On July 24, 2012 local small business owners gathered at Heartland Bank’s Gahanna office to learn all about LinkedIn at its Power Breakfast event. With two people joining LinkedIn every second, it’s the #1 social network focused on business professionals and one that provides an opportunity to establish expertise, connect with potential customers, read important industry-related news and… if done right… can help to make your cash register ring.
Business Owners Learn All About LinkedIn
Heartland’s Executive Vice President and COO, Steve Hines, kicked off the meeting and welcomed the guests. He introduced the morning’s speaker, Eric Cook, Certified Internet Business Consultant with WSI Internet Consulting, and shared that in addition to being a former banker of 15 years, Cook has been working with the bank for the past several years and recently aided in the re-design of www.HeartlandBank.com.
An accomplished public speaker and award-winning web developer, Cook shared with the Power Breakfast guests several ways to use LinkedIn better and get the most out of the popular social network. “Because LinkedIn is much more business focused than other social networks (like Facebook), there’s an opportunity for professionals to use it as an effective tool to grow their businesses,” Cook stated.
Below are some of the key points that Cook made during his presentation:
- Connect With Others: LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with others by inviting people to join your network. Just be sure that you take the time to personalize your invitation and don’t forget to say “thank you” when someone invites you to connect.
- Research Companies: If you’re looking to learn more about a company, LinkedIn can be a great way to start your research process. Whether the business is a prospect or competitor, LinkedIn provides a variety of statistics and news that you can use to better educate yourself on what’s going on in the business.
- Know When Your Connections Change Jobs: By using a tool such as Job Change Notifier, you can automatically get alerts when someone that you’re connected to changes jobs or updates their title. This is important to know since someone changing jobs may present new opportunities for additional business. It also helps you know when a “key contact” moves on, making sure that you reach out to find who is taking their place (and ensure that you retain the business you already have).
- Help Search Engines Get To Know You: By making sure your profile information is 100% complete and ensuring that you are using relevant keywords and terms for your business, you help educate search engines on what you do. When someone goes to Google and is looking for the types of products or services that you have to offer, the more information that’s in your profile, the greater the chance that you’ll be found in a search result.
Following the Power Breakfast event, Cook remained on-site and provided Heartland Bank staff with an in-depth, hand’s on session with even more LinkedIn tips and strategies. “As the bank moves forward with its own social networking strategy, LinkedIn is one of the ways that we’re working hard to connect to the communities we serve,” stated G. Scott McComb, Heartland Bank’s President and CEO. In addition to its LinkedIn efforts, the bank has a Facebook Page and has videos on its YouTube Channel.
The bank has been conducting Power Breakfast events for several years now, and customers have been very receptive to the topics and information presented. Topics are selected to help business owners in a variety of different areas, provide an update on other bank-related events and to answer any questions on banking or the economy. If you’re interested in future Power Breakfast events, be sure to contact us to let us know.
About Our Presenter
If you’d like to learn more about LinkedIn or other topics related to getting the most out of your online efforts, feel free to contact Eric directly.