LinkedIn is often considered the premier social network for professional people, and it can also be extremely beneficial to your business.

For example, you can use LinkedIn to raise awareness of your business, build valuable networks that can spread the word about you, and get informed with the most up to date and pertinent industry information.

We know it can be difficult to keep track of all the social networking options out there, so here’s an introduction to what LinkedIn has to offer to businesses. Once you’ve read up on it, you’ll be better equipped to decide whether LinkedIn is worth your valuable time.

Raise Awareness

Increase Awareness on LinkedIn

One of the main goals of any business owner is to raise awareness of his or her business. You need to let others know about who and where you are, and what products and services you offer. LinkedIn provides some great awareness building tools but first, you’ll need to get your business listed on LinkedIn.

Once you have a business account you can set up unique Company Pages where people can learn more about your company, including links to your employees on LinkedIn, as well as all your company’s recent social media behavior, and online articles you’ve published.

Because Company Pages aggregate all of your company’s activity on LinkedIn in one place, it makes it easy for people to see what you’re all about and why it would be beneficial to connect with you. For additional details on setting up your Company Page, see our related article: “How to Edit Your LinkedIn Company Page.”

Joining LinkedIn Groups is another effective way to raise awareness for your business. LinkedIn Groups are created by people who want to share common professional interests. Groups are a terrific way to see what information people are talking about and sharing amongst themselves. They’re also a great way to engage in conversation with colleagues and customers. Every time you post a comment within a group, you and your business make an impression to every member of that group. So, join LinkedIn Groups to get some additional exposure for your business.

Build Networks

Networking on LinkedIn

Networking is about expanding connections with colleagues and contacts in your industry. By developing these types of connections, you’ll be able to share information, learn about new trends and topics, and generate relationships with influential people.

As you build your network on LinkedIn, you may start to notice an interesting phenomenon. When people view your profile and see that you have a lot of connections, they’ll want to connect with you even more. The more people that want to connect with you, the more your network grows. Before long you’ll find relationships and business opportunities within your network that you might not otherwise have had.

You can also use LinkedIn to find and hire exceptional employees.

Get Informed

Information on LinkedIn Signal

Information is an important currency. The more information you have, the more you can leverage it to benefit your business. Because of its professional nature, LinkedIn is a treasure trove of valuable business information.

LinkedIn Signal is one way to listen to and mine the vast streams of information on LinkedIn. Signal allows to you search for LinkedIn activity based on filters like keywords, your connections, companies, industries, time, and location.

To access Signal, on the main menu panel of LinkedIn, go to “News” and then click “Signal.” You can set your search preferences on the left, starting with keywords. Below the search window, you can also choose other search options such as Network, Company, Industry, Topics, and several other fields. Once you have your search criteria set, you can save your search by clicking on “Save this search” above the updates.

LinkedIn Today

For another new and popular tool for discovering business information, take a look at LinkedIn Today.¬†LinkedIn Today looks and feels very much like an online newspaper customized to bring you only the news that’s most relevant to your industry.

The content is curated by other LinkedIn users based on the top stories that are being shared on Twitter and LinkedIn. The articles you see by default are based upon the industries you’ve listed in your profile. However, you can browse by any topic, and you can follow the organizations that are key contributors of the content. LinkedIn Today is a powerful tool because it uses LinkedIn’s vast network to deliver news that’s targeted specifically to you and your industry.

Access LinkedIn Today by clicking the “News” tab at the top of your LinkedIn page, then click “LinkedIn Today.” For more information, refer to LinkedIn’s page Introducing LinkedIn Today.

These are only a few of the powerful tools that LinkedIn provides. Like many social media platforms, the more you use the application, the more business opportunities you’re likely to find.

[Image credit: Wilhelm Joys Andersen, Secret Madiera, hanspoldoja, Stuck in Customs ]