linkedin

Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all great communities to be a part of. Business owners can use these communities to connect with their prospects and provide their customers with a better service. As a business owner, you don’t want to just spend your time talking to/with others. Listening should be a big part of your strategy too. By looking at what people are asking online and what their needs and wants are, you’ll have an easier time improving your products and coming up with new products ideas.

Many top social sites have Q&A sections that business owners can take advantage of to find out about people’s needs. There are also Q&A only websites out there that can be used to mine product ideas. If you are stuck or are just looking to improve your existing products, these 5 Q&A websites you need to take advantage of:

LinkedIn Answers: the best place to find out about people’s needs and wants. LinkedIn is a more formal network than Facebook and Twitter. That means you are less likely to get silly questions on that site.

Answer Bag: includes plenty of questions/answers as well as polls you can take advantage of to find more business opportunities. The debate section is useful too.

Facebook Questions: an exciting new service by Facebook that will let Facebook community ask and answer questions like never before. Social Q&A is even better for those looking for new business ideas.

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Linkedin is one of the top social networking sites on the Internet these days. It has been around for a while now, but it still doesn’t get the respect that it deserves. Many businesses focus too much on Facebook and Twitter and don’t pay enough attention to Linkedin and similar services. In reality, Linkedin is an amazing network to be a part of if you want to build business relationships, gather leads, and network with experts in your industry. Being involved on Linkedin is more than just creating a profile and telling others what you do for a living. Creating a killer profile should be on the top of your agenda but it shouldn’t be your only contribution to the Linkedin community. Depending on your business model, there are plenty of ways to reach out to your prospects on Linkedin and build long lasting relationships.

If you are looking for ideas on how to use Linkedin to build leads for your business, here are some tactics that you can try:

  • Your Linkedin Profile: your profile is your first impression on folks who find you on the web or through LinkedIn. Make sure you have information on your skills and recent projects. Add your relevant experience to your work history and don’t forget to mention your education. Don’t forget to use the right keywords so people can find you through search engines and Linkedin search. Make sure you provide an accurate description of what your talents are and how you can help others.
  • Past colleagues: don’t wait for others to find you on LinkedIn. Take action and add your former colleagues to your network. You never know when you are going to need their help and vice versa. Don’t let your past relationships to go to waste.
  • Linkedin Groups: Linkedin groups are a great way to connect with others and build your network. Just don’t join them. Participate in them. Join sub-groups and volunteer for activities in those groups.
  • Relationship Management: don’t forget that Linkedin is about networking with others. In order to do that, you need to be connected with them. Being an open networker can help you a long way towards achieving your professional goals. You should also get your Twitter and Facebook friends to join you on Linkedin.
  • Contact Management: thanks to LinkedIn, you have a decent contact management system that you should definitely use to manage your professional networks. Don’t hesitate to add new connections from the groups that you are a part of or people who have answered your questions on Linkedin.
  • Your blog/websites: you should take time to add your blogs and websites to your Linkedin account. Don’t forget to change “My Website” text link to something more descriptive.
  • Share Info: whether it’s sharing articles, answering to polls, helping others with their questions, or sharing your travel information through Linkedin applications, you have got plenty of choices to be involved on Linkedin.
  • Add Company: don’t forget to add your company or business to Linkedin. Don’t just rely on your personal profile to push your business.
  • Recommendations: don’t be shy to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn. It’s much easier to get folks to recommend you on LinkedIn. Your clients and past colleagues can provide your business with much needed boost to score more clients in the future.
  • Turn on Applications: you should have done this by now, but if you haven’t, make sure to check out the applications available on Linkedin and add the appropriate ones to your page.

Linkedin is a wonderful community to be a part of, and the noise is much lower on Linkedin than Twitter or Facebook. If you have taken time to get more involved on Twitter and Facebook, there is no reason you should take the time to do the same on Linkedin. You’d be surprised once you see your results.

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