When people think of social networks, they often first think of places where people go to kill downtime by looking at fun pictures or checking up on the latest gossip. While that definitely describes one way that people use social networks, it's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how social influences online behavior.
Although their owners may have profiles on it, many businesses forget that LinkedIn is another very popular social network. And a big part of why it can be such a powerful component of your social media marketing strategy is because it's not associated with activities like wasting time by sharing silly pictures.
Instead, LinkedIn has built a reputation as the online destination for professionalism. In the past, that meant people turned to LinkedIn when they decided it was time to find a new job. While that activity continues today, LinkedIn is used for many other purposes as well. From networking to establishing thought leadership, this site mirrors the diverse nature of the offline business world.
If your business is B2B in nature, the value proposition of LinkedIn is a no-brainer. But even if you're a B2C business, there are four important reasons why this site should be part of your overall social media management strategy:
Build your personal brand
Personal branding isn't something that only benefits people like consultants or public speakers. Instead, it's an activity that can help anyone in business. Even if you aren't selling to other business owners, that doesn't mean there isn't value in increasing your visibility within your industry. On the contrary, building a personal brand that allows you to open new doors can directly impact your business in a positive way.
Take advantage of free marketing
Not only can you have a LinkedIn profile for yourself, but you can also have a page for your business. Since people are spending more and more time on LinkedIn, it's a great place to increase visibility. An added bonus is if you properly optimize your company page for SEO, it can rank well for some of your target search terms.
Open up partnerships and other opportunities
Although you don't have to devote hours a day to LinkedIn, spending time on the site strengthening your network and engaging with others can open up business opportunities that may not have even crossed your mind. Whether it's a partnership, joint marketing or other opportunity, these are things that can definitely help your business.
Find great new team members
Even if you aren't currently hiring, LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people who may become great employees in the future. And if you are actively looking for someone to join your team, LinkedIn will make it easy to find the perfect pool of candidates.
To learn more about how to get the most out of this site, be sure to take a look at our LinkedIn training course.