Having a business page on LinkedIn is really important for creating new business to business (B2B) connections. It is a great tool for sharing and gaining knowledge of competitors, customers and suppliers alike.
It is important to make sure you have updated all of your products and services on your business page to ensure that people can see the full range of what you can offer them, people will browse your profile to see whether you suit their need. This could encourage them to get in touch with you.
LinkedIn becomes more effective when you use the paid package. There are three options for upgrading your service: Personal Plus (from £5.95/month), Business (from £12.95/month) or an Executive account (from £48.95/month). These allow you to get a full rundown of who has viewed your profile, which can be beneficial for finding potential clients. Also on the two higher-priced options you get an allowance of InMail, which you can use to contact people within your target sector. Other benefits include:
- Seeing more people in search results
- Getting introduced to companies you are targeting
- Seeing more profiles when you search
- Automated searches
- Seeing your 3rd degree and group connections.
The adverts on LinkedIn work very well for targeting specific people, within a certain industry. To set up an advert, you have to provide a title, a call to action and a small image. You then choose where you want the advert to appear, by where we mean on which individuals’ profiles. So as an example you could choose to appear on all Marketing Managers between the age of 25-40, located in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area. The way you pay for these operates the same way as Google’s Adwords. You offer a maximum bid for appearing in that space and you will only get charged if someone decides to click on it.
There is an Answers section on LinkedIn that allows you to Ask and Answer peoples questions across a variety of disciplines, so if you are a marketing professional would you search for questions on people requiring marketing advice, and answer them to improve your reputation, other people will be able to read your advice seeing your expertise in the area. Answering multiple questions will allow people to award you with a ‘Best Answer’ which then gets you recommended to answer questions in that discipline.
There are also groups on LinkedIn that will help you to create associations amongst certain groups of people, for example there is a marketing network that lets you join a group of follow a
Taking the time to read some of the topics within the groups will help to create a platform to give advice on, helping you to be perceived as an ‘expert’. Remembering when choosing to connect with people, it is more beneficial to have 30 solid contacts, than have 100 that you don’t really know. It is not a point scoring/popularity game.
The more time, money and effort you spend making your page complete and effective the more likely you are to reap success from it. Remember, it is not all about gaining leads through this medium, but about establishing good connections, and connections that one day could develop into business.
Remember, search engines pick up LinkedIn pages, so it should be professional and coherent with your brand.