LinkedIn isn't just a place for personal promotion and career networking — businesses can do a lot on the professional network. In Dan Sherman's Maximum Success With LinkedIn, that point is stressed heavily.
LinkedIn looks a lot like Facebook, but with a targeted audience that companies can take advantage of. The best part: many of the solutions for increasing the presence of your business on LinkedIn are free and easy to use.
And many of them you are probably already doing in other social media, just not on LinkedIn
1. Get your company on LinkedIn.
It sounds obvious, but many businesses have yet to sign up for an account. Sherman recommends filling out all of the tabs offered. This includes a proper logo, a link to a Twitter feed, a brief overview of company milestones, and more.
2. Show off what you do.
LinkedIn allows companies to display up to three products or services in the form of 640 x 220 pixel images. This gives visitors an easy visual representation of what your company does. Everybody loves pictures.
3. Get recommendations from users.
When you set up your company's page, LinkedIn will give you the option to get recommendations, by default. You should not only do this, but get as many as you can. Sherman recommends—much like anything on LinkedIn—that you rewrite and customize the default recommendation request message. This is likely to increase the response to your recommendation requests.
4. Give others an inside look at your company through visuals.
Sherman recommends buying a Flipcam for YouTube testimonials—but that might be not even be necessary. Short videos can be recorded and easily uploaded with most smartphones, allowing for you to quickly give glimpses into your company. Everyone loves office tours.
5. Use status updates like Facebook.
LinkedIn's status updates allow others to like and comment on status updates on company pages — much like Facebook. Sherman says LinkedIn's own data suggest half of its users are following companies, so there's plenty of room for more connections and fans between your company and LinkedIn users.
Sherman uses HubSpot as a prime example of how you can turn LinkedIn status updates into traffic and ultimately sales.
6. Connect with companies you are interested in.
Follow companies, interact with the employees, and most importantly, learn. LinkedIn allows you to see part of another company without ever getting up from your desk. Whether it's B2B sales or a new job vacancy, study the company you are trying to interact with on LinkedIn. Furthermore, interact with its employees, who you can also see on LinkedIn.
7. Use LinkedIn Events to promote your offline meetings, launch parties and conferences.
Create an event page, fill out all the information you can, and invite others to attend. Remember, when someone accepts an invitation to attend, it will show up on their LinkedIn profile, extending the reach of the event.
8. Remember to use LinkedIn's features before the event.
Introduce yourself to others before the event. Sherman recommends sending a personal message to those you've not connected with before. In addition, take time to learn who will be at the event—this way you can maximize your time better. If you are feeling really ambitious, invite them into your network before the event; if not—add them after the event.