How to Connect Smart with other Businesses and Business Professionals through LinkedIn

lessons from our LAB

November 16, 2010

How to Connect Smart with other Businesses and Business Professionals through LinkedIn

Our Digital Scientists are made up of tech-loving, results-oriented, passionate, digital marketing nerds who have an unnatural obsession with all things digital. Most likely seen glued to a screen and spewing new digital marketing trends.

Over 500 million people go to share their stories on Facebook, but if you are one of the 80 million business professionals LinkedIn is the place to go for networking, job opportunities and connecting. But what does that really mean for you and your business? How can you fully leverage LinkedIn to achieve optimal results from the time you invest and connecting with the right people? Those questions and others will be answered in this StringCan Interactive post. LinkedIn was founded in 2003, and just over seven years later is being used in more than 200 countries. As a service that is growing by one new member nearly every second there is a very big opportunity to connect with others; however, far too many users do not make the most of their connections and the many features on LinkedIn, such as Company Pages, finding and locating employees, LinkedIn Answers, or LinkedIn Advertising.

Company Pages

LinkedIn’s Company Pages are a great place to educate users on what your business does and what team members help make the magic happen. For prospective employees and vendors, LinkedIn Company Pages are a great tool to check out insightful statistics about Company employees and share the latest news about that Company. Sadly, the majority of company pages we viewed on LinkedIn are only partially completed at best. By fully developing your company page you can better take advantage of the opportunities LinkedIn offers and help grow your business.

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Your business profile is the first thing people will see when they land on your company page. Having a through and well written company bio allows users to grasp a good feeling for how your company does business. It is important to describe your business and products or services in a language that portrays your company in the way you want to be seen by others. Engage the reader! You can check out the StringCan Interactive LinkedIn Company Page as an example.

A company page is also a great way to share information on your company, current activity, and showcase job openings. LinkedIn company pages display your employee’s recent actions, current news and press coverage, business stats and contact info, and even stock information (if applicable).

In the last few weeks, LinkedIn has added to company pages a section on Products & Services where customers can submit their reviews. The Products and Services tab (see StringCan's LinkedIn Services Page as an example) allows companies to explain their individual products and services in great depth, and grants users the ability to share them with their network or recommend your services.

By monitoring and responding to these comments your company can better connect with its customers and increase brand loyalty. This new addition will help make company pages more personal and interactive, and allow businesses greater insight into what their customers think of their products/services.

Find and Locate Employees

LinkedIn is a great place to network and find the right people for your business. Never before has keeping track of your business connections and meeting people been so easy. As a personal user, it is important to have your profile filled out as in-depth as possible to achieve higher ranking in search results both within and outside LinkedIn. A fully developed profile page allows companies to get a good understanding of your achievements and what you can offer their business. The founder of StringCan Interactive, Jay Feitlinger, is very active on LinkedIn and you can check out Jay's LinkedIn complete profile as an example.

For companies, LinkedIn has some very unique tools to help you connect with the people best suited for the positions you are looking to fill. Launched just a few months back, LinkedIn Talent Finder is a great service that helps narrow search results and manage contacts to pinpoint the right people for the right job. For a monthly fee of $99.95, LinkedIn Talent Finder offers some unique services such as improved search features, 25 InMails that are response guaranteed within 7 days, a Profile Organizer feature to manage candidates, and weekly alerts to gain access to expanded profiles outside your network.

LinkedIn Answers

LinkedIn Answers is a feature not many people are aware of. It is the easiest way to ask for advice by allowing you to broadcast your business-related questions to both members within your network and the entire LinkedIn community. This feature grants access to a variety of knowledgeable resources and provides a more refined, accurate answer than with forums. It is a great way to make your LinkedIn experience more interactive and engaging, and may even result in finding the right solution to your business needs. Of course, the larger and more established your LinkedIn network is, the more effective the answers produced will be (as with any social network).

LinkedIn Advertising

Another helpful and underused feature on LinkedIn is LinkedIn Advertising. For as little as $10/day advertising on LinkedIn can produce some serious results. It is unbelievably easy to set up and the specified targeting options make finding the right eyes for your ad surprisingly easy. You can narrow your audience by company size, job function, industry, seniority, gender, age, and geographical location.

By allowing for extraordinarily thorough details on a specified network already populated by business professionals, your ads will have a great chance of being well received. To further expand the range of your ads, LinkedIn has also partnered with companies to offer DirectAds. Through the LinkedIn Audience Network advertisements are shown on other professional websites in addition to their placement on LinkedIn itself.

In my personal experience, I have found LinkedIn to be a very handy tool when doing marketing. With StringCan Interactive I have experimented with LinkedIn advertising and found it quite unique. In addition to my work with StringCan Interactive, I work for ShopTab, a Facebook business application that allows businesses to sell items directly from their Facebook page. For ShopTab I have extensively used LinkedIn to message targeted businesses about our services and connect with individuals. Overall LinkedIn has been a very valuable tool in my day to day business experience.

How do you use LinkedIn to connect either personally or for your business? How do you feel about these features and the recent changes to them? If you are looking for assistance on creating the strategy, messaging and plan around LinkedIn marketing send us an email or comment below.

Image via Link Humans

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