Building business with LinkedIn

People think of LinkedIn primarily for job seeking and filling positions, but it offers opportunities to build your business in a range of ways.

A recent article in the New York Time (“The Social Network That Gets Down to Business,” by Miguel Helft, New York Times  September 29, 2010) profiles two business owners who connected with global communities online through LinkedIn.

As with any online network, you need to spend time developing and maintaining connections. From the article:

Ms. Wiseberg [participated in groups] to get Red Scarf Equestrian off the ground. She had been on LinkedIn for several years but had never really learned how to use the site. When she started the business, she began joining groups related to her field and participating in discussions on them. She is now a member in more than a dozen groups, including Luxury and Lifestyle Professionals, Luxury Addict Group, Woman 2 Woman Business, and Horse Lovers of the Business World.

It is through these affiliations that others in the industry discovered her and began inviting her to events in Europe, North America and Asia.

“I had to go global, because the market in Canada is too small,” Ms. Wiseberg said. “I’m getting there.”

Clothing retail companies try recommending others’ goods

“J. Crew saw a business opportunity in assuming the role of a sophisticated and self-assured friend, guiding customers through the infinite offerings of the Internet without pushing them to buy only its own wares.

“‘What the world needs now is curators and filters,’ said Anthony Sperduti of Partners and Spade, the New York advertising agency behind the campaign. ‘J. Crew is savvy enough to know that the Internet has changed our buying patterns.”

from “Buy My Stuff — and Theirs, Too” by Joshua Brustein, New York Times, October 2, 2010

Ford saves substantial costs using social media

“On the Fiesta Movement, we had higher unaided nameplate awareness than Fit or Yaris, and we spent 10 cents on the dollar, than a traditional tv ad campaign.  So by starting earlier and using social media to spread the word about the new product, we’re really reducing the amount of traditional advertising we have to spend.”

Ford CMO Jim Farley answers questions about how the company uses social media. Watch the full interview with Jim Farley.