The term social media seems to be the latest greatest buzz word in the world of internet marketing. If you’re new to the ways of the web, learning the complex techniques of effective internet marketing, SEO and involving yourself in the ‘conversation’, can be daunting to say the least. Social media marketing is an occupation in itself and often seems to be a law unto itself. For new businesses one incredibly useful tool in the social media world is LinkedIn. This site is an often overlooked place to display your wares, but it is also a great place to learn and develop an online presence. Social Media is a funny phrase; it combines the two oldest concepts in marketing; getting yourself talked about and using a platform to do it. LinkedIn can be a good place to build some free advertising, but for small businesses it’s an incredibly good source of advice and information too. In terms of building your client list it can be useful and it’s a good, safe, place to learn the tricks of social media marketing.
Reputation Building with LinkedIn
1. Without going into the nefarious details of building a good page rank in Google it’s enough to say that Google and LinkedIn seem to be on pretty good terms. Building a company profile on LinkedIn is a good way to get a reputable link to your company and generate some interest from Google; it’s worth spending time on LinkedIn for this reason alone. Make the most of this part of the site and add links to your Blog, your location and your twitter account.
2. Get social; connect with relevant firms and people. There’s a function to allow you to import existing contacts and the site kindly suggests people and companies relevant to your industry. Networking is another old trick from the marketing bible and is encapsulated in the phrase “no, but I know a man (woman) who can”. It still works a treat.
3. LinkedIn seems to have a bit of a reputation; a good one. Of all the sites you can sign up to and build a company profile on, this seems to be the one to start with. You can add testimonials from clients or other firms you’ve worked with or provide them; a little good will goes as far as it always did. This can turn into a bit of a mutual appreciation society, but it’s a genuinely trusted site amongst a sea of not-so-trusted sites, so a recommendation on here is worth its weight.
4. When it comes to demonstrating your skills and knowledge, LinkedIn is an excellent place to do it. It’s also a great place to get advice and recommendations for small businesses. Whether you’re considering which accounting software package to buy, or how to fire a troublesome employee, you’ll get real first-hand experience here. While in both cases there are loads of official sites to find relevant info, sometimes there’s nothing like having a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. On LinkedIn, you’ll find someone who’s been there, done that, knows how it feels and can offer the necessary shoulder and a bit of advice.
5. The internet is a faceless place and LinkedIn can help you to put a face to your company. Build relevant personal profiles on the site, for yourself and key staff. We’re not talking drunken Christmas party pictures here, be sensible and remain professional. You can be creative on this section but the main point is that by showing off the real people behind the corporate image, you’ll be gaining trust on a highly trusted site.
Carlo Pandian is a freelance writer and blogs about business, entrepreneurs and technology covering everything from QuickBooks Online accounting software to team management tools. He loves reading great entrepreneurs biographies and speaking at conferences about how the internet can help small businesses.