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If you are a B2B business, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool, if optimised, to establish connections and develop relationships with your target market. Use this checklist to get the most out of Linkedin for your company.

1. Complete your profile to 100% and keep it up-to-date. Make sure you include a photo of yourself and that your headline (appears below your name) includes your current job title and company.

2. Create a LinkedIn Company Page and complete it as fully as possible

3. Encourage everyone in your organisation to create a Linkedin profile and update their current job position to include your company (this creates a link from their profiles to your company page)

4. Build your network by adding connections, reconnect with former colleagues and use current connections to be introduced to people you would like to know (remember though it’s not a numbers game, make sure these connections are relevant and of good quality).

5. Go out of your way to help your network

6. Join groups where your potential clients hang out and contribute to appropriate conversations in those groups

7. Answer questions in LinkedIn Answers – a forum where people can ask professional and business related questions. Demonstrate your knowledge of topics that interest your prospects and add links to resources on your website to support your answers. Remember not to be too critical or condescending.

8. Do not try to sell anything!

9. Update your Linkedin profile and your Company page status’ regularly with professional updates such as recent achievements, company news and professional tips avoid linking to your Twitter updates as Twitter and Linkedin have very different audiences.

10. Do not send mass junk messages to your network including adverts for your events or website

11. LinkedIn tells you who has been viewing your profile. If they have viewed your profile they probably have some interest in you, research them and identify if they are a good fit for your business then send them a message or inmail

12. Use LinkedIn’s advanced search features to find people or companies who match your client profile. You can filter your search by things like location, company size and seniority. Research these people and make contact with them.

13. Social reputation – it is important to show people that you can do what you claim and are who you say you are. A great way to do this is by giving and asking for recommendations from clients, suppliers, business partners and colleagues.

14. Keep search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind. If your page/profile is public it will be indexed by search engines such as Google and Bing, so make sure you use keywords organically on your page.

15. Use LinkedIn to keep up with what your competition is doing.

16. Include LinkedIn buttons on your website and other content and publications, such as ‘follow’ and ‘share to encourage people to follow your company page and share your content with their connections.

17. Take advantage of being able to add other content to your page such as YouTube videos, Slideshare documents and presentations and RSS feeds for example your blog.

18. Use the page statistics tab of your company page to track who is viewing your page. It allows you to see the demographics of your viewers such as industries, job functions and companies and to compare your views to similar companies i.e. competitors.

19. Use LinkedIn Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising – you can target LinkedIn members by features such as job function, company name and LinkedIn group involvement.

20. Use LinkedIn for recruitment – place job ads for your company’s vacancies or search for talent to recruit using LinkedIn’s advanced search options.

Doing these things will help increase awareness of your company and brand, helping you expand your business’ opportunities and adding to its online credibility.

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