According to data released from LinkedIn in 2016, the platform has more than 433 million users in over 200 countries around the world. Based on a study of more than 5000 businesses, HubSpot reported that LinkedIn has the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%. This number is much higher when compared to other platforms like Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).
What do numbers mean to an entrepreneur or a small business? LinkedIn is no longer an optional platform but an important channel to promote your profile and business. This post examines how LinkedIn can be utilized in a unique way when compared to other social media channels.
1. Create a personal brand
At its core, LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. You can use it to create a personal brand and establish yourself as an expert in any field. A LinkedIn profile acts as a marketing presentation of your professional accomplishments and can help break down barriers and establish connections with others.
2. Write engaging content
With LinkedIn publishing, the platform is now a leading channel where content resides. Many influencers and business owners publish content on LinkedIn to keep their network engaged. Writing original content also acts as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, as articles that are published have a good chance of being picked up by Google indexing. Hence, being ranked higher in a Google Search provides more opportunity to engage with your network as well as potential customers.
3. Get insights on clients
With profile data such as a job title, years of experience, industry involved, etc. LinkedIn provides deep insight about potential customers. This is especially true if the small business is based on a Business to Business (B2B) model. According to an August 2014 study by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, B2B marketers rated LinkedIn as the most effective (63%) platform for distributing content.
4. Engage with customers presale and after sale
According to a study from Regalix, July 2015, LinkedIn is the most effective platform for customer engagement both during pre-sale (64%) and post-sale (51%). Be it publishing content, introducing a product or service offering, or writing how-to guides, LinkedIn can help to reach customer throughout the sales cycle. Moreover, a personal profile and company page will act as a repository for educating customers.
5. Seek advice, hire talent
LinkedIn is not only a platform to sell but to seek expert opinions or to hire people who can contribute to the success of a business. LinkedIn experts in various disciplines such as entrepreneurship, start-up growth, and many more can be reached for advice if you are well connected. LinkedIn also has emerged as the go-to tool among university graduates to find jobs. Small businesses will have an edge in attracting and hiring the right talent with job postings and company pages on LinkedIn.
Entrepreneurs these days need to promote themselves as well as their business offerings on multiple social media platforms. LinkedIn has grown to be one of the most important channels and can no longer be treated as an option. Every business should establish its presence and start engaging with its customers and prospective clients on LinkedIn to enjoy growth and success.
To see how LinkedIn can help your small business in branding, marketing or sales, start with the LinkedIn page for small businesses
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Wagner, Kurt. LinkedIn: 81% of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Use Social Media. Mashable. 2014. Accessed June 09, 2016.
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