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Effective LinkedIn Marketing for Small Business

There are many, many social networks on the Internet and new ones seem to pop up like weeds.

So it is very easy to get distracted with the social buzz that abounds on the news, the Internet and your smart phone.

Determining which ones to participate in to grow your small mid-sized business (SMB) can give one a headache.

Social Media Strategy is the Way to Start

It is fine to have accounts on the major social media networks such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

Note that you want business profiles in addition to your personal profile.

The strategy is very simple and is quite effective:

Be involved and have profiles on the major social media networks but concentrate on one of them.

In my view, the best one to concentrate on for B2B (business to business) marketing is LinkedIn. Of course, if your business is selling products or services to individuals, then Facebook may be a better option.

Whatever time you have for social media activities, spend the bulk of your “marketing time” on one site for optimum results.

LinkedIn is the Business Network

LinkedIn is one of the top social networking sites with millions of members and growing. But unlike Facebook and Instagram, which are primarily designed for “personal” marketing (think B2C – business to consumer), LinkedIn is intended for professionals, consultants and business networking along with career building.

A well written and comprehensive LinkedIn profile is a must for your business. It can generate interest, build credibility in the business community and expand your online network.

While this will involve carrying out a series of tasks, most are fairly simple and require only a minimum time commitment. During your busy season, you can reduce the functions even more, but still be in the game.

Of course, like most things, you will get more out of it like new contacts and new clients when you put in the time.

Your LinkedIn Daily To-Do List

Post status updates on your LinkedIn account. These should contain fresh, relevant and practical content about what your target audiences is interested in. If you write a blog or online article, then post it.

Ideally, you will post some relevant content daily. As you are unlikely to create that much content yourself, then you need to subscribe to newsletters that would be of interest.

I wouldn’t post content from a competitor but there are lots of other sources – online magazines, newspapers, newsletter, social media, other bloggers and websites. There is no shortage of content – you just have to pick content that will resonate with your target audience.

  • Answer any emails or notifications.
  • Endorse some of your followers.
  • Expand your followers and accept requests for relevant new connections. Then send your new contacts a message to begin an online conversation. Rather than giving them a sales pitch about your services, you can ask questions like “How is your business doing in this economy?”
  • Join groups that are relevant to your business and contribute valuable content such as tips. Also be on the lookout for ongoing conversations occurring in the group that you can contribute to. Skip the sales pitches and concentrate on helping people.
  • Use the tag feature to organize your contacts.

Your LinkedIn Weekly To-Do List

While the daily tasks above can be done fairly quickly, the ones below require a little more time and attention. Once you get the hang of it, the actions becomes much easier.

Some weekly tasks:

  • Research and join groups that are of interest to your target audience. While a group talking about complex subjects might be of interest to you, it will likely have zero interest to your potential new clients. You don’t need to be on a lot of groups – it is better to pick a few, try them out and drop out if they don’t get some interest from the members.
  • Post your blog article in each of the relevant LinkedIn groups you have joined. The blog content must match the interests of that particular group.
  • If you have lots of “spare” time you could create your own group but don’t do it unless you have time or have staff with time to grow it and manage it effectively.

These LinkedIn marketing actions are not too time-consuming, yet they can bring long-term benefits for your business making them more than worthwhile.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Doug Hay & Associates and a clickable link back to this page.

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