While LinkedIn is known as THE job search social media network, it nonetheless has many business opportunities. You might not realize it, but the use of LinkedIn for business is growing, and when you ask, ‘What does LinkedIn do for businesses?,’ you’ll be surprised at the opportunities for your company. Let’s review them.
First, LinkedIn is growing as a site for “lifelong learning.” This is opposed to the job search function (which is common on LinkedIn as well). So think of LinkedIn not only as a way to reach (new) employees but as a way to reach potential customers and customers who are in “lifelong learning mode.” What’s an example? Well, let’s say you are a business-to-business company such as a corporate accountant. There have been many changes in the tax laws, recently, and you’d like to reach CFOs and CEOs about the opportunities to save money vis-à-vis the new tax laws (and, of course, sell your accounting and tax services to them). By having a company page on LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to showcase your blog, post articles to LinkedIn, or even post “native video.” LinkedIn, in short, helps your business grow by reaching clients who are looking to learn. It’s a soft sell environment: you’re showcasing your skills to interested customers, and leaving up to them to reach out and take the next step such as a free consultation.
Second, and here’s something really unique about LinkedIn for business, it’s a team sport. You want (and need) to get your employees to work with your business page as a team. Here’s why. LinkedIn networking really occurs employee-to-client, not so much company-to-client. So by getting your employees to interact with your business page content by liking, commenting, and sharing, you can boost your presence as a business. After all, you want to stay “top of mind” as a business and by working together with employees you can get your message out “for free.”
Finally, LinkedIn has (wait for it): advertising opportunities. If you are a B2B business, you can use LinkedIn ads to promote your business content as well as technologies like InMail to create targeted email solicitations. No social network knows people’s resumes like LinkedIn, so the business targeting is second to none. You also want to realize that in tandem with advertising your customer-facing employees (think: sales staff) can network and reach out to potential clients. As long as they have a real “carrot,” they can solicit a communication with potential clients. LinkedIn is the ultimate online rolodex, so by using it you can leverage LinkedIn for your business and grow into the “lifelong learning trend.”