LinkedIn isn’t just a place for professionals seeking new employment anymore. Recently, businesses have been swarming the platform to connectÂ with other businesses and build a network of like-minded industry peers. But is it just for corporations and tech startups that are looking to develop their knowledge base and cultivate relationships? Or is there room for small, local businesses to benefit, as well? That’s what we’ll discover in this edition of “Prospect Genius Reviews…”
At first, small business owners might feel intimidated by the vast expanse of professional networks and groups on LinkedIn. After all, the scene is largely dominated by businesses in fields like information technology, sales, marketing, and finance. Local businesses and service providers in other fields can easily feel left out of the conversation.
However, if you look closer, you’ll notice that LinkedIn has groups for an impressive range of trades. From paving to flooring to catering, there’s a group that local businesses can join for virtually any profession.
Although not many consumers are going to be searching the pages of LinkedIn to find a local business like a tax lawyer, home improvement contractor, or car audio installer, you can use it to connect with others who are relevant to your company’s interests. This way, you can build your own network for your own needs. Whether you connect based on local ties, hobbies, or your specific trade, you’ll meet people who might just remember your company’s name when they suddenly need your services.
Still, even if these groups don’t directly lead to more customers, they can help with word of mouth. Let’s say you write an informative blog post about a new trick you just learned, and you share that post in one of your LinkedIn groups. Another member of that group might find your article helpful and decide to share it on Facebook. Suddenly, you’re getting a lot more eyeballs on that blog post. Not only will this help with SEO, but there’s the possibility it could generate a new lead. It could even establish you as an authority in your field.
However, forging connections with other people in your industry isn’t just about waiting in the wings for more leads. You can also use these connections to better your own business. You might find that other people in your network are sharing trade secrets that can help make your business more efficient. Or you may stumble on a new technique or tool that makes one of your daily jobs a lot easier. The possibilities for discovery and improvement are endless.
It’s important to remember, though, that LinkedIn’s users are not nearly as active as Facebook’s or even Twitter’s. Of the roughly 400 million members, only 25% are considered active, monthly users. That means you’d be wise to adjust your expectations in terms of engagement and lead generation. Don’t expect a constant stream of feedback when you share an update or post an article.
At the same time, those users who are active on LinkedIn are much more motivated than what you’re used to seeing on other sites. As Lana Lile of WooRank notes, “While Facebook and Twitter are great to capture the eyes of a wider customer base, your presence on LinkedIn connects you with the eyes of more qualified leads who may invest twice or three times as much as those found on other social platforms.”
In other words, these invested, motivated connections via LinkedIn could prove more valuable than an average user on any other social media channel. While they’re rare to come across on this particular platform, they’re supremely dedicated to regular engagement. This makes each of these connections indispensable.
So, what’s the takeaway? As you might have guessed by now, Prospect Genius reviews LinkedIn favorably. LinkedIn is founded on the notion that business is all about relationships, and in that respect, there’s more for you to gain than to lose by engaging with it.
Stay tuned for the next edition of “Prospect Genius Reviews…,” which will evaluate DrumUp, a new social media management tool for businesses.