How Much Should Small Business Owners Focus on LinkedIn?

These days, many companies – both big and small – are turning their attentions to improving their standing on social media sites that are popular with the general public, such as Facebook and Twitter. However, others are also working to increase their reach on a network that’s more for older professionals, but some wonder if the effort involved is worth it.

LinkedIn is very popular among older Americans, who may eschew newer or trendier networks like Twitter and Instagram, and therefore small businesses looking to make connections with others in their fields or reach a slightly older and more affluent audience may do well to get involved, according to a report from Business 2 Community. In fact, those that do might be able to help their companies flourish, as research shows that 87 percent of the site’s users trust it as a way to make decisions about companies with which they get involved, and close to half of users likewise think it’s a good way to spread word of mouth.

Of course, as with any other social media networks, there are good and bad ways for owners to improve their reaches with these sites, and these will have to be carefully considered. For example, it’s just as important on this or any other such site to know the audience; again, LinkedIn users tend to be older and more affluent professionals, so the kind of things that would draw in young people on Twitter or Instagram, or the catch-all audience of Facebook, might not appeal to the older people who regularly check this site.

How do you do it?
There are a number of things that a LinkedIn account will allow users to do which Facebook, Twitter, and so on might not, the report said. For instance, it allows three pictures to be posted on a profile page at any one time, and companies will therefore need to have all their necessary images – usually their logo – sized correctly and ready to be viewed in a way that’s as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

In addition, companies will need to build strong profiles, using an economy of words that work well with their logos to highlight everything the business does well, the report said. This should also include all the necessary contact information for the enterprise, including web address, phone number, physical location, email, and so on. The more ways potential partners, customers or clients have to contact the business, the better this will work. Finally, this is a good place to list all the products or services a company offers, so people will know what they’re potentially getting.

Further, this social network, like any other, should be used to connect with people, rather than just draw them into buying a product or service, the report said. Companies should also join “Groups” on the site to get involved in conversations that may end up being beneficial to their companies, share content, and ask for recommendations that will help to bolster their standings on the site. Further, there may be an added boon to increased involvement, because links from social media sites can increase a site’s visibility for search engines.

Owners hoping to take advantage of these types of options may also want to move to shore up their companies’ financial situations so that they are on a firmer foundation even before their increased social media involvement. By finding more affordable small business insurance plans, including for policies such as workers’ compensation insurance or liability insurance, may go a long way to helping companies buoy their chances for success in the future.