It’s no secret that social media is essential for small businesses. Using social media is a fantastic way to engage your customers and expand your brand presence. When done correctly, it can also be a very cost-effective marketing tool.

Many businesses have learned to effectively leverage Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for consumer engagement. LinkedIn is often overlooked, but it offers enormous potential, especially in B2B sales.

The majority of people on LinkedIn are professionals, many with considerable decision-making authority. The right connection on LinkedIn can open up doors to new business. Here are some great ways to harness the power of this platform to expand your small business’s audience.

Man holding tablet.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash.

Connect with potential customers through private messages

LinkedIn allows you to send private messages to your contacts, and each of these messages is an opportunity. But as with other sales and marketing efforts, if handled incorrectly, a LinkedIn message will be treated just like spam.

The worst kind of message is an immediate sales pitch. You shouldn’t treat this as an email blast to an untargeted market. There are real opportunities on LinkedIn but only if you commit the appropriate time and effort.

The key is to provide some sort of value with your message. Personalize the message and make the bulk of the message valuable content. If you’re looking to increase your sales through LinkedIn, you need to create content.

LinkedIn’s publishing platform is an underutilized feature that has great potential. You can share an interesting post that’s relevant to your business and of interest to general business audiences, but by far the best way to create value is to present some original insight or information to your audience.

Treat LinkedIn like any other social media outlet: Create great content and do so regularly. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, talk about solutions first instead of the features or benefits of your product or service.

Build and leverage your business network

Many marketers get the most value on LinkedIn from social listening, which entails making first-degree connections with prominent players in your market and then paying attention to what they follow, like, and post. Doing this will increase the impact of your messages and content because you can hit on points of interest.

It’s often easier to connect with well-known executives because they’re accustomed to meeting many people and building networks. These are the decision-makers. Send your messages to them. Like and share their posts. This can help you garner an audience that includes these decision-makers.

While you’re on LinkedIn looking for business leaders and decision-makers, don’t forget to connect with those you know in real life. Former and current colleagues as well as old friends and coworkers are all excellent sources for endorsements.

This feature leverages both the social and business aspects of LinkedIn.

Boost your profile

By asking for endorsements, increasing your connections, and publishing content, you can effectively boost your LinkedIn profile. And when your profile is more prominent, those you approach through direct messages will take you more seriously.

The process may require some hard work, and success doesn’t often happen overnight, but LinkedIn is loaded with audiences for your products and/or services. Make LinkedIn a consistent part of your routine. Stay active and relevant, and you’ll find that your business’s social media reputation will grow.