The Dos and Don’ts of Using LinkedIn for Business  LinkedIn is one of the best social media tools for business networking, so it’s a great idea to build both a personal profile and a page for your company. Deciding what information to include, what content to share, or which people to connect with could make all the difference in growing your business connections and broadening your reach.  In order to use LinkedIn effectively as a marketing service, it helps to know the dos and don’ts of the popular social media site. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Do:

Include a profile picture

Making sure that you upload a professional looking picture will help improve your LinkedIn profile immediately. This helps potential customers know that you’re a real person and it also helps make you relatable and approachable. A photo of yourself with a group of people looks unprofessional and cluttered, so attempt to upload a picture of yourself with good lighting and a fairly neutral background. Keep it simple!

Make sure your information is up-to-date

Just having a LinkedIn profile with your name on the top is not enough. You need to make sure all the information on your page remains up-to-date, especially if your business location or job title changes. People need to know how to contact your company if you expect them to buy from you, so you should include phone numbers, links, email address, etc.  Don’t let your profile become outdated.

Connect your personal page to your company page

On your personal page, make sure you add your company as your place of employment. If you connect with someone as an attempt to do business with them, they’ll want to know what company you work for and if you’re reputable. Connecting to your company page is an easy thing to do, but something that’s often forgotten or overlooked.  In order to make your page more professional, focus on connecting it to your current endeavors.

Help your employees get started

If you are an employer, getting your employees involved on LinkedIn is one of the best ways to add legitimacy to your company. Try to encourage your employees to get started building a profile so that they can represent their skills and your company in the best way possible. Offer help in getting your employee profiles up and running or improving their current profiles. Finally, make sure they connect to your company’s page!

Don’t:

Add everyone

Once you create a LinkedIn profile, you need to be selective about who you connect with. You shouldn’t go around trying to connect with every person you come across because that won’t do anything for your business. You should learn about the connection you’re trying to make and be prepared to explain why they should connect with you. People might be wary about connecting with people they don’t know, so make sure you have a valid reason. You also want to connect with people who are interested in the products and services you provide.

Let your profile become inactive

Keeping your profile up-to-date isn’t always enough; you need to make sure your profile doesn’t become inactive. This means posting relevant content to share with your connections or keeping everyone up-to-date regarding company news. Share content and links your followers might find useful and focus on your industry. Try to post about 2-3 times a week in order to keep your profile fresh and active.

Avoid conversations

As an active participant on LinkedIn, you should learn to stop avoiding conversations.  If you’re part of a group, posting thoughtful responses to the discussions going on will help tremendously. People will start to learn about your company and become familiar with the products and services you provide if you participate in these conversations. Also, you’ll be able to expand your reach beyond your own connections.

Spam your connections

No one on LinkedIn wants to get messages every day about your company and what you’re offering them. Give your connections some space and don’t spam them. It might seem obvious, but many LinkedIn users break this rule and find themselves blocked. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers with information about your company. Gentle, timely reminders often do the trick.

LinkedIn is a great tool for connecting to potential customers and building your reach. Does your company use LinkedIn? What has worked for you? Share with us in the comments!

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