Social media fads may come and go, but one thing remains constant: LinkedIn consistently remains one of the best professional networks out there. Whether you’re an individual professional or you’re part of a business, LinkedIn keeps you connected to peers and other potentially useful contacts.

When it comes to success, it’s been said that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Any tool that facilitates and maintains contact between professionals is a useful element in business management. If you haven’t yet, consider taking advantage of LinkedIn’s model in order to build up a following and increase bookings. How? Read on!

Company Pages

It’s easy to simply think of LinkedIn as a place where people keep track of friends, co-workers and contacts, but there’s so much more to it than that. Are you aware that you can create a page for your business? Picture your hotel having a LinkedIn page where you can better keep in contact with repeat customers (and thereby establishing contact with their links, increasing your potential customer base).

An increased LinkedIn presence means more bookings

By creating a LinkedIn page for your hotel, you enable LinkedIn users to follow it, the first step towards building an online community. A company page helps increase your visibility and keeps people informed of your promotions and deals.

Joining A Group

LinkedIn features groups where people of similar interests and occupations can gather together. You can find groups dedicated to hospitality, travel, hotels, and other topics to germane to your profession. Joining these groups can help you and your business forge connections, which in turn can lead to an increase in customers.

Rather than just being competitors, hotels on LinkedIn can actually help each other. Perhaps there are travelers looking for accommodations in a city where you don’t have a hotel, but some other business in the Hotel group is in the perfect location. You can recommend the hotel, and perhaps get some quid pro quo down the line when the situation is reversed.

Groups also facilitate discussions. You can follow fellow professionals and get tips and answers to problems, drawing on their experience to help you run your own business better. And naturally, you can return the favor!

Individual Connections

Staying in contact with individuals on LinkedIn keeps you fresh in their minds and makes your hotel the first thing they think of when they are traveling and are in need of accommodations. Furthermore, loyal customers who happen to be on LinkedIn can also end up recommending your hotel to their contacts, increasing your potential bookings. After all, no method of advertising is more effective than word of mouth. LinkedIn helps people get the word out.

Roll Up Your Sleeves

All of these benefits sound great, but bottom line is, you will need to take an active role in strengthening your hotel’s online presence on LinkedIn. This means spending time online, creating and maintaining those contacts. LinkedIn builds connections, and connections lead to customers. At the end of the day, the businesses that rise to the top today are the ones that deftly manage their social media.

This post was contributed by John Terra. John is a freelance writer who can also be found on LinkedIn.