Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Business
In the past few years social media has skyrocketed in popularity on the Internet. By 2010, Facebook beat out Google as the most visited site on the Internet. While Facebook is a great social media tool for friends and family, LinkedIn has set itself apart as the leader in social networking for the business world. While Facebook encourages users to post about all their hobbies and interests, and connect with old school chums and extended relatives, LinkedIn focuses its users toward business interests and business connections. Far from limiting the site, LinkedIn’s strategy of a single minded focus on business users has created several new opportunities for them. While Google Plus may be in competition with Facebook, LinkedIn does not really have to compete against Facebook in the same way. In fact most working professionals who have a LinkedIn account also have a Facebook account – it is not an either or proposition. In addition, users who may be reticent to join Facebook due to privacy concerns may readily join LinkedIn due to its limited scope toward the professional community.
The business community can utilize LinkedIn unique ways that set itself apart from Facebook. LinkedIn also offers a number of tools to help businesses maximize their social media investment.
Networking – clients, peers, potential employers
First and foremost, LinkedIn is a great social networking medium. When meeting peers at conferences or for cocktails, it has become common practice to connect through LinkedIn on the spot through mobile devices. Finding new clients is also easier through LinkedIn than some other social media sites because their business interests are more explicit in their LinkedIn profiles that probably any other profile they have. And of course, many users of LinkedIn use their network of connections as the first place to find new employment or new hires for their company. Most people who find new employment do so through their loose connections, or in other words, through friends of friends. Since LinkedIn is essentially an online directory of all of your loose connections in business, it makes sense that this is where many people go to find new employment opportunities.
Recruitment and credential verification
Recruiting for your business has never been easier than with the business tools offered to employers from LinkedIn. Users will typically post their resume’s, or at least shortened versions of their resumes, on their profile page. The advantage that LinkedIn offers over other job recruiting sites like Monster is that you can perhaps start a relationship with the person ahead of time by adding them to your social network, and by the ability to view your candidate’s own social network. A user’s social network can tell much about them beyond what their resume communicates. For instance, you can see what groups they are a part of, what areas of interest they respond to in posts, and what kind of relationship the candidate has with current and past places of business.
Through your company profile page on LinkedIn, you can promote yourself to potential business partners, customers and employment candidates. Beyond a simple web page, LinkedIn’s profile features allow you to seamlessly integrate Youtube videos, Twitter accounts, Facebook and other social media into your page. You can also publish newsletters, post relevant news from other sites and post topical information. One of the best ways to attract a targeted audience is by becoming a subject matter expert on LinkedIn. This can be done by responding to relevant questions pertaining to your field of expertise. Another great way to show you are a leader in your field is by administering a user group through LinkedIn. These methods will provide you with a targeted and interested audience that is sure to grow your business.
Jason Phillips has written this post. He is a businessman and son of a railway worker. Visit this link to know more about him.