I’ve had a LinkedIn Account for well over a year now, and just haven’t made the time to ‘participate’ more than the occasional profile update. I went hunting for some “tips” articles, but found that most information about marketing your small business through LinkedIn is tied to a product for sale. Training ebooks and videos seem the most popular.
I’ve included a few of the articles I found useful below. I specifically tried to use articles by those I’m connected to on Facebook or Twitter, as trusted resources. I have not bought any products on this topic, but have repeatedly come to the same conclusion throughout the research process; People that utilize LinkedIn as a tool for marketing their services or products are simply too busy due in no small part to their participation as a professional, to write about their experiences.
LinkedIn is the Internet’s version of Traditional Business Networking
Yes, LinkedIn is primarily targeted toward ‘Professionals’, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be ‘social’. Any of these Social Media sites are as social as you make them, so that’s really all a matter of perspective as far as I’m concerned. When I was a bank manager, part of the corporate culture demanded a certain level of business ‘networking’. In my opinion, LinkedIn is the Internet’s answer to that type of traditional Networking.
The most useful part about any of these sites for me is the contacts within my own industry that I make. Sharing ideas, theories and information within a like minded group of my peers that are actually out there in the trenches doing the work that some only talk or write about. The sites work for me in that way because that’s how I choose to use them.
I’m left with the impression that LinkedIn can be as useful to you as you intend to make it. Again, like I tend to remind you in every discussion about Social Media… your participation will directly effect the success of any of these sites. Your personal attention to the contacts made through social media will build your online presence.
Should you add LinkedIn to your Social Media menu?
To my clients that are considering getting the most out of their social networking activities, I would suggest putting some thought into what you want to take away from your activities. Once you’ve identified your expectations for using a site like LinkedIn to gain exposure for your business or brand, then you can move on to forming a marketing plan towards that end.
Helping small business owners identify their goals, and compose a goal oriented plan of action for their social networking activities is only one of the things that I offer through my phone consultations. Tailoring a plan that specifically addresses your unique situation is something that I consider an investment in your business. Done correctly, the only thing it will cost you is time.
Are you willing to make the commitment of time required to make your social media activities successful? Let me know in the comments so we can ‘connect’!