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Three Simple But Powerful Ways Small Businesses Can Use LinkedIn

September 28, 2009
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With over 45 million active users worldwide, LinkedIn is a social networking site that is becoming much more than just a place to have a Web 2.0 resume. Recently they have added many new tools and will likely be adding more in the coming year. Here are three simple, but powerful ways that small businesses can use LinkedIn:

1) Create a Group: Make sure you create the group under either the “Networking or Professional or Corporate” category and select “Yes” to both being listed in the “Groups Directory” and that your Group be display on “Profiles”. Groups can be very powerful, but they do need to be monitored and managed at least once a week.  You need to watch out for spammers, overzealous experts, and feature the best discussions.

Also, unless your business has many employees and/or an incredibly unique product with a committed fan base, I don’t suggest you create a Group using your company name. Rather, create a Group around an idea or product. For example, “Business Owners in Tampa, Florida” or “Online Marketing for Restaurants”. The idea here is that the more members you have in the Group, the more capability you have to promote your own business to the Group as the Group Manager.

I work a lot with nonprofits, so I created and manage the Web 2.0 for Nonprofit Organizations LinkedIn Group. It’s very active and growing quickly. I don’t think the same would be true if I had named it DIOSA Communications.

2) Create a Company Page: Company Pages are currently in Beta. While the focus tends to be primarily on employment and recruitment, there is a good chance that these profiles will expand in functionality over time. Make sure you choose a the  “Industry” when setting up up the Page that best describes your business and adding your Blog or news feed is a must.

3) Use Your Personal Profile to Benefit Your Small Business: Post Network Updates about your business. Post Questions and be an expert by answering questions. Join and participate in Groups relative to your business. You can also add Apps to your profile which will allow you to feature slide shows or Blogs about your business. The LinkedIn tool set has expanded significantly over the last year and there’s a lot there to utilize to benefit both your personal brand on LinkedIn and your business.

To learn more about how to use LinkedIn, please join both the Web 2.0 for Small Businesses LinkedIn Group.You can also connect with me on LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/heathermansfield.

Webinar:
How Small Businesses Can Successfully Use LinkedIn, YouTube and Animoto

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