Is LinkedIn useful for small businesses? [reading time: 2,5 min] - LinkedIn Training, LinkedIn Consulting, LinkedIn Coaching

“Why is LinkedIn so underused by small and medium sized businesses?” I was asked. The previous question: “Why is there so little interaction in many LinkedIn discussions?” was easy to answer: “Because nobody reads your discussions!“, never mind interaction 😉 But now the answer to today’s question…

LinkedIn groups and small businesses

A quick search on LinkedIn reveals there are nearly 8000 groups with ‘small business’ as their focus. Small business online community alone has more than 32,000 members. The ‘question asker’ clarifies: “I miss groups that deal specifically with small business and marketing .I can find them outside LinkedIn, but then I got lost. Something about the wood and the trees” I refine my search to groups that have ‘small business’ and ‘marketing’ in their name. Well over 900 results. So I wonder, is it true small business under-use LinkedIn? Just to be on the save side 3 golden tips…

3 Golden LinkedIn tips for small businesses

LinkedIn is a means, an instrument, something to actively use. How do you do this? Read on for three tips to get more results as a small business.

LinkedIn Tip: #3 Easily reach a large audience

number-three-reason-linkedin-groups-dont-work-petra-fisherHow can a small business cleverly use LinkedIn? By profiling your company as expert in your area. Start with a LinkedIn Company Page. Next make sure all employees have optimised LinkedIn profiles AND follow your company page. Use the company page to post updates and make sure your staff share them. Lets say the business consists of 8 people with on average 250 connections. That gives your update a 2,000 people audience. Not bad for 100% free marketing!

LinkedIn Tip: #2 Share knowledge, don’t advertise

number-two-reason-linkedin-groups-dont-work-petra-fisherActively participate in group discussions. Don’t just choose groups with prospects, also be active in groups where people will refer to you, people with related services. Through active participation you not only gain exposure, but also quickly build your expert status. This gives so much more return in the end than blatant promotion. If you engage regularly with the same people, you can invite them to connect or follow your company page.

LinkedIn Tip: #1 Listening equals free marketing research

tip-01-LinkedIn-Training-Trainer-Petra-FisherLinkedIn groups are the ultimate place for free ‘market research’. Once you’ve got your target audience clear, find the groups where they are most active. Become a member of those groups and set the email alert for a weekly digest. Set aside time once a week to scan these mails and read the most active discussions. Just reading (listening) will give you invaluable insights in the needs of your prospects. What questions do they ask, what challenges do they face, what topics do they discuss? What is their opinion about… Useful information to actively utelise in tips 1 and 2.

>>> What is your strategy to get more results from LinkedIn? Share your experience and tips with other readers.>>>