LinkedIn: Important for Networking, Not So Much for Business Marketing

By  |  Published 

LinkedIn has been jokingly referred to as “the business professional’s Facebook” due to its no-nonsense content and focus. True, there are no pictures of captioned cats or silly games to ignore, but we like to consider it more of a virtual resume or external “about us” page.

Get Linked Up With LinkedIn

Business professionals wishing to establish their reputation online create a LinkedIn profile to showcase their educational and employment backgrounds. You can tag your profile to note what types of connections you’re looking for, so job seekers can say they’re looking for employment opportunities and established businesspersons can mention they’re looking to network with other like-minded professionals.

Aside from building yourself a robust profile showing off all of your experience, skills, and past projects, you can further market your expertise by participating in the LinkedIn Answers program or Groups. Answers is a Q&A section where you can either ask or respond to questions and interact with other professionals on LinkedIn. This can be useful for connecting with others in your industry, or seeking outside knowledge from other fields related to your business.

Groups is another way to connect to others with your interests. There are plenty of nationally-focused groups for many industries that can give you a wide perspective on the state of your business. More specifically, there are many locally focused groups for professions like doctors, attorneys, librarians – you name it.

LinkedIn’s platform is primarily focused on making connections and promoting collaboration between professionals. You should be connecting to the other professional and personal contacts in your world to grow your sphere of influence. Joining groups or participating in the Q&A will help you make new connections and grow your influence even further – quite a great personal marketing tool!

But wait, what about marketing my business?

So far we’ve mentioned all these great tools for making person-person connections, so what about businesses themselves? Unfortunately, this is not Google, and creating a profile for a business is a violation of their terms of service.

There IS a way to promote your business on LinkedIn – by creating a business page to connect to your profile. When you first set up your profile or add a new job, as you create the position listing it will ask for your company’s name. If you type in the name and the company doesn’t appear in the drop-down field, you’ll need to go add a new company.

The company profile is pretty standard – you can upload a logo, do a small description, add specialties, post jobs, list services, and add a few other minor details. Your employees can then connect to say they work there, and updates can be made whenever anyone joins or leaves your team.

While this all sounds well and good, you have to remember the type of user visiting LinkedIn. They’re most likely either business professionals looking to network with other businesses or they’re job seekers looking for employment. If your business sells personal services or goods, your potential clients are most likely NOT going to be searching for your business in this realm.

Even if you do sell services or goods relevant to business professionals, LinkedIn frowns upon blatant self-promotion, especially from businesses. They’d much rather see networking between peers, rather than a business coming in and saying what they can do for other businesses.

LinkedIn Is For YOU – Not Your Business

We highly recommend doing a personal profile on LinkedIn when you want to grow your personal reputation and sphere of influence. For attorneys who run their own solo law practice, LinkedIn IS a viable business marketing tool because you ARE your business. But for law firms that market themselves as a law firm of multiple attorneys, or other types of non-solo practitioner businesses, LinkedIn should not be a major focus of your business marketing strategy.

For more information on the methods that do and don’t work for your specific business, let We Do Web Content lead you down the proper digital path! Contact us for a free consultation and learn how we can be your single solution for improving your Internet business marketing! Call us at 888-594-5442 to get started.