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Are you and your business on LinkedIn?
Why you should use Linkedin to promote yourself or your business? 
February 2011

Weather you are an individual looking to build a network or searching for a job, or a company trying to market your products, LinkedIn is the place to be. The site has been growing silently and for a while it seemed that other services like Plaxo would take over the first place, but LinkedIn is back at full throttle.

Why would you open a personal LinkedIn account?
Nowadays we do not stay with the same company for all our life any more and especially younger generations jump from one job to another. Even if you are nice and comfortable in your job, you might be surprised by a hostile take-over or reorganization and find yourself looking for a new job. At that moment it would be very helpful to have a professional network at your disposal that can help you find a new position. Do realize that up to 80% of all new positions are never advertised in the news papers! Most jobs are filled in because the person concerned knew somebody who knew somebody etc. And LinkedIn is not only a good source for such connections, it is also a cheap way for HR departments to find potential applicants. Therefore you might be invited to send in your resume through LinkedIn or what I came across the other day, a job advertisement that was only posted on LinkedIn. The company that was looking for a new employee did not place the ad anywhere else and the only possibility to react was also through a form on LinkedIn. If you expect to look for a job anywhere soon, you better get yourself an account and start building that network.

Also companies should have an account
As a social media or network site, LinkedIn is considered to be a serious "business" website both by employees and companies. A Linkedin account for your business can help you generate leads and build your reputation.

To start set up an account for your business with a short description of what you do. Add the "Products" tab to display all your products or services with logos and images and you are able to add a YouTube video, which allows you to publish a more detailed message. It does not stop there, you can target different audiences with different messages and products and you can ask customers or other relations to recommend your products and services, giving potential customers a clear overview of what you do and how good you are at it.

Once your business page is ready, you need to get out there. Do connect your business to your Twitter account so that all your business tweets appear on the Linkedin home page of your contacts and followers as well. Be aware that LinkedIn offers the possibility to only publish tweets with #in, to avoid filling LinkedIn with non-relevant messages.
Use groups and the Answer & Questions module to engage directly with customers, competitors and other relevant connections, to share ideas, start discussions, publish news articles related to your business and actively respond to people interested in your business. This will ensure you gain credibility as an active participator and increase visibility of your company.

Look on LinkedIn, or better type your question into Google, for clear descriptions of how to start and fill a business or personal account in LinkedIn. Success!

Did you use LinkedIn in a different way to promote your business or have any good ideas?

 
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  BOOK REVIEWS
Some of my personal remarks and opinion on books related to social media marketing:

"Socialnomics" How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, by Erik Qualman

 

"New rules of PR & Marketing" How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, by David Meerman Scott

 
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