LinkedIn, a networking platform that seeks to connect people in professional occupations, has developed into a major social networking hub that boasts over 200 million members around the globe. Active in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn is emerging as a powerful tool for online marketing. It is important to consider how to leverage LinkedIn for online retailers. As a business owner, how can you use the power of this social networking site to attract customers and drive sales and profits in the right direction? While many profiles on LinkedIn are purely for people interested in broadcasting their credentials for upward career moves, a substantial number of visitors to the site are seeking information about businesses.
If you operate an online retail business, you should be aware of the several ways you can use LinkedIn to increase sales. Here are five ways online retailers can make LinkedIn work for their business.
1. Increase your visibility on the Web
As an online retailer, you probably have a website or two that you use to provide your clients with information about the products or services you provide. A LinkedIn profile provides sections to which you can add links to make them more visible to people within your network and visitors. Don’t just add them as “My Websites.” Be a little more sophisticated by clicking “Edit,” followed by “Other.” Enter the keyword phrase that best describes your business. Any person looking for you on Google or any other search engine will see your LinkedIn link among the first search results.
2. Create a LinkedIn advertisement campaign
LinkedIn provides a direct advertisement campaign that is aimed at increasing visibility among professionals and potential clients. The ads can be viewed randomly by people within and outside your network. The LinkedIn ads can help you reach a vast community of professionals. You can easily advertise your professional brand by subscribing to the Pay Per Click option. All you need to do is specify your area of specialization or industry, job function, company size, and other details about your business.
3. Optimize the power of LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn provides users with an opportunity to join professional groups. However, there is a growing trend in which people join groups and don’t come back to get involved in the groups’ activities. It is important to realize that starting a group on LinkedIn is a very powerful way of getting email contacts and keeping in touch with your contacts as the group grows. It takes a bit of time and effort to get a vibrant group, but it is worth the effort. The best way to go about it is to invite people within your network to join the group. This will make the group visible to their networks, resulting in more subscriptions.
4. Aim for recommendations
LinkedIn provides a unique recommendations feature that is not available on other social sites. People within your network, including clients and colleagues, give recommendations that are very important to building your reputation. Recommendations will help new clients gain trust in your services and products. The best way to go about this is to recommend your peers so that they reciprocate.
5. Go for an expert rating
LinkedIn has several ways to rate professionals. If you are an expert in a given area, one of the best ways to promote your business is going to the “Answers” section. Look for questions that relate to your field and provide answers that will have a positive impact on those seeking them. Always aim at having the best rating from the person who posted the question. A good rating is always reflected on your profile, and this will get more members contacting you, thereby expanding your network.
Now that you are aware of the marketing potential of your LinkedIn professional account, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that you get the best out of it. Leveraging the power of LinkedIn for online retailers can go a long way in generating leads for your business.
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