Photo via: ZM Fox
LinkedIn is the best social network for entrepreneurs.
It has been around for over a decade and with close to 200 million users, it’s held steady as a thriving community for business professionals.
As a business owner you want to focus a significant level of energy to this juggernaut of a social network.
Being active on LinkedIn can yield tremendous gains for your brand and it can lead to a steady source of contacts and sales.
If you are not sure where to start, use the following 101 tips to LinkedIn for business.
Tips for Using LinkedIn For Business
1. Promote your profile on your company website, blog, business cards, and other social media outlets.
2. Tag your skills and expertise on your profile page with rich keywords that relate to your niche and industry. Doing so will help your profile yield higher results on LinkedIn searches.
3. Link your profile with keyword anchor text. This will also improve your search results within LinkedIn.
4. Thumb through YouTube or Vimeo on a regular basis, and share video links that relate to your industry to your target members only groups.
5. Join relevant business groups that fit into your niche or that are full of members in your target audience.
6. Obtain recommendations and endorsements from your existing connections.
7. Use the LinkedIn mobile app to add updates to your profile and join conversations in your member groups while on the go.
8. Share your company blog articles with relevant groups of interests.
9. Import your contact list from your email account and seek connections and endorsements from your contacts.
10. Provide evergreen and timeless content and advice with each post update.
11. Be compelling and interesting. Make yourself memorable by dis-spelling myths and being a contrarian from time to time.
12. Connect your account to your company Twitter account to give your Twitter followers another layer of news they can use.
13. Add advanced applications such as InMail to broaden the level of communication that you can have with your connections, contacts, and professionals that you would like to know.
14. Join groups from your alma mater and be active in conversations. Share ideas, resources, and opportunities with your fellow alums.
15. Make connection requests with professionals of interest from your alma mater groups.
16. Add your company events in the events calendar section of your profile page.
17. Add company photos, staff photos, and behind the scenes photos to your company profile page and your personal profile page.
18. Endorse your connections and be endorsed by your connections.
19. Add all applicable skills, services, and products to your company profile page to make your business more visible for searches within LinkedIn.
20. Receive LinkedIn notifications when group members in your relevant groups post questions, ideas, and updates. This will allow you to readily add to the conversation.
21. Use LinkedIn to connect with industry journalists.
22. Use LinkedIn to connect with industry publicists.
23. Use LinkedIn to connect with industry social media specialists
24. Update weekly or daily regarding news about your business.
25. Set aside a certain time of day to be active on LinkedIn. This will streamline your activity on LinkedIn and cut down on unneeded time spent social networking.
26. Use LinkedIn to research companies for partnership opportunities.
27. Connect with target companies and make yourself and/or company known to them.
28. Keep in touch with your connections often and share their profile with others that would benefit from the connection.
29. Suggest industry books to read or that you have read with the Amazon app within LinkedIn.
30. Use SEO focused keywords in your niche as often as you can. From your background summary, company profile, to your discussions with others.
31. Add your Slide Share presentations to your background profile and in the updates section on the home page.
32. Use 1st person when writing, not in 3rd person because that makes you sound more relatable.
33. Write in complete sentences and avoid excessive abbreviations.
34. Be social, not pitchy. No one wants to just read your self-promotion posts.
35. Use private messaging with your connections to share more intimate thoughts, ideas, and news.
36. Answer questions in people’s discussion boards with as much sincerity as possible.
37. Ask questions related to your industry in your group forums that you really need answers too.
38. Ask for help from your connections when in need.
39. Use your company profile as a landing page from your most recent product or service launch. This shows that you take social media and how it can bolster your brand seriously.
40. Don’t join too many groups. If you do, you will either burn out fast or neglect them.
41. Use the share feature to post to multiple groups.
42. Use polls in your group discussions to conduct market research.
43. Invite local connections to meet for coffee.
44. Speak in terms of company accomplishments on a regular basis to improve your industry expertise.
45. Start your own group if you do not come across any that resonate with your interests.
46. Truly explore the “More” tab in your profile.
47. Tell your company story precisely. Use video, photos, blog posts, and your own e-books to do such.
48. Add your e-books, white papers, and case studies in your portfolio tab to highlight your industry expertise.
49. Subscribe to the RSS reader for LinkedIn. This will allow you to get a daily digest of the latest news that is circulating on LinkedIn.
50. Treat your profile like a website. Consistently update it to give it new life and attract traffic to it with an SEO focus.
51. Have clean and professional photos of yourself and staff posted.
52. Personalize your profile vanity URL. For example; linkedin.com/in/larryjones. This is clean, professional, and easier on the eyes.
53. Use your invitations wisely (you only get 3,000).
54. Don’t engage in gossip. Doing so could potentially damage your reputation as a credible professional.
55. Promote your company blog by sharing relevant blog posts on your homepage of LinkedIn.
56. Gain more contacts to increase visibility. When you have more contacts, more professionals will see your profile and will more and likely ask for a connection as well.
57. Make your page very accessible. Include links to it on the home page of your website, company blog, and on your business cards.
58. Discover your competition on LinkedIn through market research.
59. Sign up for the LinkedIn Today daily digest.
60. Search updates with the LinkedIn Signal feature.
61. Keep Google in mind with your updates. LinkedIn is gaining clout for SEO rankings on Google.
62. Pay attention to who’s viewed your profile. If someone that is of interest or would be of interest has viewed your profile, then seek a connection request.
63. Connect with those that are following you.
64. Share the benefits that your company provides to your audience from time to time.
65. Don’t write Twitter style posts in your updates. Make sure that you embrace LinkedIn for the value it provides on its own. Do not copy and paste your tweets.
66. Use track able links when you do share news and information.
67. Avoid repetition. Doing so will easily turn-off any following that you may have accumulated.
68. Be provocative. If you see an opportunity arise, be vocal and connect with those that could use your services and/or products.
69. Flex your expertise by sharing knowledgeable and detailed information in your posts and in groups.
70. Develop a campaign and launch it on LinkedIn. This is particularly a wise idea if you are launching a campaign that appeals to the B2B crowd (business to business).
71. Share your commitment to social responsibility. If you have a cause that fires you up and you donate or volunteer to often, share this with your LinkedIn connections.
72. Offer exclusive free consultations for your services to your LinkedIn connections. This is a prime way to get the ball rolling for a fruitful consulting relationship.
73. Offer your e-books for free to your LinkedIn connections.
74. Cross promote on LinkedIn your recently launched products and services with other companies where you share the same target market.
75. Build strategic partnerships. Do not wait to be “picked.” Foster relationships with other companies.
76. Embed your YouTube videos and share them with your relevant industry groups.
77.Explore the LinkedIn Developer site. If you have an IT background, share it with LinkedIn corporate. They are consistently seeking ways to improve the UX or user experience. This will aid to further establish you an expert in your field.
78. Pay it forward and promote your connections both online and off.
79. Sign up for premium membership. With a premium membership you can have unlimited connections, contacts, and use InMail.
80. Don’t overlook connecting with companies internationally. Use this to your advantage and further expand your reach across global lines.
81. Track start-ups in your industry through market research. Make connections with them as they may have needs that you can fill.
82. Ask for advice through private messaging with your connections that pertains to company issues.
83. Use InMail to connect with industry heavyweights.
84. Use LinkedIn Instant Search to see who would be ideal for you to follow and make connections with.
85. Include your LinkedIn profile URL in your email signature.
86. Include your LinkedIn profile URL on your business card.
87. Add the app, CardMunch, to sync the business cards that you receive.
88. Add the app, TripIt, to share your travel plans with your contacts.
89. Enroll in the LinkedIn Ads program. This is a prime way to have your company discovered by your target audience.
90. Download the LinkedIn plugin for your company Word Press blog.
91. Connect with your former colleagues and check in with them often. You never know when they or they know someone that could benefit from your services or products.
92. Have a professional headline for your profile. Make sure that it provides a clear glimpse into your identity as a professional.
93. Make sure that your profile is 100% complete. Having an incomplete profile looks haphazard and shows that you do not take your online image seriously.
94. Ask for referrals from your connections for business through LinkedIn.
95. Don’t forget to add your company address to your profile. Make it as easy as possible for people to be able to access your company.
96. Encourage your employees to complete their profiles as well.
97. Share recent company news and announcements on your company profile page. Have your employees do the same.
98. Every now and then follow the lead, and borrow new business ideas from your connections.
99. Create a goal of making 5 to 10 connections a week.
100. Share your LinkedIn answers on your company blog.
101. Make your profile client focused.
LinkedIn is a bustling business community. It is a prime virtual space to connect with other entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and foster meaningful relationships that will grow your business.
The key is to be devoted to making your company profile as attractive and active as possible for the online world to see.