5 Top LinkedIn Tactics for Businesses by Keidra Chaney

LinkedIn is probably the best place to be for companies looking to drive website traffic, generate leads, and increase customer awareness via social media.

Launched in 2003, LinkedIn is a business owners’ secret weapon, with more than 21 million unique visitors from the U.S. each month and 46 million visitors globally.  According to a 2012 study from internet marketing firm HubSpot, LinkedIn is 277% more likely to drive web-site traffic than Facebook and Twitter for B2B companies. However, LinkedIn is often overlooked by businesses as a part of a social media strategy. If you’re already using the site for personal networking, don’t overlook the many tools LinkedIn provides for businesses as well.

Following are five ways to use it to your advantage:

1)Start A Linkedin Company Page

Similar to Facebook company pages, LinkedIn company pages allow companies to maintain a presence on LinkedIn. You can post status updates, link to your corporate blog feed, highlight new products and services, and post job opportunities.

For individual LinkedIn users, company pages may be the first point of contact for your company. A presence on LinkedIn also boosts your company’s ranking on search engines, so it’s worth it to maintain regular content updates. LinkedIn now provides page analytics to tell you more about who’s visiting your page and help you cultivate a communications strategy for your LinkedIn efforts.

Get started on your own LinkedIn page at  http://learn.linkedin.com/company-pages/

2) Join or Start A Linkedin Group

LinkedIn Groups are an easy way to network with colleagues in your field and cultivate new customers and referrals. There are more than 2,000 groups focused on small business topics, and even more based on various industry topics: real estate, technology, education, even university groups for networking with alumni and faculty from your alma mater. If you can’t find a group relevant to your field or industry, it’s easy to start your own. Start by searching by industry or keyword at http://www.linkedin.com/directory/groups/.

As a group owner and moderator, you can choose to keep your group open for anyone in the public to find and join (great for search-engine rankings), or you can make the group private if you want more control over membership. Don’t forget to link your company’s web site or blog RSS feed to the group to keep members up to date on your latest content.

3) Provide Value At Linkedin Questions And Answers

Individuals use LinkedIn questions and answers for professional advice and industry tips. As an entrepreneur, you can use this platform to build your reputation as an expert in your field. Go to http://www.linkedin.com/answers/ and start by searching for topics connected to your field. LinkedIn Answers is used primarily for resource sharing, so be sure to stay away from self-promotion here and simply provide your expertise here.

4) Advertise On LinkedIn

Much like Facebook ads, Linkedin Ads allow you to target your message to customers by age, job title, industry and location. Combined with a content-rich LinkedIn company page, a Linkedin ad campaigns can be a powerful lead generation tool, particularly for B2B companies. Learn more at https://www.linkedin.com/ads/start.

5) Read The Linkedin Blog For More Tips And Best Practices

The LinkedIn blog is regularly updated with industry trends, case studies and other valuable tips for individuals and businesses alike using LinkedIn for marketing and promotion. Read it at http://blog.linkedin.com/

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