LinkedIn Can Help You Grow Your Business

linkedLinkedIn is an important social networking tool that allows you to drill down to target specific groups or individuals. When used correctly, you can open doors to expand your network with people who are likely to buy your product or service.

The 2013 Sales and LinkedIn Study, which interviewed nearly 3,100 business owners, consultants and career salespeople, said that most use free accounts on LinkedIn as a strategic prospecting tool, reports the Huffington Post. Fully 84 percent of users say they’ve generated several business opportunities from using LinkedIn, and 79 percent of study participants were small business owners. The most successful users actively share relevant content, showcase themselves as a trusted resource and spend six or more hours a week on the social media site. And some survey participants say it’s their best source for new business leads.

Here are five things the Huffington Post says you can do to get more visibility on LinkedIn now:

  1. Join groups. With a free account, you can join up to 50 LinkedIn groups. Sign up for at least 10 groups to get started. Be sure to research the groups to find ones that are active and full of your target customers.
  2. Enhance your LinkedIn profile. Move away from the resume format. Make your profile customer-centric and results-based. LinkedIn is a two-way street. Just like you are checking out prospects online they will also use LinkedIn to check you out, so make sure your profile represents you well.
  3. Connect with colleagues. Use LinkedIn as your personal rolodex. Connect with everyone you do business with and all of your new contacts.
  4. Leverage recommendations. Turn your happy customers into an unpaid sales force. Within five to 10 days after any sale or service, ask your clients for a recommendation on LinkedIn. If you work your recommendations correctly, you’ll only talk with customers about availability and budget.
  5. Research prospects. Start using LinkedIn to get insight on people you would like to have as customers. It’s a great way to find points of connection.

More than 2.6 million businesses have LinkedIn pages. You can leverage the power of LinkedIn’s more than 200 million member audience, if you invest the time. LinkedIn can be an ideal resource for increasing sales.