While we all know the benefits of using LinkedIn for networking and job hunting, many business owners underestimate the social network’s power when it comes to promoting businesses.
Your company should have its own page on the site, of course, but there are a number of other ways to use LinkedIn to drum up new business and build industry connections.
Some of these strategies include:
1. Providing original content.
You probably promote your company’s blog on Facebook and Twitter, but you should do so on LinkedIn, too. Use posts that have been particularly successful to create a range of strong content on your company page.
When you prove you’re aware of industry trends and can speak eloquently about them, potential clients or business partners may give you a second look.
2. Participating in LinkedIn groups.
To truly stand out on LinkedIn, you have to do more than just shamelessly promote your content and developments.
Join a few relevant LinkedIn groups and contribute to the discussions within them. Do a quick search to find and join groups that are talking about things that matter to you and your business. Add relevant thoughts, share links to useful articles and connect with others in the group. This helps establish you as a presence in the industry, and shows other influencers you’re able to speak intelligently about important issues.
3. Giving behind-the-scenes looks at your company.
To make your business stand out on LinkedIn, show what separates you from the rest of the pack. Post about company events or community service efforts. Write about unique features within your organization (on-site daycare, for example), and illustrate why people love to work for you.
Giving your business a personality instead of just a profile is a great way to earn interest from potential clients and partners.
4. Posting frequently.
If you want to develop a presence online, particularly on LinkedIn, you need to post consistently. Conversations happen every day on this site, and you should be part of them-but posting sporadically makes this hard to do. No matter how busy you are, make it a point to post regularly and stay involved in ongoing dialogues.
5. Not being shy.
If you find someone particularly intriguing on LinkedIn, ask for an introduction or introduce yourself. Whether it’s a potential employee or a client, reach out and say hello. Don’t be abrasive or overbearing; try to foster the relationship. Start by complimenting the person on something she does well, or bring up something she said during a group discussion.
6. Asking for recommendations.
Recommendations are a great way to earn new business, so make sure you ask satisfied clients to write one for you on LinkedIn. Recommendations can give potential customers confidence in your business, and prompt them to contact you.
Be smart about asking for recommendations, though. Never pressure a client, and respect his busy schedule. Also make sure to show your sincere appreciation when he does write a recommendation. His sentiments don’t need to be long to be impactful.
While establishing a company page on LinkedIn is helpful, a more in-depth approach to the platform helps to maximize its effectiveness for your business. Use it to foster new relationships, earn praise from past clients and contribute to important industry discussions.
Amanda Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, Inc., a full-service professional writing and editing company. A version of this article originally appeared on Business 2 Community.