Unlike other social networking sites like Facebook or Google Plus, LinkedIn was created with the specific purpose of catering to businesses and professionals. It may seem as though LinkedIn is not a very effective means of generating sales and income for your online store, but such is not the case. In fact, having a presence in LinkedIn can greatly benefit your online store and ecommerce business if you use it strategically.
But how exactly can LinkedIn be of service for your online store?
Building Business Networks
Most online store owners focus all their energies on getting the attention of online shoppers. However, the success of an online store, or any business for that matter, does not rely solely on getting customers – networks and connections can help greatly in helping a business succeed, and that is where LinkedIn truly shines, in building networks and connections. Through LinkedIn, you can connect with other ecommerce business owners, suppliers, manufacturers and professionals who can help build, promote and provide insightful tips and advice which you can use to improve your online store. With this guide you can learn how to create a company page on LinkedIn. Some successful LinkedIn Network examples from companies are:
Studying the Competition
As LinkedIn’s population grows, it is very likely that some, if not most, of online store and ecommerce business owners have already signed up in LinkedIn, either chatting and making deals with suppliers or hiring a professional to help with their SEO or marketing efforts. Thus, it would be a wise move to search and check on them. By keeping up with their posts and updates and their connections, you should be able to gather a thing or two which you may find useful for your online store.
LinkedIn also allows you to interact with other members of the social networking site through questions and answers. This is a very important feature that you should take advantage of. By regularly and correctly answering questions posed by the LinkedIn members, you can slowly and steadily build your expertise and authority for that particular niche. With this authority and expertise comes trust, and the more people start to trust you, the higher the chances of you getting better online visibility.
And here is what you probably are waiting for. Yes, you are allowed to promote product information, special promotions or events and even the latest update on your inventory. One of the most common ways that other online store owners do this is in their status updates. However, remember that this is still a social networking site and not an advertising avenue. Thus, it would be wise to minimize the amount of promotions that you make. A major part of your updates and posts should still be about providing helpful and valuable information to your connections and followers.
LinkedIn also gives you the opportunity to promote targeted content to others using the LinkedIn Showcase Pages. Using this, you can create various segments or niches for your company or online store and promote specific products therein. For example, if you have an online fashion store, you can create a showcase page for female customers and another one for your male customers. That way your male customers won’t see your posts about miniskirts and tank tops, and your female customers won’t see your posts and content about baseball caps and basketball shoes. As a real-life example, you can take a look at Microsoft’s LinkedIn Page. They have different showcase pages for Microsoft Office, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Training and Certification, and ten more other showcase pages.
Compared to other social media platforms, LinkedIn may not hold much of an appeal to online store owners. However, this does not mean that you can simply brush Linked In aside. Through LinkedIn, you can build strong business networks and connections with people in your industry and be helpful all the while promoting you online store. All these and more makes LinkedIn a valuable tool which you should consider adding to your online marketing strategies.