How Small Businesses Can Use LinkedIn to Grow

Many small business owners know the inherent value that social media can provide for their companies these days, but connecting with consumers who might buy products or services is one thing. Connecting with other businesses in their industry for the same reasons isn’t always as easy.

For this reason, it might be important for small business owners to think about why they are using social media, and what platforms work best for connecting with certain audiences, according to a report from Social Barrel. For instance, almost every age group or demographic uses Facebook for its social aspects, but young people may be considerably more likely to gravitate toward services like Twitter, Instagram and similar sites. But when it comes to connecting with businesses and executives in particular, companies may want to think about the ways in which they are utilizing LinkedIn, if at all.

LinkedIn has particularly been favored by older and more affluent people when it comes to business networking, but it might take a little preparation for companies which are new to using it to ensure they are doing so properly, the report said. One of the most important things users should try to do is think about what they hope to achieve by using the site, such as connecting with other businesses by trying to expand their customer base, or deal more with people who might be able to help them down the road. Often, one thing people might do on these sites is ignore those who are not directly involved in their fields, but these users might be able to help in ways that they hadn’t even considered, and for this reason it’s important to try to interact with as many people on the site as people.

In addition, companies that are trying to establish a presence on the site may want to try to create unique and engaging content that will help to attract connections, such as coming up with concise explanations of what they do and what they hope to achieve when they try to connect with an executive or another business, the report said. Further, being able to prove that their enterprise is worthy of another’s attention should be of the utmost importance at this time.

Don’t overdo it
When small businesses in particular are eager to connect with others in their fields, it can be easy to get overly enthusiastic and use the site in such a way that it potentially becomes irksome to the exact people they are trying to impress or deal with, the report said. For this reason, they may want to keep their requests for connections as limited as possible, so that they don’t have a large number of people or companies in their networks that don’t have much to do with their goals; instead, finding a smaller number more directly related to what they hope to accomplish may be far more beneficial. This is likely also true of trying to stay local, as connecting with businesses on the other side of the country may be all well and good, but those in their area will likely be able to help them out far more.

Finally, companies trying to improve themselves overall may first want to look inward, and see if there are any ways in which they can improve their bottom lines as a means of growing their reaches. For instance, cutting small business insurance costs including those for workers’ compensation and general liability insurance may help to free up some cash that can be better used elsewhere.