This is the fourth in a series covering social media pros and cons for innkeepers, following will be Google+, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. Please check out the others in the series: Pros and Cons of Social Media for Innkeepers-Blogs the second, Pros and Cons of Social Media for Innkeepers-Youtube and the third, Social Media for Innkeepers-Twitter.
http://www.linkedin.com (for personal)
http://www.linkedin.com/company/add/show (for a business page)
- You need a personal account to create and maintain a business account (you must have an email that goes through a domain name associated with the business in order to register a business page, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org).The email address must be registered as an additional email address in your privacy and settings tab (top right logged into Linkedin, click on your avatar/photo icon).
- Personal accounts have contacts.
- Business pages have followers.
Pros of Linkedin
- Customer Service and Networking.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
- Ads are not expensive, but there needs to be relevance and targeted and specific ad parameters.
- Guest Outreach.
- A great place to source, vet and verify the legitimacy of potential vendors
- Moderated forums can be great venues to source vendors, get ideas, get questions answered and connect with potential guests as well as if you have specific niche markets, business travelers, the wedding market, pet friendly, etc, the forums can be a great place to find specific pockets of niche guests.
Cons of Linkedin
- Occasional Linkedin Spam and Sales Pitches
- Non-moderated forums are fairly useless as generally overrun by sales pitches
Why Should Innkeepers Use It
For the Linkedin Business Page: Search Engine Optimization reasons only, once the page is set up and optimized. (it takes literally about 15 minutes or less to set up and optimize) it can be left “as is”. It also has the option of being able to accept updates just like Facebook/Google/Twitter. So if you have happenings going on at the inn of interest, you have a special offer running, or you are in the news, take the 5 seconds to post in the Linkedin business page. The SEO value alone is more than worth it. Don’t expect to get a huge amount of followers, comments or likes, it’s not like a Facebook business page.
The personal profile also has significant value for SEO if the profile is set to public, both for the innkeeper and for the inn/B&B. Optimizing a Linkedin profile takes less than half an hour and then you can “set it and forget it” or it can also be used to publish updates about yourself as the innkeeper and the inn. On the personal profile try to stay away from promotional posts (that’s what the business page is for) and instead use it for news, updates and helpful or pertinent information. There is so much more to Linkedin including content curation and networking if innkeepers choose to use it.
If you are a larger inn, Linkedin is a great place to source and vet potential employees and staff as well.
Why Shouldn’t Innkeepers Use It
I can’t think of any reason why innkeepers would not want to use the free (non-upgraded) version of Linkedin.
Recommendation going into 2015
Beef your Linkedin personal profile up and create a business page if you have not yet done so. Doing both for the Search Engine Optimization reason alone is more than worth the less then an hour of time to takes to do. And keep in mind, Innkeeping may not be your forever job, you may at some point return to the broader job market, and when and if you do, spiffing up your Linkedin profile now will return the effort in spades when the time comes to look for something else.
Some Fallacies about Linkedin
It’s only for job seekers and companies looking for employees.