New LinkedIn Services Offer Networking Options for Small Businesses

Consider trying out LinkedIn's new features for your business.
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This story appears in the June 2011 issue of . Subscribe »

LinkedIn recently added helpful new social networking features for small businesses. Here's what you need to know.

Company Pages: Launched in November 2010, Company Pages give businesses a space to upload information and product photos, and to showcase recommendations and endorsements. Think of it as a graphic-rich brag sheet you can use to fill your connections in on business announcements, endorsements and other information, and where they can share their experiences with your brand.

Enhanced text advertising service: Interested in reaching a segment of LinkedIn's audience? LinkedIn Ads emerged from beta in January with new features that allow you to target text ads by exact job title, company name or LinkedIn group, in addition to the previously available criteria of geography, job function, industry, company size, seniority, age and gender. According to LinkedIn spokesperson Krista Canfield, reported click-through rates are as much as three to four times higher when the new targeting tools are used.

LinkedIn Signal: At LinkedInLabs.com, the company showcases some of its beta products and features for users to test. One of those offerings, LinkedIn Signal, lets users search public status updates for information via company name or keywords. Results can be narrowed to subgroups, such as competitors. "It's a tool for monitoring responses to news, as well as your company's image in general," Canfield says.

LinkedIn Skills: Another new offering measures the frequency certain skill sets are being entered on the site. This tool allows you to see and measure which skills are growing in frequency in your industry and how they apply to your business. For example, mobile skills are accelerating, showing more people overall have mobile marketing experience. That might indicate an industry movement toward mobile marketing. In addition, a mobile marketing firm could search for prospective hires based on those skills. 

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