You may feel that social media has no place in serious business, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Social media has turned the business world on its head and is directly influencing profits and returns. I’m not saying that your company needs a Twitter account, per se, but LinkedIn is a reputable social media platform that can help you build up a network, attract clientele, and even score highly-qualified job applicants.

social media platform

(Pixabay / minachan)

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social media platform that got its start in late 2002-2003 and now has over 500 million users. Now owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn has gradually shifted from solely being by job hunters to a full-fledged business networking platform.

When you first open LinkedIn, you may be a little startled to see how closely it resembles Facebook. As an account holder, you are able to create groups, respond to job requests, make contact with and follow companies, and reach out to customers. Some businesses post their help-wanted ads, and others offer discounts and coupons for specific services. But the gold lies in how you customize LinkedIn.

The purpose of LinkedIn is to develop relationships that wouldn’t necessarily be possible if the world required face-to-face contact. Here are a few of the ways that LinkedIn can help your business grow and develop:

Gives you a personality

This may seem like a silly benefit to start with, but showing your company’s personality through its comments and posts helps your customers and potential leads and job candidates see what you’re about. Your profile gives you the opportunity to display what makes your company different from the rest. What you like and what you share rounds out your company’s character.

It’s a win-win for just about any company. Think about it: if you’re a prosperous bank, LinkedIn gives you a platform to share both your shareholder reports and the ways that you are giving back to the community. You are also able to share uplifting and inspiring stories that embody your bank’s ideals.  Where employees are concerned, you can use the platform to share accolades for the over-and-above efforts of staff members and welcome new employees, too.

Your profile and user activity also give you a way to respond to the public in a way that lets them judge your ability to communicate. This can be an exceptional tool in your corner if you use it appropriately.

Opens possibilities for SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must if you want people to find your business, and LinkedIn gives you another way to increase your brand awareness. It is not only gives you the opportunity to link to your website, but it’s also a place to incorporate your business’ keywords. Adding quality, shareworthy content can get you more authentic views and help you reach an audience that you may not have reached with a standard website alone.

Provides PR opportunities

LinkedIn is the perfect way to develop and share positive public relations (PR). It allows you to highlight exemplary employees and honor retirees. You are also able to post company goals and new strategies and products. You can control the amount of detail that you’d like to share in these posts, so the ball is entirely in your court.

Finds quality candidates

One of LinkedIn’s most well-known features is its ability to help you locate quality job candidates through networking. As people learn about and follow your company, you are able to see their educational and vocational experience. Their profiles can give you a significant amount of information about their work ethic and personality.

If you post for job openings, you can get background information on potential candidates before your face-to-face interviews, which can be a valuable time-saver as well as a good way to weed out  subpar candidates.

Helps you reach your target audience

There are varying memberships available, and some come with the ability to analyze your audience’s engagement with your content. This might help you dial in pre-qualified leads.

You’re also able to share your posts with the whole world or just your “target audience,” which are parameters that you set based on the industry, company size, geographic location, language, and more.

Facilitates Sales Content

I mentioned this earlier, but LinkedIn provides you with a way to generate quality content – including lead-generating content. Keep in mind that the content you share needs to be purposeful and valuable to your potential customers. Use eye-grabbing videos, original graphics, and attractive infographics to hook the public, and then direct them to your products. Give first, ask later.

Used purposefully, LinkedIn can be an incredible asset to your current marketing campaign. It’s a way for you to get in front of your public and develop a relationship with them. This is especially important if your company is online-only because positive customer reviews and experiences go a long way in generating leads and loyal clientele on the internet.