LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals, can be a great source of traffic for anyone with a business blog. Like any social media network, it has its own etiquette that needs to be followed to obtain the best results. However, the potential it has to help grow your business makes it well worth the effort.
Give people a reason to visit your blog by creating a persuasive profile. Make it accurate and concise. Think of this as an “elevator pitch” to gain the attention of your audience and make them want to know more. Complete profiles are more enticing and indicative of a real person, so be sure to fill in all details.
Make your profile stand out by customizing the links to your blog. Sure, the defaults work, but you want to give them a reason to click the link. Think of these as your own little AdWords campaign.
While “My Blog” tells people where the link goes, “Small Business Reputation Builder” sounds much more enticing, assuming that it’s the focus of your blog. Either send them to your homepage or create a special landing page for LinkedIn visitors.
Choose the appropriate blog app, based on your blogging platform, so your blog posts get pulled into your LinkedIn profile. The app actually pulls in a limited number of excerpts, so visitors are likely to follow the link to your blog, if they enjoy what they read.
Connections increase your visibility on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn activity is visible on the homepage of each of your connections. If they interact with your update, that shows up on the homepage of their connections. The more connections you have, the easier it becomes to make new ones. It’s hard at first, but it’s critical to create a sizeable base of a few hundred relevant connections.
The more frequently you update your status with relevant information, the greater your chance of getting noticed. Status updates are part of your community participation. Just don’t overdo this or it will come across as spam. One or two daily updates are usually sufficient. Check out other people in your industry to see how often they’re updating their status.
Contributing answers is a great way of engaging with others in the community and positioning yourself as an expert. There’s a rating system within LinkedIn that makes the best answers, and their authors, more visible. The increased visibility can lead to more traffic to your blog.
Joining relevant groups within LinkedIn allows you to focus efforts at connecting with those in your industry. The Professional Bloggers Group is a good starting point when looking for a place to hang out. Every group has different nuances, so join as many as you can at first to see where you fit in best.
Creating your own group is a great way to position yourself as a leader. Every time someone joins your group, they’ll see your name and a link to your blog, in addition to a brief description of the group. It’s virtually guaranteed to bring you traffic, but requires a lot of effort to keep the group active and on track.
Posting comments to groups is your chance to be heard. Create a new discussion, and it will appear on the home profile of all group members. Some groups have thousands of members, so the potential exposure is very good. Also, it’s a great way to build your reputation as a thought leader in your niche, giving people another reason to visit your blog.
LinkedIn has a suite of sharing tools to help LinkedIn members discover and share your content. The LinkedIn “share” button can be placed anywhere on a web page to encourage readers to share content within LinkedIn and drive relevant traffic to your blog. The plugin can be configured to include a running count of the number of people that have shared a particular page. It’s useful for blogs with a large LinkedIn readership, as it reinforces your site’s popularity.
Not every blog will benefit from using LinkedIn to get new readers, but it’s a great traffic source if your audience is already using this social network.