What are the best referral marketing strategies for Linkedin?

How can referrals and social media work together to benefit businesses?  Is there merit to referral marketing for long term growth and social media?  People buy from people they know like and trust. What a great way to develop a referral network.

How does linkedin referral system generate more referral warm leads than Facebook and Twitter combined?

Grow your  Local Business with LinkedIn

You already blog, write articles, participate in social media, and generally rock your business.  However, it may be likely that you are overlooking one of the greatest networks available for small businesses to promote locally.

That network is called LinkedIn com.  LinkedIn.com is a business focused social network.  This network gives serious minded business people a break from learning about little Johnny’s toilet habits and Susie’s digestive issues.  Instead, real business people share real business updates!

Due to all the numerous features available with a free account, LinkedIn is a very exciting network to use.  LinkedIn.com allows you to create a very comprehensive profile that includes a keyword rich headline, a list of your current and previous positions, education, and more.  You can also include a complete keyword rich summary that will allow people to find you.  Additionally, you can add many features and incorporate other software with your account, such as, streaming your blog straight to your profile for anyone to read.

The entire community can join or create groups that are specific to their niche, or something they want to learn.  Within a group you can list jobs, planned events, ask and answer questions and much, much more.  System-wide, a user can perform very advanced searches for people, companies, answers, jobs, and more. People answering questions in a professional, courteous and accurate way are able to earn ‘expert’ status.  Earning expert status in your local community regarding your niche can go a long way to helping you grow your business.

You can use LinkedIn.com to find local events, plan local events, and promote local events.  You can run advertisements that are very specific and targeted all the way down to what group they’re part of and even down to their ages.  Allowing a small business owner access to powerful marketing tools without having to spend a fortune makes LinkedIn.com stand out from the social networking crowd.

Aside from the features that you can use to market your business and participate in the social network, LinkedIn.com allows you to also learn a tremendous amount about business.  The homepage streams recommendations from LinkedIn that are relevant to business.  Think of Facebook as the cocktail hour and LinkedIn as the boardroom.  It’s a serious business promoting network.

Now, don’t let that scare you off.  It doesn’t matter whether you have a solely online business, or a brick and mortar business, you can use LinkedIn to promote your business locally.  LinkedIn offers all the technology, tools and integration that you need to accomplish local search engine marketing.  So don’t be afraid to give it a try, especially since the free account is pretty complete and you won’t be wasting your time or your money.

Of course, you will only get out of it what you put into it.  So make sure that you fill out a complete profile, choose an outstanding, key word rich headline, and create the best business focused summary that you know how to do.  Ensure that you connect to other reputable local businesses both online and offline.  By recommending and promoting relevant, complementary businesses that serve your target audience, they will return the favor, and your business will grow far beyond your wildest dreams.

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