Five ways to grow you business on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has grown to be one of the most popular social media sites for business professionals to make connections and build their network. At times though, it can seem like only big businesses or recruiters use LinkedIn.
However, LinkedIn offers plenty of great tools for small and medium-sized businesses to connect with current customers and find new customers as well. In fact, LinkedIn can help your business look bigger, extend your marketing efforts and drive growth for your business.
LinkedIn and other social media tools allow you to get your messages out more quickly and easily than ever before. While most small businesses can’t compete with high-scale advertising campaigns that large companies produce, leveraging social media levels the playing field as the tools available are the same for all companies, big and small. Even niche small businesses have the potential to do well on social media, because you can find customers anywhere in the world interested in your unique offerings.
Here are five tips for growing your business on LinkedIn:
1. Maximize your personal profile and your company page
It all starts with a great looking and information-packed profile page. Add a professional photo to your personal profile and complete all the information about your past education and work experiences. Include key areas of responsibility and specific skills for each job. On your company page, include a header image and a detailed description of your business. Add sections for your products and services to give potential customers reasons to learn more about your business.
2. Ask for recommendations
Reach out to your connections and ask them to recommend you or your company’s products and services using LinkedIn’s recommendations tool. Having recommendations on your company page allows you to build great word of mouth advertising that can be viewed by anyone in the world. Recommendations become very powerful when viewed by someone who is connected to a person who has recommended you. They’ll trust the recommendation of someone they know and will be more likely to do business with your company.
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3. Share valuable information
Post updates to both your company page and your personal profile that provide your customers and connections with valuable information about your industry and insight into your business. For example, a small retail gift shop might post about their products that businesses can use as corporate gifts or employee recognition. A business association or chamber of commerce may post about recent legislative efforts that helped their members. Remember that posts that include links, photos or videos have about two times the engagement rate of those without.
4. Post frequently
Statistics from LinkedIn show that companies that post 20 times per month reach at least 60 percent of their audience. This works out to about once per business day. It’s OK to start slow at first; try one post per week. Then build up to several posts per week. All of your posts don’t have to be about your company, though. In fact, you should follow the 80/20 rule by posting or sharing four items from other sources for every one item that promotes your company. Your customers will appreciate the valuable information you’re providing them. Post about local news and events to show how your business is connected to the community. To further drive engagement with your followers, ask questions when posting links and other information. For example, if you post about a local business issue, ask your followers how it has affected their business. Or, ask your followers what their favorite thing is about living and working in your community. You’ll build a relationship with your followers and your connections that can help you turn them into customers – and turn current customers in to repeat customers.
5. Use your connections
Ask your connections for introductions to potential customers, and have your connections follow your company page so they will see your future posts. Make sure they know how to share your posts so they can help you spread your information to their networks – and your future customers. You may want to offer them an incentive such as a discount on their next purchase if they follow your company page. As your followers reply to and share your company’s posts on LinkedIn, you’ll gain more exposure to their networks and attract new followers.
Just like many things, LinkedIn is what you make of it. Make sure you create a communications plan that includes updating your company page and personal profile on LinkedIn. It’s important to stay disciplined and keep posting to let your connections and followers know you’re not only a great business, but you actively use LinkedIn to share information and connect with your customers.
Remember, the goal is to use LinkedIn to provide information your connections and customers find valuable so they will share it with their networks and extend the reach of your business. By using the free tools offered from LinkedIn, your small business can make more connections and drive growth for your business.
Download a copy of our guide, "4 Simple Steps to Growing Your Membership with LinkedIn" to see how your small business or association can take advantage of the networking tools offered by LinkedIn.
About the author
DJ Muller is president and founder of WebLink International, the creators of WebLink Connect™ the innovative, insightful and intuitive association management software with superior customer support. WebLink empowers hundreds of trade and professional associations and more than 500,000 small and medium businesses to help them acquire and retain more customers. Learn more at weblinkinternational.com.
Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR
The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.”
NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well.
2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer.