If you’re reading this, you would probably have a LinkedIn account already or have received invitations to connect via LinkedIn and unsure what you should do next. You are probably questioning what are the benefits (if any at all) of being on LinkedIn. Here are 10 reasons why you should use LinkedIn and why it has risen to be the most powerful business social media platform in the world.
1. If you’re in business, someone who is unsure about you, will check you out
Regardless of whether you are selling directly to the end user or to businesses, people want to buy from the person they are comfortable with and is confident about their offering. It is highly likely that they would have searched online for you or your company name before engaging with you any further. LinkedIn can help you have a presence on a professional social media platform and help move the potential client a step or two closer to a sale.
2. Your brand
This is your opportunity to promote yourself for what you are good at and want to be known for. LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to have a ‘show room’ for your ability and skills. Unlike your company or your own website or blog, LinkedIn standardises the information it collects that makes it very easy to compare abilities, skills and knowledge of individuals on LinkedIn.
Furthermore, for someone searching for a person that fits specific skills, industry or professional experience, LinkedIn not only has a large pool of users (1.33 million LinkedIn users in New Zealand so far) it also has a super easy and refined search tool to target in on the right person.
3. Trust and reputation
In New Zealand, word of mouth and recommendations are the foundations for businesses. With LinkedIn, you are able to have recommendations from others visible for all to view at any time.
The beauty about LinkedIn is that as an open social media platform, recommendations are highly credible as it links the recommendation to the recommender and can only be generated by them. So the likelihood of these recommendations being fabricated are very low.
4. Get found and get a job
LinkedIn has very much become a playground for employers and recruitment agencies. Did you know that over 90% of recruiters will scan your LinkedIn profile as part of the recruitment process? LinkedIn is very effective as a tool for searching talents and tracking the movements of potential candidates. So if you’re an employee, you cannot ignore fast becoming a compulsory platform for you.
5. Nurture and generate leads
We all get cold calls. faxes, spam emails and recorded sales messages once in a while. Likewise this is happening on LinkedIn. Do not let this put you off. Sure this is a terrible way of using LinkedIn (and giving the platform a bad name) but if done right, LinkedIn can generate you leads. In a research conducted in 2014, 80% of all social media business to business leads are from LinkedIn.
So how do you do this, nurture the relationship, provide value over and over again and then it won’t be selling, they will be buying from you.
6. Reach beyond your regular network and find distributors, partners and providers
LinkedIn, just like other social media channels allows us to reach beyond our normal circle of influence and network. It crosses countries, occupation, age and more. LinkedIn even has an amazing ability to somehow accurately put before you people that you may know!
This has many advantages including searching, finding and connecting with those in similar industries, complimentary functions or potential partners to grow your career or business.
7. Wealth of content and knowledge
With LinkedIn Pulse- the content publishing platform there is a wealth of content and information that can be found on it. Sure it suffers from the usual of having to sieve through it to find good quality content but if you’re like me, the notifications go into a separate folder in my inbox and it’s just a quick scan to find the really good stuff!
Also, don’t forget that you can use this platform to publish your own content and this will be added to your profile and build your reputation further.
8. Stay up to date on what’s happening in your network
LinkedIn is a simplified version of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management). It is easy to track where a client, colleague or friend has moved or changed jobs, celebrating a birthday or work anniversary or even moved countries. Best of all, these notifications are delivered to your inbox every morning and you don’t even have to set a reminder – of course there is the ability to set reminders from LinkedIn too if that’s what you prefer.
9. Groups- interest/support
There are various interest and professional groups on LinkedIn and this is a great place to connect with like-minded people and share your thoughts, start a discussion or simply ask for help. You can join up to 50 groups and this often helps to grow your network and again reach out beyond your normal circles. Oh yes, if you can’t find a group that suits you, then start one!
10. This is the future- be that early bird that gets the worm!
Already over half the New Zealand working population are on LinkedIn and right now, from recruitment agencies to career councillors, tertiary students are being told to have a profile on LinkedIn if they want to be found and progress their career. Furthermore, there are no other competing business social media that competes and is anywhere close to the size of LinkedIn. I can safely place my bet that LinkedIn is here to stay.
Compound this by the fact that a key algorithm of LinkedIn is that you are only visible to three degrees of separation and through the groups you join, so the earlier you join and start extending your network, the more visible you become.
So, what are you waiting for?
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