LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business community. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally.
A member’s profile page, which emphasizes employment history and education, has professional network news feeds and a limited number of customizable modules. Basic membership for LinkedIn is free. Network members are called “connections.” Unlike other free social networking sites like Facebookor Twitter, LinkedIn requires connections to have a pre-existing relationship.
With basic membership, a member can only establish connections with someone he has worked with, knows professionally (online or offline) or has gone to school with. Connections up to three degrees away are seen as part of the member’s network, but the member is not allowed to contact them through LinkedIn without an introduction. Premium subscriptions can be purchased to provide members with better access to contacts in the LinkedIn database.
The benefits of LinkedIn
Find Business Partners, Clients and Service Providers
Whatever your business objectives, LinkedIn will help you to build a network of useful contacts. Simple searches in your field will reveal thousands of experts, service providers and potential clients. If you do not personally know an individual, you may request to be introduced through a mutual contact or can send an introductory email.
If your business is recruiting, LinkedIn can provide easy access to potential candidates. There are both paid options and those involving no financial outlay. Businesses can search for candidates that fit their required level of expertise and approach them directly, provided they are at least ‘2nd degree’ contacts. In order to search further afield, a monthly subscription is needed. However, even the basic or ‘business’ package allows users to contact any individual with a LinkedIn profile. Businesses also have the option of posting a job ad for a monthly fee dependant on location. Whatever your recruitment objectives, LinkedIn is the ideal networking site to find the connections you need to grow your business.
Access Expert Advice
LinkedIn’s latest release, LinkedIn Answers, aims to facilitate information and idea-sharing online. In brief, the product allows you to post business questions to both your own network and the greater LinkedIn community. However, even before the introduction of this feature, LinkedIn was commonly used for ‘knowledge sharing’. Users have always been free to use their mailbox to pose questions to connections and the multitude of groups on LinkedIn serve as forums for the discussion of many industry topics.
Blog Promotion Tool
If you or your business has a regularly updated blog, LinkedIn is a great way to share and promote it. Users are able to add a blog or website to their individual profile in order to give it exposure.
Linked in for Recommendations
Another useful tool for businesses is the recommendations feature. Once you have added products or services to your company profile, you can request recommendations from your customers. Recommendation is the ultimate way to boost your company’s credibility and gain new clients.
LinkedIn for SEO
LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you or your business. As previously mentioned, you can also link to your personal blog or website from LinkedIn. Furthermore, as with Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn now gives users the capacity to share content.
Groups represent a fantastic opportunity for businesses to network and grow. If you are looking to drive traffic to your blog or company website, look no further!
Linked in has over 120 million users worldwide and extensive targeting capabilities to entice advertisers. The business network has followed Facebook’s example and introduced a ‘self-service’ system ‘LinkedIn Ads’. This has opened up advertising to all LinkedIn users on a cost per click (CPC) or impression basis (CPM). It is possible to tailor advertising by job title and function, industry and company size, seniority, age, gender or particular linked in groups. So whatever your campaign or idea, LinkedIn has potential solutions.
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We can offer consultation on a one to one basis or a bespoke managed service where we can manage your profile for you, posting regularly and effectively in line with a bespoke hellomint marketing strategy.