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Top 3 Reasons To Use LinkedIn For Business

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LinkedIn has long been the most business-oriented social network.  Originally biased towards professional males and job seekers, it has evolved considerably over the last few years and is currently undergoing a wave of changes slanted towards helping it not just compete with Facebook and Twitter – but carry more weight.

So why should you used LinkedIn if it sits in fourth place behind Facebook, YouTube and Twitter?

LinkedIn captures an audience tired of the spam and irrelevant chatter across Facebook:  One that is serious about business. There is still a social element (which LinkedIn is working hard to increase) but it consists of a focused group of people who are passionate about their professions.

If yours is a B2B business, this is an ideal social network for you.  Let’s take a look at the top three ways to use it.

1. The Ability to Create an Interactive Company Page

Why do you need to create yet another Company Page?  Don’t you have that on Facebook?

Well, yes – but Facebook doesn’t allow you to choose what content your visitors always see.  It’s feed-driven, and mercilessly controlled by the Facebook Edgerank algorithm.

A LinkedIn Company Page offers you something quite unique – the ability to display a “page” that is unchanging (unless you change it)… while being highly interactive. Visitors can click on tabs to access the sections of your Company Page they are most interested in.  (Really, “Company Page” is a misnomer:  It’s like a mini-website!)

Not only can you add rich media such as videos, sound files and slides to various sections; you can highlight each one of your products (or packages) singly under the “Products and Services” tab.

And if you have a paid account, you can choose which of your ads (if you decide to advertise with LinkedIn) is always in the number one spot.  Your contractors and employees can also create their own accounts and link to your Company Page, which gives it added value and credibility.

A LinkedIn Company Page allows you to design a highly effective sales vehicle… without hiring a highly expensive web designer.

2.  Network Through Groups

Joining a LinkedIn Group is a great way to make connections; not just with potential clients, but with your professional peers, sharing tips, experiences; and asking (as well as answering) questions.

Choose a group that is active:  Don’t just join groups where you like to hang out – join groups where you think your potential clients might congregate.

Even so, it is important that you feel comfortable with the group’s central topic or theme so that you can converse intelligently and with animation and ease. The key to making LinkedIn Groups really work for your business lies in being a habitual user.  Visit your Groups daily.  Comment.  Respond.

You can also connect with them through direct messaging, if they are in the same Group, as well as announce events and invite people to sign up at your site, help themselves to resources – and more.

Direct people to your website from within your Group, if you genuinely have a page or resource there that solves a problem someone in the Group has expressed.

3.  LinkedIn Offers Multiple Ways to Keep in Touch

You have many options, when it comes to communicating:  Your feed, InMail, Group posts and comments, direct messaging via Groups and email.

Using the method that best suits your connection’s communication preferences becomes much more natural and easy.  But it won’t do much good, if you merely add a contact… then forget her.

LinkedIn is for business networking – so make full use of it and network.

Image courtesy of Jurgen Appelo

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