LinkedIn is an extremely popular social networking site used by professionals in all walks of life. A quick scan of your Gmail contacts will probably reveal that many of your peers are already using LinkedIn to network with like-minded professionals. But you are a franchisor. Why would you use LinkedIn? It’s not like you are trying to connect with CPA’s. You’re trying to expand your franchise.
LinkedIn can be used to accomplish your goals. Franchisors must focus on three areas to completely leverage LinkedIn to expand their franchise business. These include joining groups, participating in the “Answers” section, and creating a “great” profile.
LinkedIn has hundreds of groups available to franchise professionals. Do a group search for “franchises” and you’ll find that you can join over 300 such groups. Why join?
The most important reasons for joining a group include:
1. Search functionality: Being a group member allows you to access the profiles of the other members in your group. (If you belonged to the “Franchise Networking” group, you would have access to over 2,200 LinkedIn profiles!)
2. Communication: Not only does being a group member give you viewing privileges, you’ll also has the ability to directly contact your fellow group members.
3. Showcase your group affiliations: When you join a group, LinkedIn gives you the option to display a digital badge on your profile. These show people visiting your page what groups you belong to and where your professional interests lie.
Becoming an Expert:
LinkedIn’s “Answers” section gives anyone the opportunity to answer or ask questions on almost any topic in almost any industry.
You should seriously consider spending some time in the Q&A forum to find questions that you can answer. Why?
LinkedIn awards its users with expertise points for every answer they provide. According to LinkedIn’s Web site, “When your answer is chosen as (the) best by the question’s asker, you gain a point of expertise in the question’s category.”
Creating a “Great” Profile:
There are many articles out there that attempt to sort out the do’s and don’ts of setting up your LinkedIn profile.
The following list of three articles will point you in the right direction and help you create an outstanding LinkedIn profile:
LinkedIn Profile Extreme Makeover: Guy Kawasaki offers short easy-to-digest recommendations to vamp up your profile.
Six Elements of a Great LinkedIn Profile: Scott Cunningham offers great information and the details to help you implement his suggestions.
4 Minutes to Optimize a LinkedIn Profile for SEO: HubSpot offers two key pieces of advice and a four minute video detailing how you can optimize your profile for SEO.
Now that you have the skinny on LinkedIn, join some franchise groups, become an expert and create a great profile!
Drop us a line. We would like to know what tip(s) you found most helpful!