5 Steps to Get Your Small Business on LinkedIn

Is your small business on LinkedIn?  If your customers are other businesses or have specific industry interests, you might want to give LinkedIn a second look.  A recent study showed that small business owners find LinkedIn to be the most beneficial social media platform - with 41% of respondents singling it out. Not sure where to begin?  Once you've set up an account, follow these five steps from Inc. to get the most out of your LinkedIn page and spread the word about your business:

1.  Highlight Your Content

Your cover photo is the first thing people will see, so be sure you have one!  While you're at it, you can now upload photos and files to share with your followers.

Next, fill out your company profile as completely as possible, especially the "Products & Services" section.  This section is also a great place to promote any presentations, webcasts, or guides you've produced.  Include a call-to-action like "view now" and have a link to the page on your website where the content lives.

2.  Start Sharing Updates

Post relevant business articles that you come across and share all your corporate blog posts.  You want people who are visiting your page to see lots of activity.  Your updates also will show up in the activity feeds of your connections = more exposure for your business and more chances they will get liked and shared.

3.  Invite Your Personal Connections

This is a no brainer - ask everyone on your personal Facebook, Twitter, and other networks to check out your company on LinkedIn and connect.

4.  Use LinkedIn Social Plugins

These plugins are simply buttons that tell people you're active on LinkedIn.  There are "follow" buttons and "share" buttons.  Add these plugins to your website, blog posts, and in your email newsletter campaigns to get people following you and sharing your content.

5.  Join a LinkedIn Group

There are LinkedIn groups for almost every industry profession and skillset.  Why join a group?  It's an opportunity to make new connections, flaunt your expertise, keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on in your industry, and share your content.

Like any social network, people aren't going to flock to your LinkedIn page overnight. Give it a few months and track your engagement levels so you know whether or not you're accomplishing what you want.