LinkedinLinkedIn is a powerful social network of over 8.5 million experienced professionals worldwide. For business owners, it’s a great way to network with other professionals in your industry as well as connect with potential clients and customers. Here are 5 great ways to utilize the social media marketing tools LinkedIn has to offer your business.

1. Add connections. Once your profile is completed, use your email account to add connections on LinkedIn. Also use the LinkedIn search feature to find people you know, whether they are people you went to college with or colleagues, the more connections the better. Adding connections will increase your visibility which makes it more likely that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to do business with.

2. Find 3-5 LinkedIn groups that are in your target market and join them. Participate in discussions so you can grab the attention of other members. This will not only get your business on people’s radar but you’ll also show members that you are an expert in your field so they will feel more comfortable working with you. Make sure to leave a link to your website (if relevant) when you respond to discussions.

3. Subscribe to LinkedIn Answers for your target categories. Try to answer one question every day until one of your answers is dubbed the “best answer.” Then post 3 a week until you get another “best answer” designation. Once that happens, you can post once per week. Using Answers on LinkedIn will make your profile more likely to be seen by other professionals and will help establish you as an industry expert.

4. Give recommendations for people you have worked with. Once you’ve written a recommendation for someone, ask for one in return. These testimonials will make potential clients more likely to work with you.

5. Improve your Google page rank. LinkedIn allows you to make your profile searchable in Google, Yahoo! and Bing. LinkedIn profiles receive a high page rank in Google so allowing your profile to be indexed in the search results will work to your advantage.
– To increase your profile visibility, create a public profile and select “full view.” Make it easier to send people to your profile by creating a customized URL that is your actual name.

Following these tips and using all the tools LinkedIn has to offer can help you connect and network with professionals in your industry for educational purposes as well as market to new clients in order to expand your business.