LinkedInWe’re excited to offer up some interesting information about LinkedIn, the second article in our series on how to effectively use social media for your business. While LinkedIn is one of the smaller network platforms we’re covering, it still offers up a great deal of benefits for users.

Here is some interesting information that we gathered from LinkedIn’s own website:

LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals that you need to work with to accomplish your goals.

General Statistics:

  • LinkedIn has over 60 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world.
  • A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of our members are outside the U.S.
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.

Benefits of Maintaining a Profile on LinkedIn:

  • Manage the information that’s publicly available about you as professional
  • Find and be introduced to potential clients, service providers, and subject experts who come recommended
  • Create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files and solve problems
  • Be found for business opportunities and find potential partners
  • Gain new insights from discussions with likeminded professionals in private group settings
  • Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
  • Post and distribute job listings to find the best talent for your company

While LinkedIn may not be something that you use every day like you do Facebook or Twitter, it’s still an important place to establish a presence and build up a network. LinkedIn primarily focuses on business contact networking. It’s also heavily used by people who are job hunting as well.

Guy Kawasaki, a well-known venture capitalist and former Apple executive, has a very informative article entitled, “Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn” that we think contains some great suggestions. While the article is over three years old, it still contains very relevant, useful ways that LinkedIn can be beneficial for you and your business.

It seems that one of the most prevalent ways that LinkedIn is being used these days is for job recruitment and vetting of potential employees. We came across an interesting slideshow that highlights this point. According to the information in the slideshow, it claims that 80% of businesses use LinkedIn as part of their routine practices for checking out potential hires.

One thing to note is that LinkedIn does give you the ability to recommend someone. These recommendations are extremely important when reviewing people who are potential employees for your company.

Beyond just the recruitment and vetting process, companies also use LinkedIn as a way to determine a company’s value and reputation. By reviewing a company’s profile, their employees, their referrals, and their connections you gain the ability to gauge their viability before you even call them or meet with them in person. This ‘foreknowledge’ can be very valuable when you’re looking to contract with a company or perform work for them. Steven Burda, who is the #1 most connected and most recommended person on LinkedIn (he has over 30,000 connections and almost 3000 recommendations), has this to say, “the best thing about LinkedIn is the ability it gives you to gather intelligence on a person before you reach out to them. It means never again going into a meeting not knowing something about who you’re meeting with — about their experience and background and, of course, with a quick vibe about their charisma level and what’s going to be important to them.”

One other creative way LinkedIn is being used is as a free marketing enhancement tool. By increasing your company’s sales or service opportunities to other people and companies who can benefit from your company, you increase your ability to reach your customers. In turn, these people are also able to recommend you to others who may be interested or in need of your products and services.

These are a few examples of ways that establishing a presence on LinkedIn and using it can be rewarding for you and your business. Are you currently using LinkedIn in a creative way that adds value to your business? If so, please feel free to share it with us. We would enjoy hearing about how LinkedIn works well for your company.

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