LinkedIn is a huge business orientated social network for professionals with over 75 million members worldwide. Aside from connecting with customers, LinkedIn is a powerful platform to work on your B2B relationships by finding new suppliers and networking within your industry.
In essence, LinkedIn functions just like any other social network. You can connect with others, share information and contact other members, all with a strictly business and professional focus. This gives LinkedIn a couple of unique advantages:
- It’s a great way for employers and employees to connect with each other
- It’s easy to network with others in your industry
- It makes it easy to find other suppliers/distributors across the globe.
Getting started with LinkedIn is not rocket science, but here’s our simple guide on how to get involved.
1. Create a personal profile – Similar to most networks, head over to www.linkedin.com and complete the signup process. It’s important to remember that linkedin is a professional social network so keep it business orientated and complete as much information as possible.
2. Create a company page – Creating a company page gives other users of the network a way to learn more about your business and the people who work there. After you’ve registered a personal profile, visit www.linkedin.com/companies and click Add a Company.
View an example of our ineedhits company page:
3. Add your customers and contacts – The key to linkedin and most social networks is to build up your relationships and start interacting with people. Linkedin allows you to use your email contacts to search for customers or suppliers which can be a good way to get started. You may even try connecting with business owners from similar industries to setup a partnership.
4. Join LinkedIn Groups – LinkedIn groups are essentially discussion forums for specific interest groups. They allow you to find out the latest news, and to join in debates on topics of interest. You should be joining groups both of interest to you professionally, and the groups where your potential clients “hang out”.
5. Use Status Updates – LinkedIn status updates are a nice way of helping to stay top of mind with contacts. If you were to call or email all your contacts any time you did something small but interesting, it would quickly become seen as pushy or spammy. But updating your status is a non-intrusive way of getting a gentle reminder out.