Should You Have A LinkedIn Account?

LinkedIn just met the 1 million publisher milestone, but what does that mean for you and your small business?
LinkedIn is primarily used as a resumé building and networking platform for professionals, but that’s not all it’s useful for. Recently it has become a blogosphere that has now hit the 1 million unique published authors milestone. Compared to blogging giants like Tumblr and WordPress, 1 million certainly seems like a low figure, but considering that most LinkedIn authors are established business professionals it stands to reason that the quality of content may well outshine that of more seasoned blogging platforms.
These 1 million LinkedIn authors are producing an average of 130,000 articles per week, and reports state that 45% of all blog readers are considered to be in the upper ranks of their professional industries, holding a managerial role (or higher!). LinkedIn has reported that on average posts reach 21 separate industries in 9 different countries around the world
The ‘publish’ function first appeared on LinkedIn in 2012 when 150 hand-picked professionals – labeled ‘The Influencers’ – were given the beta go-ahead. Three years later, the program is a success. Editors picked some of their favorite LinkedIn posts that can be found here.
So what does this mean for you and your business?
First off, your business should have a LinkedIn account that is updated regularly. Not yet got one? Follow these instructions to get started. If your small business already has an established LinkedIn account then it is time to raise the stakes to stand out among the 100 million LinkedIn users in the U.S.
Below are some steps to help you take your LinkedIn profile to the next level as a way of marketing your brand, targeting prospective clients and interacting with your existing customers:

  • Make sure that your LinkedIn account contains a link to your business website and other social media accounts. This encourages your page visitors to check out your social channels and interact further with your brand. It’s great for SEO, too!
  • Join groups that encourage conversation around your specific industry. Creating relationships between competing businesses is a major sign of goodwill, can help push your business further and will most likely yield leads within your specialization. Learn from your competition.
  • Use the InMail messaging tool to reach out to people you would like to meet. It may seem strange at first but can lead to great new business relationships.
  • Take advantage of the publishing tools that LinkedIn provides. If you are an expert in your field, it pays to start discussions by publishing your own articles. Share your expertise with your connections to solidify your status as an influential figure in your field.
  • Participate in colleague discussion. Be sure that you are professional and always offer insight; avoid negativity. LinkedIn provides you with a great opportunity to connect with your team.
  • Make an effort to gain new connections. Set an easily obtainable goal and increase it every week until you reach your full potential.
  • Share quality content, including great visual content like infographics and photos. This will encourage engagement from your connections and show off your expertise; remember that visual content is the most popular on social media.
  • Learn how to use LinkedIn Company Page analytics. If you are unsure on how to go about doing this watch this demo to get started.
  • And as always… be sure that your LinkedIn account is unique and up to date.

With a little bit of time and effort, LinkedIn can become a top contender in lead generation as well as employee recruitment.

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