Involved in B2B Commerce? Then You Should Be Using LinkedIn

In today's competitive B2B market, it's crucial to have a strong online presence. Businesses cannot rely solely on distributing business cards at trade shows. Since Facebook is primarily focused on friends chatting with each other, LinkedIn is the ideal social media network for B2B.

This social network caters to professionals who want an easy way to connect with each other. As a business owner, you can promote your products or services through networking, in groups or by answering questions. By sharing your expertise, your reputation and credibility will increase. The process of becoming a recognized authority in your industry will translate into more sales for your business.

In order to get the most out of LinkedIn, you need to:

1. Build an exceptional profile: Your profile acts as your landing page. You want to personalize it by including plenty of relevant details. This will ensure that when potential customers read it, they are compelled to know more. Although a profile is basically your resume, you don't have to limit it to a conventional format. Instead, you can write an interesting narrative about yourself and your experiences.

2. Connect with your network: Connecting with the right people in your industry is a key part of making the most of LinkedIn. You can start by uploading your contacts from your email accounts. Since there's a good chance that some of them already use LinkedIn, you can send a personal invitation to them.

3. Join and participate in groups: One way to get noticed and to attract potential customers is by joining relevant groups. You can join conversations by commenting, giving feedback or sharing your expertise. By posting valuable information, other users will take notice of your contributions.

4. Create and start your own group: You can leverage your popularity by starting your own group. As the group owner, you can create topics on subjects of your own interest or start targeted topics to attract those people you want to reach. By growing your network, you can create more direct connections that ultimately lead to sales.

5. Update your profile frequently: In addition to participating on a regular basis, don't forget to keep your status updated. Having fresh content will keep other users interested in your profile. Ways to do this include adding a link to your latest blog entry or integrating Twitter with your profile. Additionally, you can share a video with tips on how to solve problems. Since you want people to be able to find the content you share, make sure your titles include relevant keyword phrases.

6. Ask others: Not only can you contribute your own opinions and expertise, but you can also engage others by asking questions. This can be in the form of asking for a recommendation or creating a poll that allows other users to share their thoughts.

Do you currently use LinkedIn?

About The Author

Brian Waraksa

Brian Waraksa, founder of Raxa Design in Houston, Texas has been in marketing and small business branding since 2002. He writes the Raxa Design blog on issues affecting small business marketing and corporate brands.

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