Often derided as “Facebook for suits”, LinkedIn has become one of the places for business-to-business engagement.
With over 350 million registered users worldwide, the social media channel is one which is avoided by some as it isn’t as cool as its rivals but as a tool for engaging with like-minded individuals there is an argument that there is nothing better. True, LinkedIn can be confusing to the novice and can take a lot of work but once the effort is put in the results can be impressive, for both the individual and the business they represent.
A professional purpose
It allows you to create a professional presence on-line and can serve many purposes. While some might use the platform for getting their face out in the business world in seeking a new career, others use it as an effective promotional tool, sharing articles, blogs, pictures, profiles and facts about their businesses.
Millions of companies have a page on the site, giving details about the company so LinkedIn can also act like a supply chain for a business wanting to find out about another. Company pages are moderated by an administrator and posts are managed by that person so nothing dodgy can slip through the net. While it might not be completely failsafe, company profiles should be checked daily, if possible, as should any groups set up by employees of the company in order for any potential minefields to be avoided.
Business-wise (which is what LinkedIn is all about), there are thousands of other businesses and groups you can join, so don’t be shy. If you are looking for a particular topic to discuss you are bound to find it and even if you can’t you can easily start a conversation and invite people to join in. Conversations can lead to further engagement with other individuals, possibly leading to a deal being done benefiting both parties.
A pat on the back
As well as all this there’s a chance for some back-slapping to be done. If you know someone on LinkedIn who has done you a favour, done good business with, then why not recommend or endorse them? Recommendations are a great way of showing the on-line community on the platform that you like them, can be trusted and would like others to do the same. Likewise, endorsing them for one of their skills not only gives a recipient a warm, fuzzy feeling once they see it, it also shows other people you recognise their skills, and there are plenty to choose from on LinkedIn.
Like Facebook with its promotional activities, it is possible to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium and, like Facebook, it comes at a cost. If you only want to do the above then the basic site is probably best for you. If you want to delve a little deeper and find out who that incognito person was who viewed your profile several weeks ago then be prepared to get your debit card out.
If you are reading this as a business owner, or even if you’re not, having a presence on LinkedIn is a no-brainer.