10 Tips for Optimizing LinkedIn for Your Business

Although LinkedIn may not catch as many headlines as Facebook, it is a pretty powerful business tool today with 161 million users. LinkedIn trails only Facebook and Twitter in popularity but is the only one of the three to concentrate on business professionals. According to LinkedIn, “As of March 31, 2012, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate hiring solutions are used by 82 of the Fortune 100 companies. More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.”

With statistics like that, isn’t it time to make sure you are using LinkedIn to its full potential? Here’s how.

  • Complete your LinkedIn profile. If you are not yet on LinkedIn, sign up and fill out your profile. Make sure to fill it out completely and also add a picture of yourself. A complete profile makes it easier for potential partners, customers and prospective employers to find you.
  • Don’t neglect your headshot. If your ultimate goal is to seal the deal LinkedIn profiles that have a photo are “seven times more likely to be viewed” according to Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s Connection Director. Also, make sure it is a professional photo and a recent one at that.
  • Customize your LinkedIn URL. LinkedIn assigns each profile a URL with a bunch of numbers and texts in it. To get a clean URL you can customize it for your public profile which will help Google bring you up more quickly in a search. Go to “Profile” page and then select “Edit” next to “Public Profile.” Select the URL you want.
  • Make sure to create a “Business” page. The LinkedIn business page is a good way to publicize your business to your LinkedIn connections.
  • Add some recommendations. On LinkedIn the recommendations you receive really set you apart from others and make you appear more credible. And the easiest way to ask for a recommendation of a customer, partner, or employer is by first writing one for them. Make sure you get at least three recommendations.
  • Add your connections. Often, people begin their profile and stop before completing it. Nothing looks worse to someone who comes across your name and sees the bare minimum. In addition, they also see that you have no connections. Take the time to make sure everything about your LinkedIn online presence is professional. To simplify adding connections, you can select “Add Connections” and LinkedIn can send out invitations to those you correspond with through email or you can enter the email addresses of your contacts.
  • Don’t forget to add a widget for your blog to your LinkedIn profile. Your business blog is a great way to show your connections and prospects that you are in expert in your field. There are widgets for both WordPress and Bloglink platforms.
  • Showcase your favorite presentations. In addition to sharing your blog posts, the Slideshare app allows you to add your favorite presentations to LinkedIn. Have a new product you are launching? Make sure to add the product presentation here.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn. By joining groups on LinkedIn in your industry you can meet others in your field and potentially add them as contacts as well. Also see if your alumni group is there as well. Google lets you join up to 50 groups.
  • Make use of your personal updates. Have something to share with your connections like news about your company or something you would like to promote to your connections? Add it to the update box along with a link. This is then automatically shared to all your connections. In the event a connection comments on your post or likes it, your post is then shared among their connections.