There is so much information on using Twitter and Facebook for getting more business, that LinkedIn could easily be overlooked. It’s time to bring some balance and share with you LinkedIn’s best and latest features and how beneficial they can be to your brand. Have you been ignoring the impact of LinkedIn? Let’s be honest – it has a massive influence in the world of business and abandoning the channel completely can be a big mistake.
The first thing we’d like to mention is how sleek and clean LinkedIn’s design has become. Just look at your profile – if you’ve put some work into it, you’d be able to appreciate how much better the design and navigation are now. With the changes in design, came a new feature, namely…
LinkedIn has finally embraced images
And when we say that, we do realize LinkedIn is nothing compared to the most image-centric channels. However, now there are new images, with bigger size, and if you go to your Company page you’d see how you can take advantage of this change. Add your own photo and logo and your brand will be more visible than before. Thanks to the Rich Media tool you can also add presentations, videos and other media. A single video can have a massive role in the presentation of your company. However, keep in mind that this is after all a business tool. Avoid the videos with cats!
LinkedIn profiles are cleaner
Not only is your profile better organized and cleaner, those of your potential customers and partners are as well. You only need a quick glance at a company’s page or a professional’s profile to decide whether this is someone you could do business with and spend time engaging with. Just like in real life – we do judge a book by its cover. Also we’ve always have the notification tab where you can check who’s seen your profile. Soon we will also have the information on who has read our updates. You can browse your first-level or even second-level connections and based on mutual contacts, skills and even education, find the right prospects. Not only do you see the traditional info (education and experience), you also get to find out about their publications, volunteer work and what the people they’ve worked with have to say about them. The recommendations are now well-highlighted on the profile. It’s also quite easy to reach out to influential connections and send them a message. As a whole, LinkedIn is now encouraging its users to fill in more information – not just business related, but also extracurricular activities.
You can get introduced
The Get Introduced LinkedIn feature isn’t a new addition, however, now you can search your connections’ connections by keyword. It’s a great strategy in your engagement and this might be the most powerful LinkedIn tool at present. Before you use the Get introduced tool ask your connection about the person you are interested in. They should have an idea whether this person can be a potential prospect or they have a better one in mind. The only disadvantage is that with a free account you only get 5 introductions at a time. Another great tool is the LinkedIn Advanced Search (a personal favourite of ours) which lets you search people and companies of different industries, level of connection and location. It’s one of the easiest ways to find local businesses, competitors and potential customers.
Social media has always been a great way to engage and communicate so if you have the time, make sure you get active. It’s the easiest way to get business. Some of the activities you can do daily or weekly on LinkedIn include:
- searching for new prospects
- writing recommendations to others and asking to be recommended
- sharing links to your blog
- sharing other interesting content
- participating in group discussions
- starting new threads in groups
- checking your Notifications tab regularly
- thanking people for endorsements
- suggesting profile updates to close connections
No more cold-calling
Looking for more business connections on LinkedIn has become much easier (and we’d say less awkward) because now you can reach people based on common interests, groups and causes and not feel bad about it. Contacting a complete stranger, who happens to have a lot in common with you, is quite acceptable on LinkedIn, so make sure you add all your information, whether you find it relevant to your job or not. Join groups in your field and actively engage with other members that you find valuable contacts. This makes it so much easier to reach out to LinkedIn members and personalize your messages.
According to LinkedIn my connection and I have 13 skills in common. This surely gives me a good common ground and increases my chances of receiving a reply to my personal message.
The new LinkedIn interface has really made it possible to be more active, more social and ultimately find and examine prospects faster and better. If you are not using LinkedIn a part of your social media strategy much, perhaps it’s time to start.
What do you think about these features and have you made any progress in getting more business? Share with us in the comment box.