30 LinkedIn Tips for Effective Small Business Networking

LinkedIn is a powerful online professional networking platform with more than 450 million worldwide registered users. Every second results in more than two new signups, and there are well over a million unique visitors every month. You probably already know that LinkedIn is popular among the job-seeking crowd. The truth is, there are more than 40 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn.

So you may be wondering if LinkedIn is tailored specifically for those in the market for a traditional job, or if you — as small business owner — can use the network to grow your business.

The short answer is yes, provided you follow some LinkedIn best practices for small businesses. Don’t worry. The list below is quite lengthy, but you do not need to implement every single one of these tips to see an increase in your LinkedIn networking power. Pick just a few of your favorite ideas to start, and add more into the mix over time.

Tips to Improve Your Public Profile on LinkedIn

LinkedIn offers several ways to highlight yourself and your business, the primary method being your personal public profile. Your profile is not only public to anyone searching LinkedIn, but also those use public search tools like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, giving you an opportunity to add a new search-friendly way to promote yourself.

The tips below will help your profile pop up in relevant research results and increase your ability to be found online.

7. Look for connection possibilities: Check who is viewing your profile in order to find potential new connections. If your profile is set to public, other will be able to see when you look at their profiles as well.

9. Use recommendations: Ask your customers for recommendations on LinkedIn. These testimonials act as powerful word of mouth referrals that everyone visiting your page can see.

14. Post updates: Use updates on your Company Page that focus on relationship building. The best updates are authentic, relevant and brief.

See all 30 tips and the complete TheBalance article

8 Big Changes To LinkedIn Groups That Will Enhance Your Social

It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the number one social networking site for B2B Marketers.

Given the network’s user base of over 380 million and the fact that it’s a source of 80% of B2B social media leads, LinkedIn’s prominence in the B2B industry will not change any time soon.

So if and when LinkedIn makes a necessary change it is important that organizations make a note.

LinkedIn has made more than 2 million discussion groups private, a major step in the social network’s efforts towards improving the quality and professional nature of membership groups.

The move here was based on feedback of LinkedIn groups who craved real connections with peers and industry leaders helping them learn and grow.

Along with making the groups private, LinkedIn has also introduced several other changes that warrant a closer look for any brand making strides and gaining social presence on the network.

Here are the eight changes to LinkedIn groups that B2B marketers need to be aware of.

5. New app available for LinkedIn groups

new app available for LinkedIn group for changes to Linkedin groups

LinkedIn has released a stand alone group app, just for iOS with the android version in the pipeline.

Searching for various groups will not be possible through the app, but you can participate in discussions through the app followed by a new algorithm suggesting new groups just for you based on your profile and past interactions.

The new app will appeal to users who constantly engage in discussions whether on the go or in office. Leveraging the convenience of this mobile app and staying ahead of your engagement opportunities as a part of your social monitoring approach.

7. Spammers will be put into the naughty corner spammers in naughty box for for changes to Linkedin groups

From now onwards anyone who is perceived to be spamming the group will be relegated to a penalty box, or indeed booted out of the group altogether.

This privilege of acting against spammers not only extends to the group manager but to all the other group members as well.

Yes that’s right, any group member will now have the power to report or remove conversations that they believe don’t meet the guidelines of LinkedIn, and can even block the person who makes these comments.

See all 8 ways and the complete JeffBullas.com article

5 Things About LinkedIn I Wish I’d Known A Long Time Ago

By Shawn Doyle


We have all had the conversation. When Linkedin is mentioned, many business people get “that look” and sigh. They just don’t get LinkedIn and are weary of getting invited to link to people they don’t know.

They just find LinkedIn irritating, or just irrelevant.

Guess what? There is a lot about LinkedIn I wish I would have known a long time ago. I didn’t understand that LinkedIn can be a tremendous networking and marketing tool.

It can be a great sales tool- if you know some of the inside tricks many people don’t know about. Yes, you can get business being on LinkedIn. Here are five things about LinkedIn I wish I’d known a long time ago:

1. You can start your own group.

On LinkedIn you can create your own special interest group. It is easy and only requires a few easy steps and then voila! You are the proud owner of your own group.

Imagine if you will, having a group of people that are all your potential customers. Some groups on Linkedin have as many as 500,000 members! You also can control who joins.

Here is an inside secret- if you start a group, you can send a message to everyone in the group once a week by pushing one button. That message goes to their email and to the group discussion.

Here is a confession- as proof of concept, I started a group on motivation and I have almost 15,000 members.

2. You can look at who has viewed your profile.

Many people don’t realize that LinkedIn provides great data about who has viewed your profile. You can find out who viewed your profile, and look at and compare how many people viewed your profile compared to the week before.

LinkedIn also provides data on how your profile ranks compared with other professionals like you, and gives you advice on how to improve it.

See all 5 things and the complete Inc. article

7 Ways to SEO Your LinkedIn Account

By Adam Heitzman


LinkedIn is slowly introducing more and more options that can be optimized and help users improve their profiles for LinkedIn search. The site will even tell you, with its new How You Rank feature, the percentile you’re in when it comes to views in your industry. This essentially means you can see if you’re in the top 5 percent of views versus the top 50 percent, and you can see changes to this number in real time. For many, the number isn’t what they had hoped (especially if you’re looking for a new job). This means optimization attention is on the rise, and it’s time to SEO your LinkedIn account.

Tips for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Account for Better Visibility

Many of the LinkedIn optimization options are changing and becoming more advanced, so even if you went through and tweaked your profile a few years ago, it’s a good idea to give it a second look. Here are a few tips:

  1. Use the publisher option.

The publisher option is fairly new and allows you to post articles directly to LinkedIn. This not only helps you show your expertise, but it gives the LinkedIn bots more content and information to work with. It also shows you’re active, and helps your name and face show up in the news feeds of your followers.

In an article on Search Engine Watch, Amanda DiSilvestro writes about how the publisher option works and how to cater your content to LinkedIn. In short, all you have to do is visit your homepage and click the little pencil icon, which will be below your photo. You can then copy and paste and publish, and check metrics for the post once it’s live. The post will show up in your connections’ news feeds as well as be on your LinkedIn profile page, under the Posts section.

  1. Promote your LinkedIn profile elsewhere on the Web.

Part of SEO-ing a LinkedIn profile is getting it a little bit of publicity. You should put a link to your profile in your email signature as well as on other social networking accounts so you can start creating inbound links. If you ever publisher something interesting on LinkedIn, you can link back to that post on your Facebook profile. You have to be careful mixing social audiences, but as long as you’re sharing something relevant, this is a great way to give your profile a little extra visibility, hopefully form some new connections, and maybe even build links.

  1. Customize your anchor text links.

You may have noticed that your LinkedIn profile can have up to three links, including company website and blog. What most people don’t realize, however, is that you can actually change the anchor text to something more descriptive. All you have to do is select the Other option.

See all 7 ways and the complete Inc. article

Social Recruiting Success Principles – LinkedIn Groups


In this social recruiting series, we’ve focused on how you can make social media channels a more integral part of your recruiting strategy. In our last post we looked at general principles for undertaking social recruiting on LinkedIn. Here we’ll be focusing in on how you can leverage LinkedIn Groups specifically as a key component of your social recruiting efforts.

LinkedIn Groups allow like minded members to congregate in one place and share content of mutual interest, answer one another’s questions and network – publicly or privately. As such, they have the potential to be fertile ground for recruiters wanting to connect with future hires. But many are also plagued by spammers and so devoid of interaction. Your challenges will therefore be to:

  • Decide whether to form your own group(s) or purely become a member of existing groups
  • Work out which groups are worth joining
  • Devise a plan for how you will engage in those groups
  • Ensure your personal profile drives the desired behaviour when members click through to check it

Should you create your own LinkedIn Group?

Creating your own group brings significant benefits. For a recruiter, principal amongst these are:

– The ability to put forward a timely, consistent and effective message to your group network. The trouble I have found with a lot of LinkedIn Groups is that they have fundamentally been created to serve the aims of the group owners, rather than acting in the best interests of the broader group membership. Examples of this would include:

– Group moderators being able to add discussions and comment on questions instantly; whilst members are subjected to lengthy delays in their new discussions or comments being approved. You can lose a lot of time responding in groups, only to find your responses appear only some time later – or never at all if you are pointing members to an external resource that answers their question

– Group moderators ensuring that their own discussions – rather than those initiated by other members – remain the most active within the group (through selective moderation of comments), so that the coveted place in “Still Active Discussions” within the group digest email alert that goes out to members reinforces the credentials of the group owners rather than someone from another company.

– The credibility that is bestowed on your brand (personal or corporate) from running a growing and well moderated group. Certainly for smaller businesses – or those trying to strengthen their position in a niche – this can be a very worthwhile reason for proceeding. Seasoned LinkedIn Group members will know that many groups are poorly run and spam-ridden, so a well run group really stands out and reflects well on the group owner. A spin off benefit is that there’s also a flow of invitation requests that come over time as you interact with group members, so your regular LinkedIn network is also strengthened.

– The ability to engage your LinkedIn Group members by email. Whilst group owners cannot control (other than through selective moderation) what appears in the weekly / daily group digest emails, there are two valuable email touch points:

– Firstly, at the point of joining, new members are sent a welcome message from the group owner, customisable so that you can provide links to your website, brochure, social media profiles, etc. This is automatically emailed out and appears to have a very high deliverability rate.

– Secondly, once each week the group moderator is allowed to send an email broadcast to group members – providing the opportunity to seek group feedback on a particular issue, flag a forthcoming event, point members to other online resources, etc. This helps to maintain engagement and provides a form of email subscription that many recruiters might otherwise not have at their disposal.

– The search engine benefits that can come from group discussions. Depending on the settings you choose for your group (covered below), it may be open to being indexed by search engines such as Google. Our own experiences have been that LinkedIn group content ranks highly on Google and so provides a means of garnering search engine traffic that is of itself quite valuable.

These upsides can be particularly attractive for recruiters who do not have the ability to quickly do these things on their own corporate website, or insufficient traffic there to make such initiatives worthwhile. However, there are some significant downsides to this approach which mean it’ll not be for everyone. For an in depth assessment of these and other pointers on how to run your own group see the following LinkedIn Groups article.

Read the full article to see:

Which groups should you join?

Devising a plan to engage in groups

Tweaking your personal profile to generate results


10 Tips for Writing LinkedIn Blog Posts That Expand Your Influence

By Glenn Leibowitz

I just hit publish on my 100th blog post on LinkedIn.

When I started writing on LinkedIn nearly two and a half years ago, I wasn’t sure about what I would even write about. I just knew I wanted to write.

After a few posts that attracted only a few hundred views, I struck LinkedIn gold with my first viral post: A personal account about how my parents spent a good chunk of their savings to buy my first computer, an Apple II+.

The response that post generated was overwhelming. It attracted over 34,000 views, more than 580 likes and over 160 comments from readers around the world. It quickly rose to become the third most popular post on LinkedIn Pulse.

I was hooked.

Since that first viral post, I’ve continued to write on a nearly weekly basis. I’ve published on a wide range of topics: writing well, self-driving cars, podcasting, succeeding at summer internships, tweeting in outer space, motivating staff members, writing emails that sound more “human”, self-publishing books, and more.

My posts have attracted over a million views and tens of thousands of likes, comments, and social shares.

Last December, I received an unexpected email from the editors at LinkedIn with some special news: They had crunched the numbers on the 1 million members who had published posts over the prior 12 months, and from them, selected 90 “Top Voices” on the basis of views, reader engagement, and how many times their posts were featured by LinkedIn’s editors.

I was selected as one of their Top Voices in marketing and social media.

Through my experience conceiving, writing, editing, publishing, and sharing blog posts, I’ve learned a great deal about what gets traction on LinkedIn – and what doesn’t.

Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned from publishing 100 posts on LinkedIn:

2. Write about what you’re most passionate about.

In addition to writing about what you know best, sometimes the best topics are the ones that you have a particularly strong interest in. Some of my most popular posts on LinkedIn were on topics I felt strongly about, topics on which I felt compelled to share my perspective. Those posts were some of the quickest ones I’ve written. When I’m passionate about a topic, the thoughts flow more quickly from my mind to my fingers.

3. Write about trending topics.

While “evergreen” topics work well on LinkedIn, you’ll notice some of the most popular pieces that are promoted by the LinkedIn editors, and the ones that take off and quickly go viral, are the ones that address a trending topic in the news. LinkedIn’s editors, I’ve noticed, are on the look out for such posts, and are more likely to promote them under one or several of the LinkedIn Pulse channels.

4. Become an idea machine.

Writing consistently means you need to have a reservoir of topics you can choose from when you sit down to write. When an idea comes to mind, I immediately write a headline and maybe a sentence or two about what the post is about using Evernote, the note-taking app. If I can, I’ll jot down an outline with sub-headlines for the post. And if I’m feeling particularly inspired, I’ll try to write out a complete rough draft as quickly as I can.

See all 10 and the complete Inc.com article