If your company does not have a profile on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on over 100 million professional connections. Over 1.5 million companies are on LinkedIn and you need to be among that number even if your only employee is you. Some of the benefits of using LinkedIn are the ability to compare services and products, keep up with and in the loop about new developments, keep an eye out for job openings and potential talent to recruit, and track business trends and opportunities. LinkedIn members can be emailed or receive updates via statuses. When members want to know more about you, your profile will be where they go.
Give Your Brand a Human Face
With a profile on LinkedIn you can reach professionals and share word of mouth recommendations and collect testimonials. This is a very powerful way to connect with others in your area of business. For a small business this can be a very profitable and economically smart way to keep up on trends and track feedback. Give customers and other professionals a peek at the human side of your business. You can highlight achievers and share stories and profiles of star employees.
Introduce the human faces behind your brand. Everyone likes to know who they are dealing with, and today’s professionals and customers are no different. It creates a sense of trust if you know who you’re doing business with. Business is becoming more a venue of relationships rather than transactions. LinkedIn is a social media site built on relationships. Customers and professionals alike can join in the conversation, post ideas, feedback, and share their stories about the experiences. You can use your profile on LinkedIn to show how your products and services can help people in the real world. Give examples of how they have helped people solve problems and offered solutions.
Create a Viral Community
Grow your community with YouTube videos, special offers, status updates, blog posts, and discussion groups. Discussion groups are one of the most popular tools used on LinkedIn. Users can post questions and join in the discussion. Many discussion groups are very active and lively communities giving you a chance to really connect and build your contact and customer base. In these discussions you can become the go to expert in your field giving you and your company credibility. Each time a user posts about your services and products, it creates a chance for these endorsements to become viral. You can add a link on your website and on other social networks for especially glowing recommendations for others to see.
Relationship Based Commerce
LinkedIn is more than just a social network for professionals. It is a place people can go to get to know you and your company, as well as connect with you in a personal way. As business moves from being focused on the bottom line, to being focused more on the interaction between people, social media sites like LinkedIn may become the backbone and lifeblood of commerce in the next decade and beyond. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Get your profile on LinkedIn and join in the conversation.