How many articles about social media are there? 1 million? 2?
Do you really think we need another one?
Well, I think that we do, and this here’s the reason why. The invention of social media sites gave us, the small business owners, near infinite possibilities for marketing ourselves and our companies. And still, I don’t think we are using these sites to their fullest.
Take LinkedIn. Not the most popular or widely used site, that’s true. But it has something that Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr don’t. It’s whole purpose is to connect professionals with professionals. It’s not about what you did over the weekend or what books you’re reading or what your cat looks like in a hoodie. It’s about finding work and finding workers.
So in the spirit of efficiency here are 5 ways that I think you can use LinkedIn to market your business, in as few words as I can write them because, hey, you have a business to run.
# 1. Start Close To Home
While many of you may have a LinkedIn account already, I’m sure that a lot of you don’t. The best way to start your LinkedIn life is to, obviously, get an account, and then reach out to the people that you already know. Use LinkedIn’s search function to find people that you have done business with already and even those that you hope to do business with in the future. I agree, the world of social media is far reaching. What better place to start than close to home?
# 2. Start Young
Did you know that the majority of LinkedIn users are recent graduates which means it’s a great place for more established companies to find new blood. The high percentage of students and new graduates also means that LinkedIn is populated with hungry young people, people looking to prove themselves. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
# 3. Start Following Groups
The main reason that LinkedIn is better than Facebook or Twitter, at least for business owners and professionals, is that it lets it’s users form groups.
Yes, Facebook has groups too, but then Facebook isn’t strictly used by professionals, is it. The difference is that LinkedIn’s groups promote discussion among like minded professionals while, and lets be honest, Facebook groups are more for the high school reunion type, aren’t they.
Being active within group discussions not only promotes your company but also shows the people within that group that you are knowledgeable about the topic you’re discussing. Can you think of a better way to promote yourself?
# 4. Start First
Don’t see a group that relates to your directly? Then start one.
There’s no reason to be shy, not on a social network. There is a good chance that if you can’t find a group that suits you, there are others looking for that same niche that don’t have the stones to start it. Be the trailblazer, you have nothing to lose.
Related: Creating a Successful LinkedIn Group
# 5. Alternate Routes
LinkedIn has a “general questions” section where users can post any question about anything. Take the time to browse the general questions. You never know who you may end up helping with your answer.
By Daniel Cassady