I already told you  – if you haven’t created a LinkedIn presence for your business, it’s time to stop ignoring it. LinkedIn isn’t the old resume site you think it is; it’s transformed into a full blown business networking site with powerful marketing potential. And with the addition of two new features  just announced last week, business owners can now find even more ways to take advantage of the site.
The first of the new features is LinkedIn Targeted Updates. This gives you the ability to target status updates to followers based on criteria like industry, job function, company size, etc. Similar to the way you can target Facebook updates to certain Lists or by demographic, now you can do the same on LinkedIn.
Where might this be helpful? It’s helpful if you’re a local florist and you’re creating content/updates related to an upcoming holiday or the summer wedding season. It’s helpful if you sell blue widgets and you’re trying to use content marketing to show Niche X why blue widgets are what they need to take their business to the next level. It’s helpful if you’re a consultant trying to increase your client base in a certain industry.
If you can target updates to the right audience, it allows you to create more customized content for those niches. This helps to increase your relevance to people in that group, which in turn boosts engagement.
The other new feature is called Follower Statistics, which will provide detailed information about your follower base. For example, through the self-service dashboard you’ll have access to stats about demographic information, engagement, comments, follower counts, shares, etc.
The new tools mentioned above will no doubt be welcomed by companies who use LinkedIn to build relationships, create new partnership, and even to scout for employees. But, too many companies aren’t using LinkedIn for these purposes. Instead, they stick their necks in the sand, wondering why someone would ever want to follow their business on LinkedIn in the first place. In doing so, they miss a valuable marketing opportunity.
If you’re not sure why someone might be looking to interact with you on a business network, consider this:
- They’re looking for partnership/vendor opportunities. By “getting to know” you first via LinkedIn, it gives them the chance to make sure your values align.
- They’re keeping an eye out for future employee opportunities.
- Because you’re an expert in an area that they’re not (yet), but that is useful to them. They follow you for the knowledge transfer.
- Because they work for a company that sells blue widgets to companies like yours and this is a way into understanding your company’s thinking.
- You answered their question on LinkedIn Answers & now they trust your view of the world.
- They’re focused on connecting with companies for business, but don’t want the social updates more common to Facebook and Twitter.
People follow you on LinkedIn when they’re interested in your business and when they’re interested in doing business with your business. This is what you need to be thinking about developing your LinkedIn profile. These are the people watching. What benefits is your LinkedIn profile giving them?
Will you take advantage of the new LinkedIn features once they’re rolled out? Are you using LinkedIn at all or are you still not sure it’s worth the investment?