LinkedIn: Tips on Leveraging LinkedIn for Social Commerce

Written by Brandan BakiMay 16, 2011

LinkedIn has long been known as the place to network and find a job. In the past few years it has broken that mold and turned into a community of top professionals looking to share insights and build stronger businesses. 

They have also created Company Pages that allow you to promote your business and help stimulate your e-commerce plan. Here are a few tips to not only get you started but also help create a promising plan to enhance your professional reputation and leverage LinkedIn for social commerce.

Connect

LinkedIn makes it simple to connect with people you know. You can easily link your email’s address book to find friends, family and colleagues. These simple connections can lead to direct commerce or simply recommendations for your products and services (more on that later).

Search for people within your industry and make connections. If you’re not connected, people can’t quickly find you. Also, you can ask to be endorsed and allow current or former colleagues to “recommend” you. LinkedIn states that people who are recommended show up more in search results.

Add a company

If you haven’t already established your company separately, do so now. All it takes to add your company is a company email. Once added, it allows your business to stand-alone with your positive reputation as the foundation.

You want to fill out everything you possibly can on your company profile. You want people to know everything they need to and not have to search for it. This also goes for your personal profile. The more information you add, the easier it is for people to find you. Finding your page is the ultimate goal, right?

Build relationships

This is different than connecting. Connecting is the direct link of people that you know or who are in your industry. Building relationships is what you do next.

Link your Twitter account and allow it to post on your LinkedIn page and vice versa. Add your LinkedIn address to your email signature to remind your clients and colleagues where to go. Encourage people to follow your page and interact with your business.

Stay current

There is nothing worse than a dated website. Keep up on everything you do. Update your status often and show people that you’re a part of an active LinkedIn community.

If you move, change the address. If your sale is over, get it off your page. Don’t let people think you’re unprofessional. Many new businesses hit every social site upon launching and they rarely go back for updates. People don’t want to interact with dead profiles.

Join the discussion

LinkedIn has industry groups covering just about everything. Request to join into groups that pair with your products or services. Post on the discussion boards and help answer questions. This will help show that you’re an expert in the community and you may see some leads from this.

There is also an “Answers” section where professionals can ask all types of questions. Answering there will show that you’re a leader in your field and help build a promising reputation.

Products and Services Tab

Finally, the easiest thing would be to post your actual products. This seems quite obvious but there are a few tricks to it. You can load your tab with popular products and descriptions. People can find them and recommend them for various reasons.

Here is when your relationships can really kick in. Your clients will probably be happy to recommend your amazing products and services. Then everyone can see what they recommend, why they did and sometimes more interestingly, who they are.

Let me give you an example of how great this can actually be. You sell carpet cleaner and have followed all of the tips listed above. You have a featured service for an intense cleaning. A potential customer happens upon your page because of all of the cleaning tips he’s seen you give on the discussion pages. He sees that you have several recommendations for this intense carpet-cleaning package but isn’t sold yet. Then he clicks on a great recommendation and reads in her profile that she owns an indoor pig farm. Now he’s sold.

One last thing to remember about your products and services is that people can’t actually purchase from LinkedIn. They will have to follow a link to your website for the commerce to actually take place. Hopefully, by that time the commerce will essentially have happened. The product will have already been sold in the client’s mind.

With these basic tips, you can leverage your e-commerce into a more successful business plan. You can easily show your customers that you aren’t just another company in your industry, yet a competitive leader.

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