What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is basically a social network, job platform and research tool all rolled into one site for professionals.
LinkedIn was founded in 2003 by Reed Hoffman as a way to connect professionals from around the world in a productive and successful way. Hoffman launched the site from his home, asking hundreds of his friends and colleagues to also join. He asked them to invite their friends and colleagues as well. LinkedIn had an amassed 4,500 members in the first month, with around 20 new members joining each day. (source: http://mashable.com/2013/05/06/linkedin-turns-10/)
• LinkedIn has over 225 members worldwide that include executives at every level of Fortune 500 companies.
• LinkedIn is the largest professional network online.
• Its headquarters are in Silicon Valley, California with offices around the world.
• According to Factbrowser, 53% of business-to-business marketers have acquired a customer through LinkedIn. Only 22% of business-to-consumer marketers have found customers through LinkedIn.
• Over 81% of LinkedIn users belong to a group while 52% participate in discussions within a group.
• 90% of LinkedIn uses believe the site is useful since it helps them connect with their industry’s customers, it’s more professional than Facebook and it lets them hire people they wouldn’t normally meet, as stated in Lab42’s recent infographic.
• 35% of LinkedIn users check their account daily.
Networking within your industry is easier than ever with the use of social media sites. Using LinkedIn is a more professional way for businesses to socially market online to thousands of potential clients than with Facebook or other online social media sites.
6 Reasons Why You Should Use LinkedIn for Business
LinkedIn is one of the most important social media sites for businesses looking to connect with other businesses. Whether you’re an accountant, a writer, a speaker or a real estate broker, you can build your connections with associates and professionals that are interested in what you have to offer.
1. Create an awareness of your business.
LinkedIn is the perfect platform to create an awareness of your online presence. With over 225 million professionals signed up on the site, businesses have the chance to network with a wide variety of contacts. You can use the different group or personal features within LinkedIn to improve the awareness of yourself as an individual and as a brand. Are you a graphic designer looking for your next big client? Use the features built in on LinkedIn to showcase your best work.
2. Building traffic.
One little known fact about LinkedIn is its power in driving traffic and link building. LinkedIn, like most other social media networks has a sharing button that lets you share you content and your status updates from the homepage and in the communities or LinkedIn Groups you belong to. This allows your content to become viral.
3. Generating leads.
LinkedIn is the best network for generating business leads. Potential customers can download interesting content you provide or you can drive traffic to pertinent sources you recommend. It’s a very personal way of engaging potential leads by engaging them with your content and turning them into clients.
4. Get new business by answering questions in your expertise area.
LinkedIn’s many forums is a great way to show others your knowledge in your expertise area. You can win new business and find prospective customers to market your business to. Your answers allow potential clients to find the information they need through LinkedIn’s advanced Answers search feature. Are you a top executive at your real estate business? Join in the discussions on the forums to showcase your expertise by answering questions.
5. Find the perfect business people to outsource services you need.
You are probably already asking colleagues and others for references for a great graphic designer or writer. LinkedIn is the social media site that makes it easy to find vendors to fill your needs. You can give endorsements as well, for those you have used.
6. Network with peers in your industry.
LinkedIn’s Groups directory allows you to search for industry associations and networks you can become a part of. For instance, if you are in the cooking field, there are over 537 groups. LinkedIn also keeps you informed on local events that those you are connected to are attending. You could use this information to find only those industry events your potential clients are attending.
LinkedIn is an important part of any business social media strategy. It can be used to connect with current and prospective clients, to show your expertise and to keep informed on what is happening in your industry.