Are You LinkedIn?

$638 million is the official Q1 2015 earnings reported by LinkedIn, which is a remarkable 35 percent year-over-year increase in overall revenue. CEO Jeff Weiner announced that total members in LinkedIn grew to 364 million, unique visiting numbers increased 18 percent in just the first quarter and total revenue is expected to reach $2.9 billion by the end of 2015. LinkedIn has a vision to be the primary go-to place for professional profiles, records and new talent. Can any business afford to ignore these figures and overlook the inherent value of being seen on the most powerful professional social media network?

If you are one of those that think LinkedIn is only for jobseekers and hiring heads, then you’d be mistaken.  LinkedIn nor only has the fastest growing demographic of college graduates but also the largest span of professional member network on the Internet across 200 countries. It has over 1.5 million unique publishers who share content through the LinkedIn platform.  LinkedIn should be your network of choice if you are keen to drive professional traffic to your website and promote your business to a niche audience of key decision makers. This offers a massive opportunity for business owners to be visible outside their own websites, across existing networks and build profiles. LinkedIn is far superior to both Facebook and Twitter, when it comes to connecting professionals and business to business relationships.

LinkedIn has many features and distinctive characteristics for networking with other business owners and to tap potential customers. If you still aren’t convinced, here are a few more reasons why you should use LinkedIn to market your business-

Increase Digital Presence

Since LinkedIn targets only professionals and businesses, having a digital presence on it provides your business with strong and priceless brand value. Not only should you have a company page on LinkedIn but you must also encourage all your employees to create a LinkedIn profile and have them include your company name, website, and relevant keywords in their profile. This is a free and effective way for companies to improve the reach of your company on the internet and also generate some buzz among the LinkedIn community about the kind of work you do.  A LinkedIn company page can be used to spread the word about specific products, services, careers in your organization. Through LinkedIn you can give users more detailed information on the product or service, with key benefits. Also include a relevant link to your website for the specific product or service and list a reliable contact from your company for visitors to reach out to.

Get Credibility

Google and other major search engines value LinkedIn highly, so just by being on it your organization can get noticed.  Moz’s Open Site Explorer used complex algorithms and link metrics to measure a website’s ranking potential in search engines and reported that linkedin.com has a high Domain Authority of 99/100. This means that search results are bound to rank your LinkedIn company page higher because of its reliability, making it accessible to more users.

Your business can stand out because almost every business now has a Facebook page but most are yet to reap the full benefit of being on a professional social networking site, LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you a valuable opportunity to showcase your business to other industry leaders, forge connections with other businesses, target interested clients and stay current with the latest industry news.  For any business to build trust it takes time and effort. You can develop credibility on LinkedIn through endorsements, referrals from associates, recommendations from other companies you’ve done business with.

Build Relationships

Traditional methods of marketing your business are a thing of the past. Now with even less marketing spend, you can use social networks like LinkedIn to get noticed in the crowded market place and get your message across to key decision makers too. With LinkedIn you can now reach 364 million people and 49 percent are key decision makers among them, so make sure they can actually get in touch with you. Don’t forget to add your contact information and links to your social network.

An essential aspect of any business is linking with other business owners and professionals. Industry events and trade shows have always been the best way to make contacts in the industry but attending them can be expensive and take up your time. Never before has it been so easy for companies of all sizes to connect and foster strategic partnerships with your target market regardless of industry or geographical location. LinkedIn groups are a free and easy way to be visible and network. You can build connections by locating specific groups based on geography and industry through the Advanced Search feature, which can lead to introductions and business opportunities in the future. You can also receive regular updates based on your search criteria through the “alerts” feature.  Participating in LinkedIn groups is a no cost and a low time investment way of promoting your business.

Finding alliance partners or the right joint venture to grow your business in a powerful way isn’t a huge challenge anymore, thanks to LinkedIn. The tools of the platform, like recommendations, allow professionals to vet the quality of the business, before reaching out. With the right partner you can benefit each other’s business by referring clients to each other or offering complimentary products or services to one another. You can appear on your connections newsfeed through the “Updates” section.  Posting an update either about a project you’re working on, sharing an interesting article or commenting on current news will open communication lines with your network and give them a chance to interact with you or your website.

Get Media Exposure

Good media exposure is critical to any business, to raise brand awareness and get word out about your service or product. The problem for small or medium sized business is getting noticed can cost thousands and not all businesses can afford an expensive PR agency or invest time for marketing exercises. Fortunately most journalists and editors are on LinkedIn and 62 percent rate it as their preferred professional networking tool. You can build your network of media contacts through LinkedIn and get featured in media publications or news stories. You don’t just have to depend on press releases.

Find Clients

Along with business owners, there are millions of other people on LinkedIn, which makes it an ideal place to advertise products and services. A marketing message will reach potential clients better on LinkedIn because it is better targeted and users are actively looking for your service or product. Even if your primary demographic that you market isn’t on LinkedIn there are professionals or key influencers on the platform, who are connected to your intended target audience. You can effectively create targeted audiences on LinkedIn using filters like location, authority level, industry type, and many other specifications to uniquely access users.

Marketing is all about lead generation or increasing your reach, regardless of industry, size or location and LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools for finding clients. You can add relevant call-to-action for your products or services pages to increase response rate and drive interest among users. Generate qualified leads by making good offers targeted to your audience, like whitepapers, case studies, webcasts or even free consultations.

Local Directive can help you learn how to make the most of LinkedIn so your business can create unique opportunities for maximized marketing and networking.

 

Author: Larry Lembcke

Larry has 10 years of internet marketing experience and specializes in inbound marketing. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to do nearly everything in the internet marketing space, including paid and organic search marketing, web design, graphic design, strategy, and management. Larry fills a diverse role at LocalDirective and goes wherever, whenever, to get the job done!