mention your company name include it in the form of a link to your company website. Make sure that link is tracked with software that can tell you have many people are visiting your site from the link.
Encourage all of your employees to join LinkedIn and create personal accounts for themselves if they have not. Once they create an account be sure they include and list your business on their profile. All of these simple steps play a role in increasing the exposure and online presence for your company, so take advantage. The power to promote your business is at your fingertips.