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Social Media Best Practices: Using LinkedIn

As you evaluate using social media to promote your business, Facebook and Twitter are probably the top two options you considered. Another site that you may want think about is LinkedIn. Most people (ourselves included) use LinkedIn for professional networking and a lot of LinkedIn members use the site to build up their online resume to seek out new job opportunities. What you may not realize is that just like in other social media options, people can (and do) follow businesses on LinkedIn to receive regular updates.

So, let’s talk LinkedIn. Think about LinkedIn as the Facebook for businesses and business professionals.  There are fewer people on LinkedIn (currently about 160 million people are using LinkedIn as compared to 955 million users on Facebook worldwide) but LinkedIn is more targeted. While Facebook and Twitter could be considered like “shorts and flip-flops”, think of LinkedIn as more like “a dress shirt and a spiffy tie”. But remember, it all comes down to your target market. It is worth figuring out if your potential customers are using LinkedIn.

If you have decided to use LinkedIn to communicate with your target market, there are two different features that you can utilize for your business. You can create a company page or a group. Think of a company page like an advertisement for your company that people can “follow” if they want to know what you are up to. (In a nutshell, what you would create on Facebook.) The other option is to create a group.  LinkedIn groups are used more for business networking. A LinkedIn member can create a group specific to their company or could create a group to include many people within a similar industry. Our recommendation would be to create a business page for your company as the first priority. Then look tojoin an existing group that would be a valuable fit for you and your company.

Once you are using LinkedIn, here are some best practices to consider:

As with any social media site, you really need to put in the effort. Make sure that you are posting updates often and that you are sending out good content that gives your followers a reason to read your updates. And remember, test and stick with what works!

Even though LinkedIn allows you to post photos and videos as part of your updates, keep in mind that this a business professional site so think about using media that does more than just entertain.

Nothing beats a good recommendation. Ask your happy customers to make use of the recommendations feature by posting a review of your company for others to see.

There is an analytics tab for your company page. Make sure you look at the data. It will help you better understand what type of information is resonating most with your audience.

There are many forums within LinkedIn where people post questions. Think about answering some questions and interacting with people on the site. Show others that you are an expert in your industry – you could potentially win some new business by doing this.

As with any social media site, think about following your competitors’ company pages on LinkedIn – it is a great way to keep an eye on the competition!

As we continue our social media blog series, don’t miss our next post: What in the World is Pinterest?

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