Networking your business through LinkedIn

Following on from my last Social Media blog covering Instagram, this month we will be exploring the benefits of LinkedIn and how it can help your business to be successful.

LinkedIn is classed as more of a professional networking social media site. Founded in December 2002, and then launched in 2003, it currently has over 20 million reported users.

LinkedIn is all about launching your own profile, listing all your professional achievements, career history and your business profile etc. BUT it is important to ensure your profile is carefully put together, so you need to consider that your profile acts as your CV. This is your business show-case or shop-front, the first point of contact for many business professionals, so no silly photos or captions – this is the one site where to be successful, you need to be serious! Once you have created your own profile, you can then start linking to like-minded professionals all over the world. So why would you want to use LinkedIn as part of our social media strategy when there are so many other social media sites out there?

LinkedIn will help to connect you to business professionals, attract new clients, open up new business opportunities and possibly generate new sales leads. You can also use LinkedIn to find new sales markets and possibly look to expand your business into new International Markets.

So how do you get started? Well as with most things, this starts by going to the LinkedIn website and setting up an account, choosing a user name and carefully compiling your profile. You then need to start linking and building your network of connections. There are free and paid accounts – obviously the paid accounts give you access to more professional profiles, you can send more introduction messages, check who has been viewing your profile and view more LinkedIn profiles of people who are not in your LinkedIn network.

It is also important to regularly update your profile to ensure that it is fresh and relevant – just as you would regularly change your shop-window, LinkedIn needs to be come part of your weekly ‘social media’ strategy if it is going to work for your business. It is no use creating a profile and then never going back to check your messages or reply to new LinkedIn profile requests!

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