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How to Use LinkedIn to Develop Business Relationships

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  • 0:03 LinkedIn
  • 1:10 Business Account: Set-Up
  • 2:45 Showcase Pages
  • 3:29 LinkedIn Groups
  • 4:27 Content Marketing Score
  • 5:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Loy

Dr. Loy has a Ph.D. in Resource Economics; master's degrees in economics, human resources, and safety; and has taught masters and doctorate level courses in statistics, research methods, economics, and management.

In this lesson, you'll earn how to market your business and connect with others using LinkedIn. We'll review tips on how to set up an account, develop a showcase page, and leverage group involvement.

LinkedIn

Ever post a picture of your puppy on LinkedIn? Maybe you put a comment about what you had for dinner on your profile. Unlikely, isn't it? Puppy pictures and food comments may work if you're a dog walker or a food critic, but otherwise, save it for Facebook or Twitter!

LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. Many of us know LinkedIn as a way to connect with other individuals, organizations, and businesses related to our careers. The difference between it and other social media channels is that the site isn't a place for sharing pictures of our vacations, families, and pets. LinkedIn is where we create and maintain business relationships.

Businesses that establish a LinkedIn account can foster relationships with consumers, contracting partners, nonprofits, and current and future employees. It's a way to engage others, create business opportunities, and recruit worthy employees. In this next part of the lesson, we'll look at how to establish a professional business account. Then we'll discuss how to use LinkedIn as a marketing utility through its showcase, group, and analytic features.

Business Account: Set-Up

Understand that there are a lot of profiles on LinkedIn and your goal is to help your company profile stand out. LinkedIn users are exposed to a lot of information in one day. Your objective is to attract their attention and encourage them to see what your company has to say. Creating a company description that expresses its uniqueness is vitally important in grabbing their attention. Be brief and to the point, but focus on what's special about your company.

For example, let's say you own a business named Painting Express. You'll probably want to focus on its quality, reliability, and speediness. Tag these areas of focus as specialty areas and use related keywords to improve your search rankings. Post testimonials from customers, employees, and partners who are also on LinkedIn. Give consumers the opportunity to learn more about the high quality of your work, and promote your exceptional company culture to potential employees.

When setting up your LinkedIn profile for the first time, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Use your homepage graphics in the banner to blend your pages.
  • Create a URL with your business name (for example, www.linkedin.com/company/paintingexpress)
  • Use your company logo as your thumbnail photo.
  • Use an email account that reflects your company, like opportunities@paintingexpress.com
  • Post details about your company's size, location, industry, and contact information.
  • Connect your LinkedIn page to your other social networks and websites

Showcase Pages

LinkedIn has an option to set up what are called showcase pages. These are linked to a company page and have fewer features, but are effective for conveying much more specialized content. A showcase page can highlight a branch of your company, a product or service, available job openings, or content targeted to a niche market.

Say Painting Express has a branch just for interior design work. You'll probably want to set up a showcase page just for that section of the business. As it's a distinct part of your brand, this gives you an opportunity to highlight it. You may also want to have a page that highlights job opportunities. Images of prior work, awards, videos, and testimonials can help to strengthen showcase pages.

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