Ways to Use LinkedIn to Market Your Small Business

ways-to-use-linkedin-to-market-your-small-businessSince launching ten years ago, LinkedIn now boasts 200 million users and is the third most popular social network after Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn isn’t just a useful tool for job seekers. If you are a business owner, setting up a company page on LinkedIn can be a highly effective way to recruit talent and promote your business’s product or services. In fact, a study done by the business-to-business marketing software firm HubSpot found LinkedIn to be 300 percent more effective for visitor-to-lead generation than Facebook and Twitter. So far, 2.7 million businesses have set up company pages on LinkedIn. Has your company gotten in on a piece of the action? If not, what are you waiting for—it can only help your business.

After establishing your company page, here are some additional ways your business can market itself using LinkedIn:

  1. Customize your LinkedIn URL: When you first create your company LinkedIn page, it will be assigned a LinkedIn URL. However, this URL isn’t permanent and you can easily customize it to your liking. For your custom LinkedIn URL, you’ll probably want to use either your company name or even keywords relevant to your industry. Once you customize your LinkedIn URL, you can include it on all your marketing collateral including items such as your business cards, company website and blog, email newsletter, fliers, and email signature.
  2. Create your own LinkedIn Group: By creating your own LinkedIn Group you will be able to interact with a target audience of people. Being a group administrator will help establish you as a thought leader in your industry, allow you to develop relationships with potential customers, and potentially generate interest and inquiries about your business’s products and services.
  3. Use LinkedIn’s Questions and Answers Function: Post questions in LinkedIn’s Questions and Answer function to get a sense as to what your potential customers want and to glean other useful information from your target market. Provide thoughtful, well-written answers to questions posted in the Questions and Answers function to show off your company’s expertise to contacts who will be drawn to your knowledge.
  4. Post a LinkedIn Poll: Use LinkedIn’s Polls application to post polls in your LinkedIn Groups. If you’re thinking of introducing a new product or service, try polling the group to see if they would find it valuable. It’s a great way to do market research with extremely targeted group demographics.
  5. Import your blog: If your company has a WordPress blog, use LinkedIn’s WordPress application to import your blog directly to your LinkedIn profile. By syncing your blog posts, you will help drive traffic to your site and increase social shares. There’s also the LinkedIn Blog Link application, which works pretty much the same way as the LinkedIn WordPress application. Blog Link supports TypePad, Movable Type, Vox, WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Blogger, LiveJournal, and many other blogging platforms.
  6. Buy an ad: Buy a direct ad on LinkedIn that only your target market will see.
  7. Share content: Share your business’s slideshow presentations on LinkedIn with the SlideShare application. You can also upload almost any document or file and create a link to it via the box.net application on LinkedIn. Sharing relevant, thoughtful content establishes your credibility and highlights your expertise in your industry, which ultimately may generate new business.
  8. Create a LinkedIn Event: Create an event through the LinkedIn Event program as a way to interact with your network and group members online and offline. Promote the event to members of your LinkedIn network and groups or promote the event in a direct ad.