LinkedIn has been around for quite a few years now, but small businesses are only just beginning to realize what a powerful tool this business oriented social media site can really be. While other sites like Facebook and Myspace are primarily in place for individual socialization, LinkedIn in the first worldwide online community tailored specifically to businesses and business professionals.
There are a lot of applications for LinkedIn, and most of them revolve around finding and retaining new customers. On the other side, employees are able to find qualified positions using LinkedIn, so it also serves as a way to hire a larger staff as your business begins to expand. However, there are a lot of other ways that LinkedIn can be used as well.
Find Vendors for Outsourcing
We would all prefer to be an expert at everything we do, but unfortunately that’s not always a feasible goal. Sometimes it pays to outsource some of your specialized tasks to someone who has enough experience to see the job done right. LinkedIn makes it easy to find quality experts in nearly any field. How many times have you asked all your business colleagues for a good recommendation on a graphic designer or content writer? On LinkedIn you can easily see the people that your friends would recommend, and you don’t have to send out a lot of emails to find them.
Build Up Your Network
LinkedIn Groups is a system that lets you divide the large online community into more manageable chunks, all based on certain criteria. This makes it incredibly easy to find a network of people who either work in or are interested in your specific industry. One example would be the wedding planning industry, for which there are over 500 groups currently on LinkedIn. Imagine the potential if you were able to reach out to the members of even a quarter of that many groups.
Get a Little Help from Your Friends
When you run into a tough business problem, who do you usually ask for advice? Your coworkers? Colleagues? Friends and family? Through the Group function we mentioned in the last section, as well as LinkedIn Answers, you can immediately get right to the heart of the issue with answers from professionals in the field who are bringing years of experience to the table. You can simply search to see if someone else has already asked your question (which is usually the case), but if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for you can go ahead and ask it yourself.
Overall, LinkedIn brings a lot of new possibilities to the world of small business. We touched on it in the beginning, but the most obvious example is finding new clients for your work. Whether you’re offering a local service or setting up an online e-commerce website, there is always room for you over at LinkedIn. Chances are, a lot of the people you know are already using it.
About the Author
Adalina Smith is a famous blogger on small business topics. She has contributed more than hundred different types of articles towards this industry. She began her career as a Virtual assistant and if you would like to know more about her works on 247virtualassistant or blogs related to 247virtualassistant.com please log on to her website.