Beyond Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is one of the leading social media platforms today. It receives more daily traffic than popular sites such as eBay, Craigslist, ESPN and Flickr. This fact alone should get you to realize that LinkedIn should be a very important cog in your food truck’s online marketing plan.
It is the largest business networking site in the world and as soon as you begin investigating the site, you will notice a definite shift in its users. The mood changes and the messages are more professional. Conversations are geared toward partnerships and transactions, as opposed to your food truck’s current or future location. Everything is centered on advancing careers or building business networks.
Here are some tips to use when using this social media platform.
Complete Your Profile
Your profile is the heart and soul of your online brand. It usually ranks in the top 5 of Google search results for “Your First and Last Name”. When others do a search for your name to learn about your product, service, company, or previous work experience, then you’d better have a rock solid profile or that first impression could drastically tarnish your value.
Most LinkedIn profiles are extremely boring and showcase zero personality. Add an interesting story in your summary or at a minimum tell people who you are so there is some direction for people to take when they land on your profile.
Connect With Everyone
As I have been told in the past and other so-called LinkedIn experts suggest, “You should only connect with those you already know and trust, so you can make recommendations to others when they want an introduction.” I can see their point of view but how can one expect to expand your opportunities and options when you shut off communication to the rest of the 120 million plus members on LinkedIn?
Think about it, you already know all of the opportunities that your closest connections can share since you talk to them frequently. Use LinkedIn like a live networking event and introduce yourself to others, make new friends. Also, start accepting invitations to others who add you. The more connections you have, the larger your expanded network grows which helps create more opportunities in the long run.
As a side note: Be suspicious with people who don’t have a profile picture. LinkedIn is a network for personal and professional connections. Your avatar is an integral part of your online persona.
Join Targeted Groups
As a food truck owner this is the part of LinkedIn you should be focusing the most. There are benefits to both joining and being a part of niche-related groups. Think of them as independent social networks where you can spread your message, connect with key partners, and take your business to another level. If you are interested in a food truck related group to join, check out the group we created called, Food Truck Revolution.
Connect With Twitter
You may find that you receive more comments and interaction on LinkedIn from the same types of updates you publish on Twitter. It may be the case that these updates stay at the top of your LinkedIn profile longer than they do in your Twitter stream. The more interaction you get, the more others see it.
Optimize Your Search Ranking
People are constantly searching for others on LinkedIn. They are looking for caterers, employee candidates and industry experts. Optimize your profile to help you be found and contacted by more people looking for what your specialty. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a flood of people emailing or calling you to have you cater their party, wedding or even to invite you to sell your goods on their private lot?
Do you have any additional tips for those new to LinkedIn? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.