Maximize Your Small Business Marketing on LinkedIn in 4 Steps

Sometimes overlooked by Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful marketing tools that your business could use. It is the number one professional networking site and growing its user base each day, making it the ideal place to market your business.

There are numerous ways to utilize LinkedIn as part of your small business marketing strategy, but a few ways in particular are:
  1. Use LinkedIn Groups to find new leads each day
  2. Q&A – build trust, credibility, and expertise
  3. Create events
  4. Utilize the Advanced Search function
    1. LinkedIn Groups

    Creating a group gives your business the opportunity to identify a great number of potential leads by engaging with key influencers. The key is to be effective as possible when creating a group in order to maximize results for your organization. You want people to be able to find your small business online easily, so picking the right keywords is essential. Choose pertinent keywords in order to help your organization’s search result rank on both LinkedIn’s internal search as well as on Google. The easier you make it for people to find you, the more people will engage with you!

    Synergy is essential when it comes to social media, so be sure to include relevant links to blogs, websites, and other company pages to the group.  If done correctly, these groups can play a huge role in lead generation for your organization.

    2. Trust, Credibility, Expertise

    Engage the community – and what better way to do that then by asking relevant questions. Asking questions will allow you to connect with other experts in the field and share knowledge and ideas. Be sure to set up the “Answers Applications” on the bottom of your home page. 

    linkedin answers application

    If there is a question that relates to your small business field/industry/expertise, be sure to offer your thoughts. But also be sure to go a step further, don’t offer tips but share links, blogs, articles, whatever it may be that might further answer the question. If you take the time to genuinely respond and help others, they will do the same in return!

    Asking stimulating and relevant questions, as well as offering advice, tips, and best practices can help you develop trust and credibility…both crucial to small business success!

    3. Events

    Events are a great way to engage the online community. LinkedIn has its own event platform which makes it easy for you to set up an event. The beauty in LinkedIn events is that when someone RSVPs, it shows up on the profile page of everyone that person is connected to…talk about viral marketing!

    cleveland linkedin event

    4. Advanced Search

    The Advanced Search function can help your business target the exact audience you are looking for. At the top of the right side of your home page, click “Advanced.” You can search by a ton of different categories, for example, industry, keywords, company, etc.

    Here is a quick look:

    linkedin advanced search

    LinkedIn should be a vital part of your marketing campaign.  Other outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare are great but the versatility of LinkedIn can do wonders for your business. Try one of all of these suggestions to enhance your marketing on LinkedIn.  You just might be surprised at what they do for your lead generation!

    The Small Business Location War Escalates: Enter Facebook

    By Dan Nieves

    Recent news is that Facebook has new location-based features in the works to be unveiled in the immediate future – might be very soon, so keep an eye out!

    The location-features will be similar to that of social media outlets such as Foursquare, Brightkite and Gowalla – talk about direct competition. Facebook will allow users to check in at various locations, for example restaurants and coffee shops. It was only a matter of time before Facebook jumped on board the geo-location bandwagon.

    Benefits for Small Business Owners

    With Facebook adding location-based features, this adds another avenue for small businesses to engage and attract customers. The immense amount of users on Facebook presents a huge pool of potential customers that small businesses could tap into via the location-services. Moreover, there are significant advertising opportunities to be had by the new features. Potential customers could be targeted both geographically and demographically. Location-based services create opportunities to really hone in to local markets.

    It will be interesting to see the impact of these new features. With a big time player such as Facebook jumping into the location game, things are sure to heat up!

    Twitter’s New Ad Platform & What It Means for Small Business

    By Dan Nieves

    Twitter’s long awaited advertising platform finally rolled out a couple weeks ago. According to Twitter, “Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets that businesses and organizations want to highlight to a wider group of users.”  Here is an example of what users will see:

    Promoted Tweets will have started to appear at the top of Twitter search results.  According to the NY Times, “the ads will let businesses insert themselves into the stream of real-time conversation on Twitter to ensure their posts do not get buried in the flow.” Initially, Promoted Tweets will be found in search results, but will eventually be integrated into Twitter.com and third-party applications as well such as TweetDeck.

    How It Works

    Companies will have the chance to bid on certain keywords and when a user searches for a word an organization has purchased, the Promoted Tweet will appear at the top of the results, even if not the most current tweet. In the initial phase, cost will be incurred per thousand people who see the Promoted Tweet.

    How to Measure Success

    Twitter will measure resonance, which will look at 9 factors, for example the number of people who viewed the post, number of people who replied/retweeted/etc, and the number of people who clicked on any links in the post. Interestingly enough, if a tweet does not reach a certain resonance level, it will no longer be shown as a Promoted Tweet. Consequently, the organization would not have to pay for the tweet and users will only see ads that will be useful to them.

    What Does it Mean for Small Business

    Well for one, it is a great way to let customers know what is going on right now, whether it be a sale, promotion or some other special event. If a small biz could lock up certain keywords associated with its business, it could level the playing field when it comes to brand awareness and marketing. For example, an IT company in the domain name business might look to bid on keywords such as “domain” or “domain name.”

    Also, it is a step further in customer engagement and the new advertising platform provides an additional avenue to converse with customers. The Promoted Tweets will have the same functions as regular tweets (i.e. retweeting and favoriting), which benefits the advertiser as followers can spread the word. If small businesses can capitalize on this new feature, it could be an additional means of marketing and advertising as fellow tweeters could pass the word along and create a greater buzz.

    The new ad platform also provides a cost efficient means of advertising and creating buzz. Rather than sending out direct mail, email blasts or online advertisements, which can be costly and ineffective, Twitter’s new platform has the ability to “self monitor.” As stated earlier in the post, Twitter will measure resonance and if a tweet does not reach a desired resonance level, it will no longer be shown as a Promoted Tweet. How does this help the business user? Well, two ways:

    • It is a much more cost effective means of advertising, a biz user would only pay for the tweet if it is not being shown as a Promoted Tweet
    • Furthermore, the relevancy factor is where the value add can come. Users will only see the ads that will be useful to them, so it is a great way for the small biz user to hone their ads for their desired niche rather than just mass mailing.

    It will be very interesting to see where this new platform will go and what Twitter will roll out in the next phases!