LinkedIn is a business-oriented network that is home to more than 33% of business professionals and nearly 50% of top decision makers in business settings. The substantial amount of professional interaction occurring on the network makes it a vital platform for startup companies and small businesses. There are several ways that you can effectively use LinkedIn to support and grow your business.
Basics of a Good LinkedIn Presence
Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and appropriate. If your profile is a personal page, take care to include information relevant to your business, such as professional certifications and experience. Ideally, small businesses should have their own profile. A company presence on LinkedIn enables you to access and take advantage of all the business-specific options it carries, including sales and recruiting. Its also advisable that collegial and other connections specifically people who work for competitors not be added to your connection circle on LinkedIn. In a highly competitive market, it’s important to choose connections carefully to support your business.
Attracting Star Employees
Top talent from varied professions frequently use LinkedIn as a resource for finding employment. Whether your business is looking for undiscovered and untapped talent, or workers with long, successful track records, LinkedIn is a good place to latch on to new hires. With a business account, your small business can publish job postings. Additionally, there is the opportunity for you or your human resources team to search LinkedIn for potential candidates based on various skills, traits, and qualifications. You can reach out directly to individuals you are interested in and offer them personalized invitations to apply to join your team.
Encouraging Employee Connectivity
Employees working for your small business, along with other business colleagues, are some of the best potential resources for developing and building your business. Since current employees are typically loyal advocates, adding the personal pages of employees as followers of your business promotes both your company and connectivity among your staff. Also, adding employees gives your business instant access to each employees network of contacts, thus amplifying your ability to reach a wider potential customer base. Due to these shared connections, each member of this wider audience is more likely to view and choose your business over another.
Access Expert Resources
Another way your business can use LinkedIn is as a tool to lower costs associated with paying for outside expertise. For example, if your business is bidding on a contract for the first time, you might be able to avoid the cost of hiring a consultant by instead soliciting advice from your LinkedIn network. A large network offers a deep pool of experience and expertise to share. Your business can use this tactic in a variety of ways, including asking for project assessments, or help with branding and marketing strategies. The key to using your LinkedIn network in this way is being helpful in exchange. Regularly check your key connections and, when possible, offer assistance and answers to questions posted by businesses or contacts in your network of connections.