by: Dana Chen Fischer
Social media has many faces, but the most purely professional face of all belongs to LinkedIn, the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Professional Network.” Here are some ways you can put this connection-building powerhouse to work for your business:
Build your own community. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect to the people you know and ask them to introduce you to the people they know. Its focus as a professional social media platform ensures that these connections are all there primarily to do (or at least talk and think about) business. Your potential base of connections grows exponentially with every new contact you make. and since everyone on LinkedIn has a professional profile, you can even use it to help you decide who you want to connect with and why.
Use it as a soapbox. If your company has a blog, push those posts to your LinkedIn account. Include links back to your business website along with a call to action that encourages readers to learn more or even make a purchase based on the information in the article. This tactic is a powerful means of attracting people who might never normally see or know about your blog and turning them into devoted followers. It's also a tremendous advertising platform.
Get interactive. One of LinkedIn’s greatest features is the wide number of groups created by members -- groups based on every possible segment and demographic, from college alumni to clusters of hobbyists. In other words, it’s chock full of easily identifiable target markets for your business. Even better, these groups regularly engage in spirited online conversations on topics relevant to their interests. Join the appropriate groups and get involved! By expounding on your knowledge, dispensing advice and answering questions, you brand yourself as an industry expert and go-to resource.