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Don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn

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In her latest blog post, Sharon Hammond of UK200Group member firm Roffe Swayne looks at the benefits of using LinkedIn for business.

Can you believe it –LinkedIn was launched in 2003! It’s certainly come a long way in those thirteen years.

I expect you have your personal profile set up, but do you use LinkedIn beyond accepting connection requests from professionals you have met? Even if you haven’t upgraded to ‘premium’ there’s a wealth of free tools at your disposal.

Keywords in your profile
How many of us leap onto Google to answer a question or find an expert having exhausted avenues offline? Remember your profile will rank in Google so ensure it clearly and concisely explains what you do and what your skills are, then you’ll be the expert researchers find.

(It’s also a great tool for recruitment – both for yourself and finding great people to join your team, but that’s a whole other blog topic!)

Advanced searches
This tool enables you to drill down on the billions of users to find the right expertise. Search by keywords and location to find professionals with the desired niche skillset.

If it isn’t a person you are looking for but information, there’s a dropdown box to the left of the search bar that allows you to search just for companies, groups, posts etc.

Company pages
Have you set up a company page yet, if not why not? Daily posts incorporating your business keywords will attract followers and demonstrate your expertise.

Get to know your audience
Once you start posting, you can delve into the analytics tab to get a snapshot of what your followers are interested in and their demographics - great insight to help you plan future content. Remember to encourage your team to share your updates to maximise reach. You will be amazed how a few extra ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ will impact the analytics.

A small fish in a very big pond?
You may question how you can compete with the “Influencers”. If you are motivated by follower numbers - you can’t, so go with the mantra “quality not quantity”. Publish updates regularly with content highlighting your expertise and you will build a following, to which you can then nurture.

Don’t forget, your followers and connections regularly receive email updates from LinkedIn summarising the updates from their network. You never know when your latest post topic is very timely to someone in your network.

It really is a valuable tool for self-promotion, starting discussions in groups and regularly posting updates, be ready for that great business lead landing as a direct result of your endeavours on LinkedIn.


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