Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on October 15, 2013. It has been updated to reflect offering changes, as well as newly available tools and solutions.
As of this writing, LinkedIn boasts half a billion users worldwide. While the professional social networking site is well known as a job seeker and recruiter resource, it’s also used by businesses of all sizes to connect with their customers online.
In addition, there are also numerous LinkedIn communities where small business owners congregate to trade advice, tips, and best practices. The list that follows represents 20 of the best small business company pages and groups targeted at SMBs.
Band of Entrepreneurs: Nearly 27,000 members strong, this LinkedIn group provides support, mentorship, education, and networking opportunities to startups and emerging companies. Band of Entrepreneurs’ primary focus is in helping fledgling businesses move from idea to action.
Bitly: Best known for their URL shortening service bit.ly, Bitly is built to share. It’s no surprise, therefore, that their LinkedIn page finds them sharing great insights on link optimization, mobile campaigns, and a variety of other digital marketing issues.
BrainStorm Inc.: Calling themselves “The company dedicated to saving the world from mediocre software use and changing the way the world works,” BrainStorm’s page isn’t just about software; work-life balance, productivity, and industry news also feature prominently.
Consultants Network: Consulting has exploded in recent years. If you’re a solopreneur or consultant, the Consultants Network LinkedIn group is a collegial and helpful space to find ways to improve your business.
E-Commerce Network: Even if your business isn’t focused on e-commerce, the E-Commerce Network is still a useful LinkedIn group to join. After all, your business likely shares many of the concerns – including project management, IT allocation, UX, SEO, analytics, and KPI – addressed in this group.
Fahrenheit 212: As with any LinkedIn presence, there’s a bit of self-promotion here. However, among the job openings and other minutiae, there’s also plenty of content about mobility, creativity, and futurism. Fahrenheit 212 understands better than most that it’s not just where you are or where you’ve been; it’s about understanding where you’re going so you know how to get there.
Fuse: Their 20 years’ worth of experience reaching young consumers makes Fuse’s LinkedIn feed essential reading if you’re trying to make sense of the shifting marketing landscape, or if Millennials and Generation Z are vital to your business.
Future Trends: We can’t completely future-proof our businesses, but operating with the future in mind can help you anticipate what’s coming so you can better roll with the punches. The Future Trends LinkedIn group concerns itself with the kind of long-term thinking that can help you prepare for the road ahead.
HP Business: This long-lived LinkedIn group is a perennial favorite because it features one of the things we always look for in a community. The HP Business group is all about entrepreneurs and small business owners banding together and trading tips for everyone’s benefit.
KISSmetrics: Marketing without data and analytics is a waste of time and money. KISSmetrics does better than most at helping small businesses dive deep into data, and their LinkedIn presence – which consists in large part of their popular blog – is packed with useful insights.
Legacy MedSearch: A staffing company that helps provide jobs in medical device employment also maintains an active page with advice that cuts across industries. The managers of its page share industry news articles and webinars in order to keep its audience engaged.
On Startups: We all start somewhere, and this LinkedIn group covers sales, finance, marketing, and operations for startups. Even if your business has been in operation for a while, the insights here make On Startups a useful read, especially if you’re contemplating a change in direction.
Paladin: Even though Paladin is a talent agency, and a great resource for job seekers as a result, their feed also features insightful pieces on running, pitching, and promoting your business.
Polar: Native advertising and branded content can be a great asset to your business, but there’s a catch: if you don’t approach it properly, you may find yourself creating more problems than you solve. Polar helps hundreds of brands navigate this emerging field.
Recorded Future: Cyber security is always front-of-mind for businesses, and Recorded Future helps you understand not only the current state of play but also the kinds of trends that can help your business further into the future.
Small Business Marketing Network: With just over 24,000 members, this isn’t the largest small business community on LinkedIn. However, it’s no less useful for that; the lively and helpful discussions on all manner of small business topics makes it an essential stop for your SMB.
Social Media Marketing: With more than 1.7 million members, this isn’t just the largest small business community on LinkedIn; it’s also one of the most helpful and best-moderated, with plenty of helpful discussions to get your social media presence on track.
Springbox: Your web presence is about more than building a site. Springbox helps you build your business with great advice on social media, conversions, and other key trends driving business in the 21st century.
Small Business Evolution: For a change of pace, try Small Business Evolution. The discussions are well-informed and thought-provoking, less a “how-to” than a series of think pieces that evolve across time and with the input of multiple users.
Startup Mastermind: A mastermind is a group of like-minded individuals brainstorming ideas, swapping best practices, and collaborating on projects. The Startup Mastermind LinkedIn group takes that approach and applies it to all points in the startup personnel chain.
Feeling inspired by these LinkedIn pages but don’t have enough time to regularly update your small business page? Check out a digital marketing agency near you and hire an expert to handle your social media presence.