Recently, a person I was mentoring asked me “Why do I need a LinkedIn page for my company if I have a restaurant?”
The first thing this person should have asked herself is “why not?” After all, the more places where your name and link appear, the more exposure you get as a business and the better you tend to rank on search engines. But let’s say, this just isn’t enough for you.
Your clients spend a lot of time on their phone and computer jumping from emails to Facebook, to LinkedIn, etc. And depending on the nature of their job, they may spend a decent amount of time on networking sites like the one we’re discussing. For example, the hair salon in my area could catch my attention sooner on LinkedIn than on Facebook because it is where I spend most of my time.
Not only that, when you create a business profile on LinkedIn, you suddenly look like a legit company. It gives you a different aura of professionalism and I may trust your business a bit more now that I can see who runs it and who works there.
Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that because their company is currently on B2C mode (business to customer), it doesn’t make sense for them to engage in a network where professional relationships are guided towards a B2B model. The error in this mindset is the incapacity to think that there is no more business to be made outside of the currently established format.
Going back to the restaurant, by not being on LinkedIn, this business could potentially be missing other more profitable relationships. By connecting with the professionals in the area, you can cater their office events, set up custom ads that will make them want to go to your location on lunch break, and maybe even meet an angel investor to expand your brand into a franchise. The trend is for more small business owners and non-conventional professionals to join and use LinkedIn. Those who understand that there are more opportunities outside the established path, see all that LinkedIn has to offer.
Not too long ago, I had a hair and makeup person reach out through the platform to let me know she can send someone to my office if I need to get ready for an after-work event when I don’t have time to go get glammed up. This is a real solution to a real problem for me with my busy schedule and all of my networking events. Now, do you remember the neighborhood hair stylist who advertised on Facebook? Who do you think will get the business? She or the lady who contacted me through LinkedIn where I can see her portfolio and offered to come to me? Who do you think I’ll recommend to my business girlfriends? And that is why your business needs a LinkedIn profile.
Expert in Online Communication, Personal Branding & Business Development (BD) and more than 10 years of experience including working with Fortune 500 companies as well as small enterprises in different countries. Currently the BD Manager for Atrium Staffing’s Managed Services Division. She is also a content writer of the Digital Trends section for a monthly subscription of elEconomista as well as other publications, a Co-Chair at the National Diversity Council in Florida & active member of HAPBWA and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando.