LinkedIn has created its own paradigm within the social media world. While Twitter and Facebook have been chasing down the larger consumer market, LinkedIn has maintained, refined and enhanced its focus on business networking. Even though LinkedIn is especially effective for business-to-business (B2B) social media campaigns, it’s often missing in the marketer’s arsenal.

The premise of any LinkedIn campaign can be summed up in three words: influence, reputation and reach. Being actively engaged within online business networks opens up a plethora of marketing opportunities for your business. LinkedIn has a range of features to facilitate this engagement. Here are five easy ways to grow your LinkedIn influence, reputation and reach.

Increase Your Connections

Your personal network is the foundation for any promotion you do on LinkedIn. Make an active effort to grow your connections both through real-life networking and searches for people in your field or the field to which you want to promote. As you grow your network, ask for and offer profile recommendations. Keep in mind that if you give more, you’ll also get more. Profile recommendations are a great way to grow your professional reputation, and add an authoritative voice behind any events or products you hope to promote.

Participate in Discussions

LinkedIn is packed with virtual business communities, and it is in your interest to be as actively involved in these as possible. Search for groups in the areas you want to promote to and join in with that groups’ discussions Also make good use of LinkedIn’s Q&A feature, answering as many relevant questions as you can. Doing so will grow your reach and reputation on the network, and will lead people to your products and/or services.

Optimise Your Profile

Your profile is essentially your online persona, your avatar. Any time you spend fine-tuning your LinkedIn profile is time well spent. What should you tweak?

  1. Add links to your website, blog and other social profiles. Try make names for those links as descriptive and catchy as possible to help with search and click-through rates. For instance, say you were a business consultant with a website on your LinkedIn profile. Instead of calling your link “My website” try “Experienced Consulting Services” or something along those lines.
  2. Post regularly. Like Facebook and Twitter, frequent engagement is essential to grow your LinkedIn presence. Post interesting links, content or ideas to your profile and link in your Facebook or Twitter accounts so your posts on those networks automatically come across to LinkedIn too.
  3. Include an image and description. An incomplete profile is like shoes without socks, and is never a good look. It’s worthwhile taking the time to add an image to your business or personal profile, and filling out a brief description.

Utilise LinkedIn Events

It’s hidden in a dropdown menu, but LinkedIn has a very clever events feature that allows you to see all the upcoming events within your network. Events are effective ways to engage potential clients, if you’re running or attending an event be sure to add it into LinkedIn.

Research Potential Business Opportunities

By engaging in groups, Q&A and LinkedIn events you will be able to learn a lot about potential customers and business opportunities. You can gauge demand for certain services, and look into the people or companies you should target your idea towards. Planning is a key part of any marketing effort, and the power of LinkedIn search and groups will help you even in the planning stages.

There is a wealth of potential within LinkedIn that can be accessed by a well constructed social media campaign.