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Is LinkedIn Essential for Your Local Business?

linkedin-lead-generationIt’s amazing how many local businesses owners are brushing off the potential impact LinkedIn could have on their business. They say it takes too much time, it’s not effective, or they just don’t see the point, but just like anything else, you get out of it what you put in.

Well here’s some food for thought when it comes to what’s going on over in LinkedIn Land. Social media giant Mashable recently wrote a blog titled LinkedIn’s IPO: An Overview which sums up how powerful the social media site’s reach and impact actually is today. Did you know that a new person joins LinkedIn every second and the total number of users is now has over 100 million members? Even more impressive is that it’s grown by 55 million users since 2009. So I guess something good must be going on over there, right?

So now the question is“How do you leverage LinkedIn for your local business?”

The first thing you need to do is get onto LinkedIn. Create your personal profile and make sure it’s 100% complete. If you have a local business, create a business profile and perhaps a group for your company. But that’s not where it ends! LinkedIn has a number of tools that can help you grow your business.

Your user profile allows you to link to your business website, blog, Facebook Page or any other social media sites that you use to promote your business. Your Twitter feed, Amazon reading list, presentations and documents can also easily be linked to your LinkedIn profile.

The Q&A section offers the opportunity to contribute to your industry, either by asking pertinent questions or sharing your expertise with fellow users. And if you have or belong to a group, you can post information, ask questions, and share advice with industry professionals. If your group is internal, you can use LinkedIn as an device to connect with your team.

Go a step farther by being strategic in adding connections to your network. Search for demographic you want to know. The search parameters on LinkedIn are amazing, and you can search by location, company, or position, in addition to name. If you want to find the chief marketing officer at IBM’s New York location, you can do that with just a couple of clicks.

For those businesses who are looking for a more aggressive approach to reaching the site’s millions of users, LinkedIn DirectAds give you the opportunity to reach out to an extremely targeted demographic by customizing your search criteria with the following information: by job title and function, industry and company size, seniority and age and by LinkedIn Groups. Talk about some serious direct marketing.

Some other great features about with LinkedIn DirectAds is how easy it is to control how much you spend. Additionally, you can set up your marketing to pay by the number of times people click on your ad or how many times your ad gets displayed on the LinkedIn platform… whichever you’d prefer. You can stop your ads at any time, there are no long-term contracts and there are no commitments.

So, no matter if its through free participation and natural optimization within the LinkedIn search engine or their DirectAds program, it is absolutely essential to get involved with LinkedIn to enhance your local Internet marketing and become visible to more of your target market. Ready, Set, Go!

May 11th, 2011 | Posted in: LinkedIn, List Building, Local Business Marketing, Pay Per Click, Social Media Marketing