What makes LinkedIn such a valuable tool for business owners?

The internet is littered with statistics on the cost of acquiring new customers and clients as opposed to retaining existing ones, with some sources claiming the former can cost up to 25 times more than the latter. The exact figure is clearly debatable and may even vary from one sector to the next, but there’s little denying that taking care of existing clients and customers should be a priority for any business, large or small.

A study by American management consultant Bain & Company indicates that improving customer retention rates by as little as 5% can increase profits by in excess of 25%, so clearly any steps we can take to show that we value those who support our business are ones that we should be taking as boldly as possible.

When it comes to building companies and brands via social media, the go-to choices tend to be Facebook and Twitter. Both are excellent tools for increasing a business’ online presence and reaching out to a wider audience, but when it comes to strengthening existing partnerships, perhaps the best social media platform is LinkedIn.

The beauty of Twitter and Facebook is that they allow people to stumble upon your company completely by mistake, simply because you have posted or tweeted something that has caught their attention.

While those two sites are superb for outreach, LinkedIn is more suited to what I call ‘inreach’. Of course, it’s possible to create new contacts on it and use the site to conduct a form of online networking, but what it’s really good for is simply reminding the people who already know you that you’re still there, and that you’re always actively trying to make yourself an even better person or business to work with by adding more strings to your bow.

A great example of how to make a statement among your LinkedIn connections is with the ‘Write an article’ option. This is an opportunity to express yourself on your own field of business expertise, and to present it to people who are more than likely to be interested in what you have to say. Using this, you can show off your knowledge, experience and new ideas to the people to whom it matters most.

Make sure you’re always updating your profile too. Any time you get a new qualification, skill or certificate, stick it in there. LinkedIn likes to update (or ‘pester’, if you prefer) its users via email on recent changes, so you might be surprised how much attention a small change to your details gets.

While Facebook and Twitter might be the social media top dogs, LinkedIn really is the tool that shouldn’t be forgotten. For more advice on getting the most out of the site, check out our How to Master LinkedIn for Business diploma course.

Categories: LinkedIn

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