LinkedIn may seem intimidating or even a little confusing. As a business owner, you are wondering if you really need it or any other platform for that matter. With LinkedIn you are able to connect with customers, business associates, and other important people all in one place.

The True Benefits Of LinkedIn

Unlike sites like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is meant for people to connect in a professional setting. They make it easy to find and communicate with the people that matter to you most.

On the flip side of things, your customers are able to connect with you too. They can discover who you are and what the message of your business is. They can even learn about you personally and your background. This is fantastic, as it humanizes your business and makes your customers more comfortable.

It also gives you the opportunity to explore your competition. Never before have you been able to research an entire industry and see who is really dominating. You have the ability to go in and see what companies are doing right and what companies are doing wrong. Then you can make adjustments in your own business. It’s a brand new and affordable form of competitor analysis.

How To Get The Most Out Of LinkedIn

Creative Commons image courtesy of Shekhar_Sahu

It’s clear that LinkedIn is a powerful tool. But you may be wondering how exactly to get all these benefits. Luckily, LinkedIn is very user friendly. By following these few simple things you can use LinkedIn to its fullest potential.

The first thing to do after creating an account is to do some searches. It’s important to make these searches as specific as possible. Make sure you specify the location, industry, skills, and other pertinent information. This will be the easiest way to find both your customers and your competition.

After identifying potential customers and business associates, you are going to want to connect with them. The number one factor to use LinkedIn effectively is to stay active. Send out messages, join groups, and participate in conversations. Stay engaged and keep your conversations flowing.

By staying active you are connecting with countless people in your industry and building a great deal of awareness. There is also a section on LinkedIn under the “More” tab called “Questions” which allows you to answer other peoples questions. Everyone wants to dominate their industry and by answering these questions, you are doing just that.

Find the people you are looking for whether they are your competition or your customers. Keep engaging and keep talking. Build and nurture relationships. Use LinkedIn as your go-to social media platform and conquer your industry one connection at a time.

Guest author Kevin Greene works for a company that helps clients with their PS3 problems (this site has more information).  Because they have such a narrow, unique niche, they’ve had to find creative ways to reach potential clients.