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By Kristi Sayles

7 ways to maximize the power of LinkedIn

Do you have a LinkedIn account? Most business-minded folks do, but are you maximizing the potential of this powerful networking solution?

In times past, LinkedIn was a site to visit when you were looking for a job. Although it is still a great place to start a job search, it is much more than that now. It is a professional publishing platform with paid options that allows a business to become a major influence. With over 300 million users, it is a force to recognize and implement in your B2B marketing.

Here are seven ways to use LinkedIn to harness the power of this social media giant for your business.

Showcase your expertise

LinkedIn allows you to add documents, samples, links, videos, images and presentations to your profile. This is valuable real estate that you should take advantage of. Go ahead and brag a little. You have earned it. It can only help potential customers, clients and partners want to connect with you.

Establish trust

LinkedIn lets you ask and answer questions. Many people use the site for creative brainstorming. By demonstrating your knowledge, you will gain trust and boost your reputation as an influencer.

Optimize your summary

Who do you know that is actively searching for a list of awards that you have earned? Yet, many marketers use this LinkedIn component to list all of their awards. You should spend a few minutes rewriting this section to be an interesting narrative with naturally-occurring keywords sprinkled throughout. Be sure to break up passages for easier reading. After that, it is perfectly fine to list your awards in the Awards section provided.

Create a resume

Are you aware that you can turn your profile into a resume in a matter of seconds? LinkedIn has a free resume builder that most people do not seem to know about. Once you have the perfect profile, why not let LinkedIn create your perfect resume? It is simple and free to utilize at the time of this writing.

Research other organizations

You can use LinkedIn to research other organizations like potential business partners, suppliers, or even your competitors. You will find a wealth of useful information when your research includes this site.

Generate leads

In a study of HubSpot’s customer base, they found that LinkedIn generated the highest lead conversion rate of the top social networks. It was almost three times higher than Facebook and Twitter. To get this kind of conversion, you must regularly share and promote your landing pages and blog posts in your company status updates.

Join lots of active groups related to your area of business. The more the merrier when it comes to the amount of members a group claims. This gives your profile access to more potential exposure. Do not forget, people are checking out your identity and trust-factor by looking at your group listings.

Use polls

What will interest your potential clients? Run a poll to find out. Let your connections tell you exactly what interests them and the topics they would like to read about on your status updates and blogs.

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