Growing Business using LinkedInIf you are like most digitally minded people, you are probably aware that LinkedIn is the social network of choice for working professionals looking to make connections. Many tech-savvy business professionals, possibly even a majority of the business workforce, have profiles on LinkedIn and are connected to the social network a majority of the time through their computer or mobile device.

Since there is every indication that more and more business will be moving to social media, taking advantage of the free exposure provided by a network like LinkedIn simply makes sense. Check out the following advantages of taking an active role in managing your company’s LinkedIn profile, and then get to work!

1. B2B Networking

Finding vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, and other third party resources is a breeze with LinkedIn. The platform is designed to connect people and companies with like interests, after all, and your chances of finding a partner you can trust are greatly increased with the power of the network. Rather than combing through a phone book and comparison price shopping for days or even weeks before choosing a vendor, you can send a couple InMails and be done in just a few hours. In addition, seeing the vendor’s online presence gives a more complete picture of a company than just speaking to someone on the phone might, so you can see if other businesses have had good experiences working with the vendor.

2. B2C Networking

Brand building is a vital part of any business plan, and a well-managed LinkedIn profile can serve as a flagship for your brand. By keeping active and posting often on the site, you can build your brand bit by bit, increasing likeability and gradually building the trust of your potential customer base through timely, relevant, and interesting posts. Your brand is how you identify with your customers both current and future, and LinkedIn provides a perfect way to shape that brand image the way you want it.

In addition, LinkedIn can be a great avenue to promote new products and services without resorting to traditional advertising campaigns. By contrast to an expensive ad campaign, generating buzz on the social network is affordable, flexible, and totally in your control.

3. Lead Generation

Networking with possible consumers by optimizing your account profile and company page, as well as consistently posting relevant and unique content, are both key elements of getting the most from the social network, as discussed in point #2 above. A direct result of continuing to build a more coherent and focused brand is the generation of new leads that will come about organically as people find you on LinkedIn and like what they see. This method combines all the best aspects of traditional word-of-mouth lead generation with the control of showing customers your best side by choosing what to include in your profile.

4. Staffing

Your dynamic and consistently relevant LinkedIn profile is sure to attract enquiries and applications from top talent who are using the network to find great job opportunities. Take advantage of this by keeping an active list of open jobs and positions attached to your own company page, to be easily found by someone who may be looking to join your team. Since LinkedIn is the social network of choice for business networking and career advancement, top tier talent is likely to come your way based on the quality of your company profile alone.

5. Customer Satisfaction

Finally, LinkedIn offers a perfect avenue through which to interact with your customer base, with surveys, messaging and comments. If done right, this can provide a perfect means for achieving great customer satisfaction levels and showing you are a company that cares. Customers truly appreciate feeling like their voice is heard, so interacting with customers via the public and private messaging options on the social network is a great way to resolve any issues and show that you are listening to your customers, as well.

Many business professionals assume that LinkedIn is just a networking site for job hunters and recruiters, and as a result, miss out on the broader benefits of the platform. As with any social network, the benefits of a well-maintained profile centered on outreach – whether to new customers, new vendors, or even new recruits. LinkedIn’s many benefits as a social platform make the site a vital part of any business’ web strategy and social media presence.