Many e-commerce business owners are already aware of the need to have a social media marketing component to their online presence. And yet many owners have a tendency to overlook LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social media platform created for business owners, professionals and other types of industry workers. Think of it as your living resume. People can browse your latest projects, blog posts and sample work through your LinkedIn profile. You get to maintain professional contacts seamlessly and network with industry peers to grow your e-commerce business.
Sure it’s Facebook and Pinterest that usually grab the customer’s attention but here’s why you want to make sure your business also has a strong presence on LinkedIn.
Leverage Your Contacts
The beauty of LinkedIn lies in its specific purpose: to connect business owners and industry experts with other like minded people. People you otherwise wouldn’t have met if you relied on face to face contacts.
Unlike Facebook, it’s all about business and less of posting what you ate for lunch today (unless you are a food professional). Finding new B2B clients, getting introductions or building new relationships are all easily done on this platform.
It’s a Small World, After All
Interesting how far we’ve come in the last ten years, isn’t it? With a company’s workforce now spread out over several time zones. People are now exposed to new talent and exciting opportunities on a global scale.
Even a startup with less than ten employees can find competitive workers all over the world. If you prefer to work with colleagues in the same timezone, LinkedIn can help you with that too.
LinkedIn allows its members to see what area of the world a person is in, or has worked in. If you’ve been selling to your local market and are looking to penetrate another region of the world, finding a local expert who gets your product type is easier through LinkedIn.
See What Your Peers (or competitors) Are Up To
Since LinkedIn is also a showcase for peoples’ projects and accomplishments, you can easily keep up with industry trends by connecting with people you admire (eg. the influencers or movers and shakers in your niche).
Joining specific groups on LinkedIn is also beneficial, as is following the experts in your field. Seeing everyone suddenly commenting on the latest buzzword in your area of business alerts you to upcoming trends, allowing for ease of adaptability when the latest wave hits your business.
Bonus: Making LinkedIn Work for You
Now that we’ve talked about the main reasons why you want your LinkedIn profile polished and up to date, here are four things you can do to make LinkedIn work for you:
- Invest in high quality graphics and professional copy. This is a must for ecommerce owners. The look of your profile and its tone should be a seamless fit to that of your larger online presence.
- Remember to be a good community member. This means investing some time each week in liking, commenting or sharing your thoughts on topics with the groups you join and with the people you’re friends with. Even something as simple as “great tip you posted here, Marie” can go a long way in building professional relationships.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for an introduction! After all, building your network is what LinkedIn is all about. Create the habit of checking your network of friends whenever you need a professional recommendation or expert to consult with.
- Ask for help. You’ll be surprised at the innovative solutions and wealth of expertise people are willing to share. Even if it’s on a topic you are well versed in, there’s no harm in seeing how others do it and you might even end up being thought of as an expert in your field. Sharing your own insights when others post questions also builds your own online credibility.
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why you want LinkedIn as an integral part of your social media strategy, it’s time to go out there and make your presence known among your peers.