Linkedin is a professional social network with more than 150 million members. Professionals use the site to network and gain introductions to others individuals. If you aren’t using LinkedIn to make new contacts and grow your business, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Following are several best practices that will help you get results:

First, make sure your profile includes headlines that feature keywords other business professionals are searching for. According to Pew Internet and American Life Project, searching the internet is the second most popular Internet activity (second only to checking email). Linkedin’s search function can be an asset to any business, as it helps others find you and your company.

Second, make sure you are sharing your expertise. LinkedIn has a great question and answer feature that allows individuals to share their knowledge and establish their expertise on a subject. Providing the answers shows you are an authority and helps you gain the attention of potential prospects. Think of your answers as a marketing tool and invest the time to make them stand out. If your answer is selected as the best, it could gain you even more attention and contacts.

Third, make sure you use the individual search function to find and introduce yourself to new prospects. If you have a LinkedIn premium account, the LinkedIn profile organizer saves profiles and accompanying notes so that they can be easily found and referenced. In addition, the search engine will update you as new prospects that meet your criteria join.

Be aware that LinkedIn frowns upon contacting other LinkedIn users for cold calling purposes. In fact, Linkedin advises its users to only connect with people that they know or risk being branded a spammer. The best way to remain compliant is to look on other’s profiles and see what groups they are in, and join those groups as well. Then, you can email all the members of the groups and target the users that are possible prospects.

These are just a few of the techniques that can help you use LinkedIn to grow your business. If you give it a chance, you’ll find that it can be a great marketing tool.

If you have questions about how we’re using LinkedIn or any other social media marketing tools, contact us at 1-866-496-2042. We’d be happy to share what we’ve learned and how it’s working for us.

Daryl Muzy, Lescault and Walderman

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