LinkedIn both is, and isn’t, just like every other social media marketing tool for small businesses. At least two of the same principles for achieving visibility and eventually sales apply across the board:
- Be frequently active. Posting for business costs time because even short messages ought to be strategic, so “frequent” is a relative terms for posting. Still, your business should be touching the platform’s community in some way at least once per business day. (See #2.)
- Be frequently interactive. Posting is one-way communication until someone comments. Your goal should be two-way engagement to recreate a physical business environment. Don’t always be the one originating content; mix it up with commenting on others’ posts.
What makes LinkedIn unique is that it is specifically designed to encourage professionalism, leadership and influence. It is not entertainment. LinkedIn attracts people who are serious about what they do, so:
- Create a Company Page. This feature is arguably more important on the LinkedIn platform than on any other. A garage sale might suit Pinterest and Facebook, but LinkedIn is for real business. The Company Page presents your organization as a leader in your field.
- Generate professional content. Every link you post as a status update; every comment you make; certainly every example of your work (as a Slideshare, for example) and long-form post you publish is another opportunity to demonstrate your passion, knowledge and ability to help others in your field.
- Join groups. Join as many groups as you can that include existing or prospective clients, or discussion about topics relevant to your industry, especially with a local presence. You don’t have to participate in more than a few. Being on the rolls of the others just makes you more easily accessible.
- Definitely be on LinkedIn if you represent a B2B company. There are uses for B2C businesses, especially those seeking individual professionals as clientele, but what LinkedIn does best is create connections between businesses that help one another succeed.
The beauty of LinkedIn is that you don’t have to be a big dog to be a thought leader. You only have to speak up and show the world that you know what you’re talking about.