How LinkedIn Answers can help your small business

by on November 1, 2011

LinkedIn Answers is an area where members can ask and answer questions. Answers are grouped into various categories, from marketing to finance, HR to sustainability.  Go the the LinkedIn Answers homepage to see all the different topics under discussion and see whether there might be a good fit for your small business.

Using LinkedIn Answers is available to any Linked In member. (If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, it’s free to join. You can sign up here.) So can your small business benefit from using this tool in the most popular professional social media network in the world?

There are 2 main ways that your small business can used LinkedIn Answers – either by answering a question or asking one.

LinkedIn marketing strategy – answering questions

LinkedIn is a hugely powerful social media network and it is a veritable gold mine for small businesses that sell B2B, aka business to business.

What the answers area allows you to do is to showcase your expertise. By answering questions, you publicly demonstrate that you know your stuff, pumping up your credibility and getting exposure to potential new clients or partners.

In some cases, you may even find opportunities to share your own content. You might come across a question that you have answered already on your blog, for example.

Some good stuff happens when you answer a question on LinkedIn:

  • Anyone that views the question gets exposed to your name. They may check out your profile, or even your website. There is a good potential for building awareness about what you and your small business is all about. Who knows where that could lead?
  • You have an opportunity to add a new connection. You can request the connection of the individual that asked the question, and in your invitation make reference to your answer and that you are available if they need anything further. This is a way of boosting your network and perhaps even finding a new client if the person that asked the question is looking for your services.
  • Expose your answer to your current network. Your answer will show up in the updates feed for your connections to see. Your answer will also come up in your activity feed on your profile. Anyone that visits your profile will see it.
  • Maybe you could be featured as an expert on LinkedIn!

    Create a chance to be listed as an “Expert” in the section at the bottom of the category page under the “Open Questions” area. If one of your answers is given the “Best Answers” nod, whenever one of your connections visits that particular answer category, there is a good chance that you would show up at the top of the list. This list is generated based on your existing LinkedIn connections. It will first look for first degree connections, then second and so on.

Get free marketing or business help – with LinkedIn Answers

Even if it does not make sense for your small business to be answering questions on LinkedIn, you can still benefit from this social media channel.

Have any questions about running your biz? Trying to figure out a piece of your marketing puzzle?

You can ask your question in the Answers section, and get feedback from other LinkedIn members, many of them experts in the field in question. A really fantastic free resource!

If you do the B2B thing, your small business can benefit from asking questions that will provide you with valuable data. It’s a great way to do a little free market research. Alternatively, you can simply peruse through the Answers section that applies to your small business. You might come across an interesting discussion or question that gives you insight into your target market or what your competitors are up to. You can find some really great stuff when you spend a bit of time digging around.

Deciding whether LinkedIn Answers is the right tactic for your small business

Here are some LinkedIn considerations…

  • LinkedIn is the social network for business professionals, and as such, it makes the most sense for small businesses that sell to other businesses. If that’s you, you’re sure to find a category on LinkedIn answers that applies to your industry. If you’re not sure, check out the different categories and see whether there’s one that’s a fit.
  • If you’re a local small business and you only serve customers in a specific geographical area, Answers becomes less relevant, as LinkedIn members from all over the world are there. However, there is still the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and potentially promote some of your content.
  • Spending time sifting through the information and finding a good opportunity to participate can be time consuming.

Have you used LinkedIn answers for marketing your small business? Let us know your personal experiences.

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Hippel May 5, 2012 at 4:11 am

I said in a recent comment that you should not do too many social networks and spread yourself too thin. I have a LinkedIn account but don’t do much with it for that reason.
Now I’m off to contradict myself. lol.
Thank’s Martina.
Steve Hippel recently posted..Traffic Travis 4


Martina May 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm

It can be very challenging to choose where to be on the social landscape – playing around and trying new things is part of the process. Let me know what you think of the Answers area. I think it would be a great match for your biz Steve!


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