LinkedIn is a social networking site focused on business with over 200 million members as of December 2012. Although this social network may not be your first choice when considering places to market your business, it deserves some consideration. It has more focus and professional authority than some of the other social networking sites, and can help you establish your business.
LinkedIn is a social network first, even though it has a professional bent. While on places like Facebook you can network with your current and potential customers, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to interact with others in, or related to, your business. By interacting with others professionally, you can strike up new collaborations and even become the go-to person for certain situations. This can, in turn, promote your brand. Although LinkedIn users can directly connect with individuals, a more effective marketing tool is to join, create and actively participate in groups. When people get to know you, they are more likely to purchase your product or service.
LinkedIn can contribute to a business’s authority, especially in the eyes of other business people. It certainly cannot hurt your marketing campaign, as the more people see your brand, the more likely they are to remember it and even purchase what you’re marketing. By posting news and events, and positively and professionally networking with others, you can personally gain authority in your industry, and your business itself will follow as long as you are promoting a quality service or product. Linking to your business’s website from your profile may also help increase its Google ranking.
With Facebook, businesses often target customers based on personal interests, due to the personal bent of that social network. LinkedIn offers an even more targeted approach in some ways, especially for those companies marketing to other businesses. If you are well-versed in the business, you can not only see what a user wants, but what she needs as well. LinkedIn allows you to search based on industry and connections, so that you can find and connect with people who need your products.
With LinkedIn, you can do more than just tell people about your experience — you can also offer supporting evidence. LinkedIn’s profile pages function as a resume, which in itself carries some weight. A stronger show of evidence, however, is LinkedIn’s Endorsement feature: with just the click of a mouse, your connections can endorse the skills that you list in your profile. With this element, not only are you saying that you can do something, but potential customers can also see that other people think you can do it well.