Most people think of LinkedIn as being a place to promote themselves, network and look for new  jobs. However, the site can also be a powerful social media marketing tool for companies. Here we look at a few of the biggest benefits of using this professional networking site.

1. Targeted advertising options.

Advertising on this networking service allows you to reach a targeted audience of professionals who work in your chosen niche. It would be much harder to reach a similarly targeted audience via other digital marketing channels. The paid advertising options on the site allow you to narrow down the list of people who will see your ad by industry, seniority, location and company size. If you work in B2B marketing, this is a dream come true.

2. A self-selecting audience

People who spend a lot of time on professional networking sites do so for work-related reasons. You know that these people are professionals working in your industry and that they’re thinking about work when they connect to the site. This makes it far easier to persuade them to pay attention to your ad.

3. LinkedIn users are professional networkers

Even if someone ends up viewing your advertisement but is not in a position to make use of your services, there is a reasonable chance they will note your details and pass on your name to his colleagues. Social media marketing doesn’t begin and end with one exchange. Your LinkedIn marketing campaign could be an important step in building your brand.

4. The community options raise your profile for free

Quora may be the question-and-answer site that gets the most attention, but the community pages on this network are still quite busy. Joining groups and posting in them doesn’t cost any money and it is a great way to raise a company (and personal) profile. If you spent a few minutes each day looking at the latest posts and answering when you feel you can add to the discussion, you could get your name out there, and stay in touch with what’s going on in your industry.

5. Less noise to deal with

When you run an internet marketing campaign via Facebook, you have to contend with a huge range of advertisers and you have no idea what mood the user is in. The audience is huge – and whilst there are powerful targeting options available, it still won’t offer you the established, niche audience that LinkedIn does.

There are a few other websites that offer such well-targeted communities; for example, NamesInGames is a good place to reach people from the video games industry and Identi.ca is a Twitter-like service for open-source developers. Paying attention to the surfing habits of your target audience, and focussing your advertising budget on the sites that offer the best chance of reaching them could pay dividends for your Internet marketing efforts.

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