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10 Savvy LinkedIn Tips for Small Businesses Just Getting Started

Social Media is an exciting and productive way for small businesses to spread their message and their digital fingerprint. Most tools are free to use, and LinkedIn offers many different resources and tips for generating traffic and maximizing the quality of a company's content, especially for any businesses just getting started.

For anyone unfamiliar with how or where to begin on the site, here are some basic tools and best practices, along with the most savvy ways to really take advantage of everything LinkedIn has to offer.

1) Set up a company page
LinkedIn isn't just for professional networking. Your business should set up a profile so any potential partners, clients or future employees can become familiar with your company and make an initial connection. There are any number of things to share, but including information like location and industry specifics will make your page more visible in search results, according to White Rapids Marketing. 

Keep information pertinent and post often to really maximize exposure, and consider your LinkedIn page an extension of your existing company web presence.

2) Increase brand awareness
Your LinkedIn page can serve as a point of contact for people on social media, but it can also be a powerful tool for spreading your message and establishing your credibility.

Smart small business owners will use LinkedIn to share everything from findings and data to company milestones and updates. Because it is a social platform, it is appropriate to give prospective customers or associates a glimpse at your company's office culture while staying professional and discrete. 

3) Use the Follow button
Though this may seem trivial, simple details like adding a follow button to your company page can be helpful for creating a loyal following and increasing the amount of eyeballs viewing a given post.

A growing number of followers is a good indication that your LinkedIn posts are meaningful and people are interested in your small business. Because this is a relatively new feature, it is also a way to flaunt your company's digital know-how

4) Maximize exposure
Even small things can make a big difference for making your page more visible. For example, American Express reported that changing your LinkedIn page's URL from random numbers and letters to your company's name is important.

Use your LinkedIn posts to drive traffic to your blog or company website, and likewise, promote your profile on your business' other social media feeds. LinkedIn can also be a great way to promote your company's next event, which for small businesses can be a very important tool. 

5) Consider LinkedIn Ads
Social media platforms are such a powerful tool because they represent free marketing tools for businesses and individuals. Sites like LinkedIn also offer powerful ad services that can help ensure folks are reaching your website. 

Social Media Examiner reported that over 57 million professionals use LinkedIn and have an average household income of $108,000. Advertising on LinkedIn is so effective because it is a way to connect with the right kind of potential client or partner.

6) Or opt for sponsored posts
Pear Analytics reported that promoting a post or content on LinkedIn can be done effectively with just a few hundred dollars and is superior to other social media offerings. Not only does LinkedIn offer advanced metrics and graphics to visualize how effective each post was, but there are ways to target specific demographics like job type or industry. 

For small businesses with a very limited marketing budget, a few well-placed sponsored posts on LinkedIn can be a great way to spread your message without breaking the bank.

7) Hire only the best
Hiring can be a very difficult proposition for small businesses, as each new employee must have indisputable worth and add new value. For that reason, LinkedIn is incredibly helpful because it is such a good tool for vetting new or prospective hires. 

Instead of sifting through static resumes, LinkedIn profiles are dynamic and can give you a much better sense of what a prospective hire is capable of. Because the stakes are so high, making sure you're bringing in the right talent is of paramount importance.

8) Network, network, network
LinkedIn isn't just for connecting with new hires, and to really maximize your time on the site, make sure you're reaching out to potential partners and industry allies as well.

Whether your small business is comprised of just a few people or a few dozen, establishing good connections and professional relationships is very important, and LinkedIn is a way to maintain your network remotely and on the go. LinkedIn has tools for messaging and connecting with folks and businesses in your industry and building your brand.

9) Connect the dots
Your company's LinkedIn page can be plenty effective on its own, but to maximize it's worth, be sure you are connecting your page with your other social media feeds and your primary website and blog.

In this way, your small business can begin to build a cohesive, well-integrated digital portfolio that maximizes exposure and helps you to maintain control and continuity over your online fingerprint. This will make it easier for followers and interested parties to learn more about your company and makes sharing easier as well.

10) Manage your profile accordingly
Above all else, LinkedIn shouldn't be an after thought or side-project. Each post should serve a purpose, and you should monitor your page's success and impact accordingly. The site comes with enough tools and resources to make sure your company's profile is growing in influence, and staying proactive about your social media strategy will make sure your page continues to stay relevant and meaningful. Old or static content is much less appealing or visible than new and exciting information. Likewise, a small business' network should always be growing, and staying active on LinkedIn will help your company grow at a healthy rate.

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