LinkedIn For Small Business Growth
In today’s business environment, networking has become one of the key determinants of success of a business organization. Most entrepreneurs in the business world realize the need to be proactive. In order to emerge successful in business, the wisest step is to form alliances and make the most of the networking opportunities available today.
LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world today and offers exciting networking opportunities for everyone. It is a business related social networking site where professionals from all walks of life ‘connect’ with each other and form a network of like-minded people.
LinkedIn has a user population of more than eight million people from all over the world. Users send out invitations to people on LinkedIn and build ‘connections’ or contacts.
Benefits of LinkedIn
You can use direct connections to link with other reliable sources and these contacts can in turn connect you with many more contacts.
You get to find business opportunities, jobs, and projects to tender on through a known connection.
You can find prospective employees by posting jobs on this site.
You can also get to know the profile of the hiring employers that helps you in ascertaining your suitability for the job advertised.
If you are a small business owner, you will be able to form alliances or partnerships with like-minded business owners, which enables great development of your business.
When someone sees your profile on LinkedIn, there is a high probability of a potential business connection for you.
You can let others know that you are an expert in your field by your contributions to the Answers and Discussion section of the website. This gives you more publicity.
The recommendations by others on your profile make you a popular entity. This gives you a lot more credibility.
The sole objective of this network is to promote trust among its users. It is always better to carry on business transactions with a known connection than with strangers.
LinkedIn facilitates good relationships among people who may not be directly known to each other but through their friends and other group contacts.
Specific Benefits for small business owners
Small business owners are discovering great benefits in using LinkedIn for promoting their businesses in a cost-effective manner. You can find a group for any and every business segment on LinkedIn.
There can be no better way than to advertise your company’s products and services on these groups. The forums on these groups act as an important platform for exchange of ideas and opinions on various business issues and their possible solutions.
A new aspect of LinkedIn is LinkedIn Events by which your organization can announce business meetings, seminars and conferences that expand the scope of your business.
The present day hiring market is a tough one and it becomes difficult to find the right candidates for your business. LinkedIn enables hiring of the right people for your business needs.
Useful Business Applications on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has many additional applications that are extremely beneficial to the business users. In 2008, LinkedIn launched an ‘application platform’.
You can use LinkedIn applications like WordPress, Blog Link by Six Apart and Amazon Reading List within a LinkedIn member’s profile.
You can let the other members read your business blogs and let them know what books you are reading. You can also get to know what books you should read from your connections’ updates or others that interest you on LinkedIn. This would possibly lead to new ‘connections’ which are very vital for your business growth.
As a LinkedIn member, you can tell your contacts about the present day business trends and even suggest particular groups for them to join. This enables your connections to know more about your business objectives and may lead to a possible partnership with you. You can join groups that appeal to you so that you can find people with similar interests.
LinkedIn has another great feature called Slideshare. Slideshare lets you share your presentations and documents worldwide with your LinkedIn network. You can also display your portfolios and presentations on your profile.
For marketing opportunities, Twitter is another popular networking site that gives you ample scope for your business development. You can use the ‘Tweets by LinkedIn’ application on LinkedIn and ensure your popularity on Twitter.
LinkedIn applications help you to enhance your profile, share and team up with your networking groups and gain a better understanding of the business world that facilitate more efficiency in your business.