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Are you LinkedIn?

Blog Post: Are you LinkedIn?

As someone who spends a lot of time working with social media, both professionally and personally, I understand that it can be overwhelming. The sheer number of social media outlets and tools available is enough to overwhelm even the most courageous person. Since no one seems to have enough time to focus on every single site and network, the questions of the hour seem to be: What methods of social media are the most important to growing my business? Where can I focus my attention for maximum results?

LinkedIn is often forgotten or intentionally omitted when people discuss important social media tools in the marketing plan of a business. One of the reasons it lacks appeal may be that LinkedIn is not flashy and fun like Facebook and Twitter; rather, it has a much more serious tone. However, this may interest those who find Facebook and Twitter to be over-stimulating and lacking in focus. Something that should attract everyone to this website is the fact that LinkedIn operates the world‘s largest online professional network. More than 2 million companies have Company Pages, which means it‘s time to start paying attention to LinkedIn.

The idea behind LinkedIn is that your profile serves as a type of online resume. Users display positions, both previous and current, complete with descriptions and job titles. Other sections of a user‘s profile include education, specialties, location, and additional personal information.

A user can also set his or her profile to make it more "searchable" by potential employers. For example, you can show on your LinkedIn profile that you wish to be contacted concerning career opportunities, new ventures, job inquiries and more.

Another great feature is that users can write recommendations for other users, which allows potential employers and business colleagues to see accolades about you written by others. You are permitted to slightly personalize your page through a user photo and status updates, but because LinkedIn is geared more toward business-to-business relationships, the experience you will find on LinkedIn will be more subdued and professional than what you experience on Facebook and Twitter.

While LinkedIn may not be a necessary link between businesses and consumers, it is an absolutely crucial business-to-business connection. More than 80 percent of LinkedIn‘s users are considered a "decision maker" at their place of work, which has the potential to lead to some powerful contacts.

Another interesting stat is that 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies are now hiring through LinkedIn. With more than 100 million members, many significant connections are waiting to be made through LinkedIn.

If you are attempting to pare down your involvement on social media websites in order to focus on what is most important to your company, do not make the mistake of casting LinkedIn to the wayside. Valuable business connections and potential job offers are waiting to be made inside the confines of this powerful social network.

As always, if you need help getting started, there are many resources available online, and media companies are typically available to assist with set-up, maintenance, and more. Happy socializing!