6 Techniques to Step Up Your LinkedIn Business Presence
September 21, 2012 Leave a comment
Marketing your business online is much more than just throwing out your name and telling people what you do. In today’s ever-changing, technologically-advanced society, a dominating online presence is key to business performance.
LinkedIn offers a different social landscape than other networks in that those who are participating are usually professionals, business owners, etc and are looking to build relationships with business connections and share content pertaining to their job and industry. This means that those who you are connected to are most likely connected to others in your industry, and you have the potential to connect with people who can share your content to those who they know are interested.
With the following tips, you can begin growing your business’s LinkedIn presence and build relationships that will grow your social reach, search potential, and help you reach your business goals.
1. Fantastic Business Logo
“First impressions last a lifetime.” This statement is as true today as it was at the dawn of civilization. Sometimes the first, and only, opportunity you’ll ever have to make an impression on a potential client or business partner is with your logo.
Imagine if McDonald’s used a plain black-and-white text billboard or business sign for their restaurant. How many people would pass them by? Would anybody really care? The ‘Golden Arches’ logo has become synonymous with great tasting fast food at an affordable price. It is the logo, not necessarily the smell or the desire to eat, that draws the customer in.
Your presence on LinkedIn is no different. You want a company logo that stands out from the crowd, speaks volumes to your reputation, and leaves a lasting impression. Your first impression may not include key information, but your logo will remain a permanent fixture in the minds and memories of your visitors.
So you’ve taken the time to create a unique informational video about your company and posted it to YouTube. You’ve written great website copy discussing a wide range of business-related topics. Great! Now what?
You wouldn’t waste your time painting a beautiful work of art only to hide it in the closet, would you? You wouldn’t produce a TV commercial for your sign company, but never turn it in to the networks, right? So why would you create the online equivalence, then let it sit there, untouched and unappreciated? Get out there and spread the word. Your content is your creativity on parade. Let it shine!
The key to content promotion is building links and gaining referrals. You want to bring attention to your work, and in turn, your company. You can accomplish this goal in much the same way that you would promote anything else – by getting the word out there.
When you decide to hold a yard sale, you do a tremendous amount of work to prepare. It would be ridiculous to let all of your items sit in the yard, without any signs directing buyers to your sale. Wouldn’t you put out fliers at convenience stores, make huge signs at major intersections, and tell all your friends about your sale? Of course you would! So why not do the same for your online content?
3. Fill Out Your Full Profile
“Hi. My name is George. I sell cars.” If you were the owner of a nice auto dealership, you want the world to know more about you than this. Wouldn’t you at least create for yourself a bold business sign, with a logo, a phone number, and maybe a slogan? Would you do business with some stranger named George, without knowing anything about them or their business philosophy? Neither would anyone else!
When you fail to provide information about yourself and your company by completely filling out your profile, you are essentially asking the world to trust you and your business without knowing you at all, to remain blind to who you are and what your company stands for.
Along with completing your profile, you should also keep it updated on a regular basis. Adding or removing information, services, and products helps to maintain a fresh feel. This in turn also helps your company to remain at the top of the search engines.
4. Connect with Others
Your online presence is just as important as your real one. You wouldn’t sit at home, or in your office, all alone with the door closed, hoping that somebody will stop by. Just as in real life, when building relationships through LinkedIn, you have to be proactive in engaging others. Get out there and meet some people. Let your voice be heard. Collaborate with fellow like-minded business partners. Engage in a little give-and-take business communication. Join existing online groups, or build your own. You’d be surprised just how much business can, and will, stream your way simply by knowing people.
Let’s put this theory to work. If you own and operate a door company, you may benefit from getting to know people in your supply chain, either coming in or going out. You could discover that business comrades get discounts on supplies, or you may create new business leads for you to sell your product. You can do all this and more through engaging others via social media. Getting to know people is always beneficial and can help you out in numerous ways down the road.
One of the benefits of having a network of business connections is being able to call on someone for a recommendation. When you have useful recommendations, you’re essentially building your reputation as a trustworthy business. When your recommendations are positive, and successful, your customers will come back to see you the next time they need help. They will recommend you to others. And that is good business all the way around!
6. Build Your Followers
Building a follower base is basically the same as gaining loyal customers in the traditional storefront-style business. You want people to like you, come back regularly, and tell their friends about you. Essentially, building followers means that you are building customer loyalty.
In addition, you also want to promote exceptional employee morale and loyalty. After all, your company is only as good as your good name, and your good name depends on the employees. If the employees are unhappy, it will show in their attitude, customer service, and overall mannerisms. These attitudes, more often than not, shine brighter and reach further on the Internet than they do anywhere else. Whether positive or negative, employee loyalty is easily and quickly discerned, often in seconds.
In the traditional marketplace, it is often said that it takes a year to gain a customer, but a second to lose them. LinkedIn is a great outlet to build relationships with customers while also gaining a business reputation and making connections. It is often a great resource to share content with those who are specifically interested in your industry, allowing you to target your efforts to those who have influence over others who are also interested in your industry or business. By utilizing LinkedIn for your business, you can help grow your business’s social reach and long term growth.
Do you have other strategies that you employ to get the most out of LinkedIn? Share them and any other thoughts in our comments section!
Brandon Serna is a small business writer for FASTSIGNS – A leader in visual communication services around the world specializing in business signs, vinyl decals, business banners and much more.