10 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need LinkedIn
Have you ever had the fear that your aunt Suzy may post a photo on your Facebook timeline of when you were three sitting in a tub naked? If so, you’re probably wishing you had a site that was solely for professional development – enter LinkedIn.
You won’t find all of your friends, family, and acquaintances on LinkedIn. It’s a professional social networking site.
Millions of professionals have decided to set up a profile on the site, and they have been using it to propel their business to growths they never knew were possible. They’ve done this by using the site to its full advantage, and now, you can too. But wait, before you think it’s just another time sucker, consider how fruitful marketing on this could be for your business. Consider these 10 reasons why small businesses need to use LinkedIn. You may just end up joining all of those successful professionals, and wish you’d done it a lot sooner.
Reason #1: Business to Business Networking
If you’re a business that sells to other business (B2B), LinkedIn should be part of your marketing plan. With over 175 million users, connections can increase your visibility among them significantly. According to LinkedIn, 64% of users report they develop relationships and grow new business on the site.
There are two types of connections on LinkedIn. The first-degree connection is requesting someone you know to be part of your network of connections. A second-degree connection comes from connecting with someone you don’t know, but discovered by becoming a part of your first-degree connection network.
Second-degree connections open the door to many more opportunities. You could be seen by professionals in the industry you’re in. Not only that, the second-degree connections could lead to third-degree, fourth-degree, and more.
It’s all in who you know in business, right? Well, on LinkedIn, you could start expanding on who you know with connections today.
Reason #2: LinkedIn Information Is Trusted and Valued
When people search for information on LinkedIn, they trust it much more than any other social networking site. As you can see in this image from LinkedIn, 71% of members find LinkedIn professional information much more trustworthy than others.
Reason #3: Increase Brand Awareness
LinkedIn is for professionals. When you have a profile on the site, you are claiming you are a professional. This title doesn’t only stay with you, but it also attaches to your brand. Your brand ends up reaping the benefits of your professionalism by being a member of LinkedIn. This gives it much more visibility, which increases its awareness across the world.
Reason #4: Deepen Customer Relationships
With the ability to send messages, leave status updates, and start groups, you can engage with your customers. Not only does this keep you on their minds, it also gives you the opportunity to learn more about them through discussions, so you can meet their needs better.
Reason #5: Industry News Updates
By having connections in your industry, you’ll receive status updates from thought leaders. This keeps you abreast of the latest trends and news, so you can keep your business on track.
Reason #6: Research Competition
It’s likely your competition is already on LinkedIn. Look at their profiles, the groups they joined and started, and how they use LinkedIn to grow their business. Learn from your competition and then think bigger and better to get ahead.
Reason #7: Targeted Advertising
LinkedIn has joined the bandwagon with allowing professionals to purchase ads to run on the sides of their website. These LinkedIn ads run similarly to Google’s cost per click (CPC). The ads are highly customizable, so you can choose the exact audience you want to gain the attention of.
Reason #8: Start Groups to Gain Authority
Groups are a popular tool on the site. You can either join groups to increase your visibility, or you can create your own. When you create one, you have the ability to lead it, which could give you the authority you’re looking for in your industry.
Reason #9: Increase SEO for Your Business’ Website
LinkedIn’s profiles are indexed by Google. Since LinkedIn has a high page rank, you can get a beneficial inbound link from it when you put your website’s URL in your profile. You can also use keywords in your profile, which will also help with SERPs.
Reason #10 Get Advice from Other Business Owners
There’s an advice product on the site that can be a great benefit to new business owners. You’re free to ask any questions you have, and experts will answer them. It’s a resource you’ll turn to repeatedly throughout the course of growing your business.
Getting Started with LinkedIn
It only takes a few minutes to sign up for an account and complete your profile. Once your profile is complete, you can proceed to starting connections, joining groups, starting groups, and using the site in other creative ways to boost your business. Don’t be afraid to jump right into it and show off what you know and what you have to offer professionals. It’s about socializing, helping, and making new connections on LinkedIn, so use it to its full advantage.
About the Author:
Marcelina Hardy is a writer for Plan to Start, covering topics & tips for small businesses. She writes practical, hands on advice, from her own experience as a small business entrepreneur for 7 years.