Using Linkedin As An Online Networking Tool
Savvy business owners, marketers, recruiters, sales people and people looking to explore job options are using Linkedin to gain access to people, jobs, news, groups, updates, and industry insights that help them network more effectively, identify the right prospects, and position themselves for their next job or career.
Why Linkedin is the Best Online Networking Site
LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. Membership recently surpassed 259 million members, as growth increased to 38% year-over-year with members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe.
An Increasing Number of Employers Use Social Networks to Find Candidates
Overall, 92 percent of employers and recruiters already use or plan to use social networks to find job candidates this year. And the search appears to be paying off.
A full 73 percent of the recruiters polled said they hired someone who was found or introduced through a social network. Among those, 89 percent found someone through LinkedIn, 26 percent through Facebook, and 15 percent through Twitter.
Linkedin Strategic Announcements
In the third quarter of 2013 Linkedin reported the latest strategy information:
- Linkedin Members engaged at record levels across desktop and mobile devices. Strength was driven by investment in core products improving how members manage their identities, their networks, and consume and publish content.
- LinkedIn launched University Pages, the first step in an initiative to make LinkedIn an indispensable resource for students. To date, over 1,500 University Pages have been created in more than 60 countries.
- LinkedIn launched Sponsored Updates, its first mobile advertising product, to deliver relevant content to members from marketers in the LinkedIn desktop and mobile feed.
What New for Linkedin?
- In October, LinkedIn launched several new mobile products, including a re-imagined iPad app; Intro for iPhone, transforming the mobile email experience; a new Pulse app to deliver relevant news and insights with LinkedIn integration; and Recruiter Mobile for customers of the flagship Talent Solutions Recruiter product.
Clearly, Linkedin is adapting to the growing expectations and needs among job seekers, recruiters, and employers.
Why Network Online? Potential Benefits Include:
- A recent survey from Jobvite found that 94 percent of job recruiters tap into LinkedIn to find qualified candidates, up from 93 percent last year and 87 percent in 2011. But the other popular social networks are growing in influence as well.
- Reach a broader base of potential target population
- Improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO) through links to your website, landing page or blog as most social media sites index w/search engines
- Contributes to list building efforts- opt–in email/newsletter
- Contributes to jump starting company branding efforts by increasing company visibility and building loyalty and trust
- Brand Building-allows more control of cyberspace-provide company information before others do
- Brand Monitoring-find out what people are saying about your company live and be positioned to comment on it
- Damage control-Respond to negative feedback to prevent/dispel rumors
- Gain intelligence by what your competitor’s web presence/offers/content
Ways to Network Online Using Linkedin
Raise the visibility of you/your business online by doing the following:
- Create a Business/Company page on Linkedin(it is free)
- Join a Group on Linkedin related to your profession/ affiliation / target market
- Start a group on Linkedin to attract people you want to connect with and interact with and learn from
- In your Linkedin group provide an answer to a “Discussion” question
- Ask a Discussion question on your Linkedin group
- Comment on, or “Like” someone’s Discussion question or answer in the group
- Ask people to connect on Linkedin
- Respond to requests to connect with you
- Poll group members on Linkedin
- If you’d like to communicate with a person with whom you are not connected-Ask someone you are connected to(who is connected to that person) for an “introduction”
- Write “status updates” on Linkedin-post a link to an article you wrote, promotion, event, job posting, or quote
- “Endorse” people for a skill on Linkedin
- Say Congrats on a new job to someone you know on Linkedin
- Send “InMails” on Linkedin (Paid Service)
More Important Linkedin tips:
- Make sure that your “Profile” is completely(100%) filled out so that the Linkedin software can more fully match you with suggested people to connect with, and provide you with more relevant industry updates.
- Upload a recent photo to your profile page. It helps distinguish you from the other people with the same last name.
- Make sure you put the time aside to network at least 15 minutes a day online
By creating a marketing plan that includes using these online networking tips regularly, you can tap the full potential of your networking efforts online, and begin to have more conversations that lead to a job or filling your pipeline.
Are you taking full advantage of Linkedin for your business?
How have you networked online using Linkedin?
If you need help getting your Linkedin profile completed, a one-on-one coaching session, or your Linkedin marketing campaign started- just give me a holler at 781-325-8186. Mention this article and I will take $25 off any Linkedin marketing/coaching service.
For more insightful tips from Wayne Kessler of Kessler Marketing and Coaching