Small business owners often feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with social media sites.

However, maintaining a LinkedIn account could be a great investment of your time. LinkedIn offers small business owners a lot of potential benefits.

Gain Customers

LinkedIn is a great way to attract new customers. It allows for business owners to share information about their businesses while also spreading the word about their business.

In addition for sharing information about your business in your personal profile, you can also establish a company page that is dedicated solely to your business. Post status updates that provide the public with information about your business and it will help you gain potential customers.

Join groups that are relevant to your business and you can naturally promote your products or services. Participate in conversations and potential customers will view you as an industry expert.

You can even create your own group on LinkedIn to start new discussions relevant to your business. Invite other professionals to join the conversation. Invite existing customers to join the group as well.

Network with Colleagues

LinkedIn allows small businesses to network easily with various colleagues. Connecting and networking with colleagues can provide you with endless opportunities to attract new business.

It also can give you a chance to learn more about the products and services other businesses offer.

Perhaps you can find a company that will save your business money. Or maybe you’re in the market for a new website developer. LinkedIn can put you in direct contact with those professionals.

Gather Recommendations

LinkedIn is a great way to gain word of mouth advertising free of charge.

Ask former customers to recommend you on LinkedIn and it can help your sales skyrocket. When satisfied customers give you a recommendation, it can really spread the word about your business and help you attract new customers.

Conduct Research

Gathering information is an indirect way to use LinkedIn to increase your sales.

Conduct research about your competition to see how other businesses handle customer service, use social media and attract customers.

Also, conduct research on your potential customers.

For example, are customers asking a lot of questions about a specific product or service? If so, you can tailor your business to meet those needs.

Gain Exposure

LinkedIn is a great way to gain some exposure for your business.

Create a comprehensive profile that clearly explains what your business does, the services and products you offer, and how customers can reach you.

When someone on LinkedIn is searching for someone or something, there’s a good chance your profile will show up. LinkedIn makes suggestions and recommendations based on people you are already connected to and based on what you have listed in your profile.

If you’re not using LinkedIn you may be missing out on attracting a lot of new business.

It’s likely that your customers are using LinkedIn to learn about the products and services they’re looking for.

About the Author: Amy Morin writes about psychology, parenting, and small businesses such as Amerisave.