Social Networking For Business – LinkedIn
One social networking site you may not know much about is LinkedIn. As of February 9, 2012, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 150 million members in over 200 countries and territories. The big difference from Facebook or Twitter is that this network is purely for businesses and professional people.
The power of LinkedIn for a small business owner is its ability to connect you with the right people to help you build your business. This includes potential new employees, vendors, partners, and other people you simply want to meet.
First Step: Make a business profile, then start building that local network before you need it. It is important to leverage common connections.
Start off by creating a list of people (or types of people) that you want to meet/get introductions to. Then, use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search to search for the types of people you want to meet.
Here are examples of some types of searches that you can do:
- [vendor + keyword + zip code]
- [employee skill + zip code]
- [company name + zip code + 2nd connections]
An example of how this might be used? Say you are looking for an accounting vendor or a representative from Company X who you share a mutual connection with. By reaching out to your common friend, it can help you score the introduction and a new possible relationship. Using LinkedIn’s searching capabilities is a great way to strategically meet people and grow your business.