Many small businesses shy away from social media, thinking there’s no way a global platform can be effective for promoting a local company. Nothing could be less true. Your customers aren’t turning to the yellow pages to find you anymore – they’re using search engines and social networking to find what they need. LinkedIn has the professional prestige lacking in many social media, making it ideal for promoting your business interests.
1. Get Recommendations From Customers
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The most powerful form of advertising is word of mouth. When a trusted resource tells someone you’re good at what you do and are trustworthy, you can enter into the new relationship with them on the right foot. Without this referral, you have to prove yourselves every step of the way. When your customers are happy with your work, have them write about the experience on LinkedIn. Their referral gets published on your profile and is sent to their entire network. It’s advertising at it’s best.
2. Stay in Touch With Customers
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The focus of LinkedIn on business eliminates a lot of the clutter that drowns out your messages on many other social media. Instead of competing with a thousand messages about what’s for dinner, cute kitty photos, and political rants, you can craft concise messages to your customers, keeping a strong relationship alive. Sync your LinkedIn account with your other social media accounts, such as Twitter, for the best response.
3. Build a Network of Associates
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LinkedIn is an excellent resource for finding industry associations you should be a part of. These associations establish credibility and lead to more referrals. LinkedIn is also a great place to find industry events to promote your business locally, such as trade shows, home and garden shows, and health fairs. These local events give you face to face time with local customers in need of your services.
4. Establish Yourself as the Local Expert
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Use your LinkedIn page to offer free and sound advice in your area of expertise. The best way to do this is by starting a blog and sharing all your blog posts on your LinkedIn feed. For example, if you’re a trade show display business, write a blog post once or twice per week on trade show marketing and custom trade show displays.
If you’re a plumber, tell customers how to protect their pipes from freezing, write a how to on DIY repairs and inform them on how often to maintain their septic tanks. This establishes you as a trusted industry expert, and you’ll be the first one they call when they need work. If you’re uncomfortable with your writing skills, hire a professional blog writer.
5. Rank Better on Search Engines
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Businesses with social media pages such as LinkedIn rank better with search engines than those with only websites. This is because people can like and share these posts, meaning they bring value to many more people than a stagnant website. After you’ve set up your LinkedIn account, networked with others, and post your blog entries, you’ll notice a marked improvement in your search engine results.
Social media like LinkedIn reach further than local advertisements, but it’s still a very effective way to become an industry leader in your hometown.