Social networking for business: Making LinkedIn work for you
A recent survey suggested that more than half of professionals have seen a direct boost to their business from using social media. The same study pointed to LinkedIn as the favourite business-to-business networking site.
Personally, I’ve found chatting with small business owners on LinkedIn very interesting and enjoyable so I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some tips on using LinkedIn to best effect:
Be a participant, not a silent witness: The more active you are in discussions and making connections, the more you’ll get out of the service. Joining a discussion can even be a good way to get introduced to influential people who would otherwise be put off if they thought you were just offering a sales pitch.
Create a detailed profile page: While this isn’t the place to advertise your business, people do want to know about you, your achievements your interests outside work. The more information you provide, the easier it will be to build contacts with others, who may spot common interests or previous experiences in your profile. A photo also helps create an approachable, memorable profile.
Don’t be afraid to accept invitations: If someone wants to connect with you and you’re not sure who they are, keep an open mind. Even if you can’t see instantly how they’d be a useful contact for your business they may change role or be able to help you out at some point. It also helps you to look influential if you have a large number of contacts and are part of lots of groups.
For more background on what LinkedIn is and how you can use it check out the Business IT Guide.
Have you managed to boost your business by using LinkedIn? I’d love to hear your own advice on how to get the most out of the service.