Racepoint Labs: Back to Business Basics with LinkedIn 27

This is a guest post by Nate Towne. Follow him on Twitter at @Fancy_Lad.

LinkedIn: it’s not just for job hunting anymore!

Think LinkedIn is only for finding jobs? Think again – this leading online professional network was recently found to be a whopping 277 percent more effective than Facebook and Twitter in generating leads for businesses. If that statistic didn’t just reach out and slap you in the face, you’re not paying attention – to your business.

If you’re reading this blog, you probably already use LinkedIn for connecting with other professionals. But is your company maximizing all the bells and whistles LinkedIn provides to help you promote the business? Like washing a media list, we think it’s important to kick the tires of our favorite tools every six months – to see what’s hot, what’s new, and what we all could be doing to work smarter by leveraging the power of social. This week we turn our sights to LinkedIn, highlighting some new features as well as reminding you about existing features that you could, and should, be using to promote your business.

But first, let’s get down to business by looking at the numbers. According to LinkedIn:

  • As of February 2012, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 150 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • LinkedIn members conducted just under 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches in 2011.
  • More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.
  • Every minute an estimated 120 new members join LinkedIn (if you do the math, it’s more than two per second.)

So how can your company benefit? Make sure your LinkedIn presence is everything it could be. Here is a quick checklist of six simple steps you can take today to maximize your company’s profile on LinkedIn:

  1. As of February 2012, LinkedIn offers a “Follow” button for company websites, making it easier for anyone to connect with your business on LinkedIn. Be sure your company website features this button–it’s a no brainer.
  2. Activate your company status updates! This relatively new feature (October 2011) allows your company to post updates on LinkedIn so your followers can see the status updates on their LinkedIn homepage.
  3. Spread the good word – your news – via the LinkedIn news module. This feature pulls any news mentions of your organization online and places them in the right hand column of the Overview tab on your organizations’ LinkedIn page.
  4. Sell yourself by promoting your organization’s mad skills through a customized Products and Services tab. Building this tab into your LinkedIn company page is a great way to let other professionals know what it is you’re selling – because we’re all selling something, am I right? Of course I am! Offering the functionality found on your professional page, LinkedIn allows your followers and existing customers to recommend any of the products and services you list on this tab – bonus! And if it’s a fit for your company, you can even add videos to this tab to visually drive home why other companies or professionals can’t do without your products and services. So remember that executive video you shot of your CEO where she describes your organization in vivid detail? Load it up to LinkedIn: you’ve already done the work so spread it like it’s buttah.
  5. If you have a company blog, be sure to set up an RSS feed on LinkedIn to maximize the spread of your smart thinking. Racepoint Group has an RSS feed – you should too.
  6. List your job openings on the Career tab – let’s face it, since the fastest growing population on LinkedIn is college students and the newly graduated, many of the eyeballs checking out your page are doing so to scout out job opportunities. Don’t disappoint these eager beavers, be sure to take full advantage of this feature – you might just save a few bucks on classifieds (Remember those?).

Is your business already doing all six? If so, pat yourselves on your collective backs – and hit the links! After all, LinkedIn will run the business while you’re out. Kidding! But we’re sure they’re working on it…

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