What about LinkedIn?

Filed under: Business, Social Media, Steph Fraser

drawing social network structureThe focus of social media for businesses is usually Twitter or Facebook, but it’s important to remember that there are other platforms that can be very beneficial. LinkedIn is a networking site that can be used a great way to get your name out. LinkedIn is like Facebook but for your professional life. It has many features that can help you connect to a niche audience. Let’s take a look at what makes it so great:

Profile

Your personal profile is where you can list your education and job experience. You have the space to add volunteer experience, projects you’re working on, honours and awards, skills, and any personal details. Having a filled out profile can be a great way of letting your connections know what you are currently doing. Another great feature is the ability to write status updates. Status updates can be a good way to share YouTube videos, blog posts and articles that interest you.

Company Page

A company page is very similar to your personal profile, but the focus is on your business. There is a section on the page for the summary of your business, where it’s located, a link to your website and the size of your company. You have a spot write status updates about what is new with your business, whether that is a new promotional offer, an upcoming event or a new blog post. You have the space to write about the services you provide and LinkedIn users can even recommend those services. LinkedIn users can follow your company page and receive your updates, so it would beneficial to have an active page.

Connections

In January 2013, LinkedIn had more than 200 million members in over 200 countries and territories. That is a lot of people on one site. You will never be able to connect with all of them, but there is a good chance that you will find a large group of people that you have worked with over the years. Once you have connected with people, you can comment on their updates or send them direct messages to start conversations. You never know what could happen and who could have an interest in what you do.

Groups

Being part of a group can be a great way to start conversations and get to know other people in your industry. There are an abundance of groups ranging from a specific profession to school alumni to choose from. You can join as many as you like, and you can start a new one if you can’t find what you are looking for. While searching for groups, the results will show you how active it is and how many people are members, so you know which groups would be worth being part of. Just a warning, posting about your business and what services you offer can be consider spam depending on the group. It’s a good thing to stay away from advertising yourself and make it more about connecting with people by answering questions or starting a new discussion.

Jobs

One of the best features of LinkedIn is the ability to post jobs and to apply for jobs. If you are posting a job, you can give a description of your business, the job description, employment type, and desired skills and expertise on the job form. You have the option of having users directly apply through LinkedIn or you can have them sent to an external application website. To post a job on LinkedIn you have to pay a fee, but with all these active users it may a good place to do it.

Advertising

You also have the ability to advertise on LinkedIn. You can choose to advertise by sponsored updates, precise B2B targeting, or ad formats. It gives you the flexibility to set your own budget, and stop at any time. There are options like pay by click or impressions, or text ads vs. video ads vs. text and image ads. If you are interested in advertising, LinkedIn may be a great place to do it as it gives you the ability to reach your niche audience.

LinkedIn can be really great for personal use and business use. I would recommend everyone having a personal account, but it really depends on the interests of your company if you should focus your business efforts there. LinkedIn is really great for niche markets, like tools for engineering or software, but it may not be the choice if you are looking for a broader audience, like for selling games or encouraging people to come to your restaurant. Take a look at LinkedIn and the types of groups available to see if the people you want to target are active. Finding the rights sites to be active on is an important step in creating an online presence for your business.

 

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Stephanie is a recent graduate from McMaster University. She is the Social Media and Communication Coordinator for oogled. oogled can be reached at besuccessful@oogled.ca or see us at oogled.ca. See Stephanie’s BIO here