Social Networking - Tapping into LinkedIn's 175 million users
In a previous blog post I recommend why and how to take advantage of three social networking services: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I also mentioned that I would write subsequent posts on each of these "Big Three" social networking sites, and the video sharing network YouTube. This third installment of four is dedicated to getting you started with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a somewhat less known social network than Facebook. LinkedIn may be
considered more of a business to business (B2B) social network, whereas Facebook
(for business) is generally considered more of a business to consumer (B2C) social network.
LinkedIn is designed for business people and entrepreneurs to establish a professional profile (post your resume or CV) online, to stay in touch with former classmates, colleagues and friends, and to find experts, ideas and opportunities. Many members use this network to collaborate with other like-minded business contacts, and/or to find businesses who offer the products or services they need. Therefore LinkedIn provides a whole new pool of potential new business clients. Again, the good news is that LinkedIn accounts are FREE!
Wikipedia states, in part, “LinkedIn was founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003. As of June 2012, LinkedIn reports more than 175 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories.
One purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people with whom they have some level of relationship, called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. LinkedIn utilizes a "gated-access approach" (where contact with any professional requires either an existing relationship, or the intervention of a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service's users This list of connections can then be used in a number of ways:
A contact network is built up consisting of their direct connections, the connections of each of their connections (termed second-degree connections) and also the connections of second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections). This can be used to gain an introduction to someone a person wishes to know through a mutual contact.
Users can upload their resume or design their own profile in order to showcase work and community experiences.
It can then be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by someone in one's contact network.
Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.
Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.
Users can post their own photos and view photos of others to aid in identification.
Users can now follow different companies and can get notification about the new joining and offers available.
Users can save (i.e. bookmark) jobs which they would like to apply for."
I can personally recommend HubSpot, a pioneer in inbound marketing strategies, which offers an impressive library of FREE reference materials including webinars, eBooks, blog articles and videos on the topic of how to best use LinkedIn for business/marketing.
You are invited to ask questions and/or to post a comment in the space provided below regarding your experience with using LinkedIn for business or to point out other advantages and disadvantages not mentioned here.