From generating leads to building a talent pipeline, LinkedIn can help your business get ahead and scale its operations. While many companies already have LinkedIn pages and list their open positions there, there are plenty of other ways to use all the tools this platform has to offer.
Below, eight entrepreneurs share some unique ways they've used LinkedIn to their advantage. Remember, for the savvy business owner, there's a lot more to LinkedIn than just industry connections.
Publish your own articles.
In today's digital world, marketing equals content, according to Codie Sanchez of CodieSanchez.com. So, take advantage of LinkedIn's capabilities to publish original content that highlights your industry expertise and authority.
"You can publish your own articles instead of sharing links to an article that someone else wrote, and build credit as the expert in your field," she says.
Participate in groups.
While publishing your own LinkedIn content is a good way to build your presence, Joey Kercher, founder and CEO of Air Fresh Marketing, encourages users to leverage other people's content to start conversations.
"I like to start conversations in groups by sharing content relevant to my industry," he says. "This takes time and requires a commitment, but it is a way to stay engaged and up to date on what's going on in the industry and with prospective partners."
Create your own LinkedIn group.
Beyond participating in other LinkedIn groups, you can also create and manage one for your own brand. Serenity Gibbons, local unit lead at NAACP, believes that B2B companies and nonprofits could see a lot more engagement with their LinkedIn networks if they ramped up their groups activity.
"This a place to share and gather information that could be really valuable while getting to know each participant better to determine how you can help your target audience," she adds.
Run sponsored posts.
Sweta Patel, founder of Silicon Valley Startup Marketing, recommends focusing on sponsored LinkedIn posts if you want your brand to receive a lot of engagement.
"Sponsored posts will help you receive more discovery from an audience that is within your niche, versus just everyone in your network," she says. "You want to be able to tailor your articles to people who may have an interest in them. This is the way to do it."
Share video content.
Most marketers understand the value of video content in the modern world. Chris Quiocho, founder and CEO of Offland Media, believes influencer-style videos on LinkedIn can really boost a B2B company's presence, especially since the platform has recently improved its targeting tools and promoted content services.
"My instincts tell me that Instagram is for B2C video marketing, and LinkedIn will be for B2B video marketing," Quiocho explains. "People are on that platform in a professional context. They understand CRM and CMS systems, and other similar B2B products."
Encourage your employees to help you recruit on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is first and foremost a networking platform, so why not tap into your employees' existing professional networks when you're hiring?
"LinkedIn is a platform that incorporates real-life networks, a long history of connections and action-based engagement in a way that's perfect for recruiting," says Roger Lee, CEO of Human Interest 401(k). "Ask your team to share your job listings on LinkedIn -- this will solicit great applicants that come from a wide pool of connections, college alumni and former coworkers."
Use LinkedIn ProFinder.
Looking for freelancers? Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner, advises using LinkedIn's ProFinder tool. This portal allows you to search for qualified professionals for hire on a contract or project basis.
"I've been able to find great writers this way. Some have even turned into full-time positions," says Balkhi.
Let your company culture shine.
According to Sean Harper, co-founder and CEO of Kin Insurance, LinkedIn is like any other social media platform -- folks want to be entertained when they find your company's profile. That's why his company recently set its HR and content teams loose on its LinkedIn page.
"The change has been dramatic," says Harper. "Our network can now see behind-the-scenes photos and updates about our team and the volunteering initiatives we're taking to make our community a kinder place. The engagement is proof this change is for the better."