Although LinkedIn is the most commonly used business networking site, it appears to be an underrated social media platform and consequently is under utilised. Like Facebook and Twitter it has enormous potential. Firstly, it is the only platform that brings professionals together and secondly, it has over 2 million people signing each month. The network is growing rapidly so the possibilities are considerable.
To maximise the benefits, your profile needs to be a “work in progress”. As LinkedIn operates essentially as an electronic resume, it needs to be a live document that is relevant and current aiming for 100% profile completeness. Your profile supports you to build a professional network and discover possible clients, partners and experts in your industry. Ideally this will assist you to develop professionally whether you are a business owner or an employee. With over 135 million users and growing, individuals can really benefit from having a profile. Here are six reasons to connect.
Increase Your Credibility
A LinkedIn profile lists your current role, past jobs, qualifications, achievements and anything that is relevant to the work you do. This promotes your credibility as someone who is experienced and knowledgeable. You are able to request recommendations from your colleagues or clients who can write positive things about you (or write recommendations for others). They work much the same way as testimonials and references, almost like an online “word of mouth” referral system.
Increase your Visibility
As you connect with others, you increase the possibility that your profile will be seen. When you participate in the LinkedIn network, the greater the potential that others will come to know you, extending your network and improving your chances of creating business opportunities. People want to conduct business with those individuals who their friends know and trust as an element of honesty and reliability has been established.
Integrate with Other Social Media
If you have a business Facebook page or a blog, link it to your profile. Add your company profile and other relevant information. Individuals can easily research what you do by clicking the link/s and this increases awareness about your business. Having your social media platforms integrated further means increasing the network of people seeing you.
Improve Your Google Ranking
Having a LinkedIn profile puts you quite high up in a Google search. Thus when people look you up via a search engine anyone can easily find you and connect with you. Because of this ranking you are able to promote the positive aspects of your profile.
Improve your Connectability
Your profile needs to include current as well as past employment and associations extending your ability to connect with people as they can search via your name, company, education and affiliations. This information improves the possibilities to connect with colleagues that you have lost contact with.
LinkedIn as a Recruiting Tool
As LinkedIn acts as an electronic resume it can be used to source talented professionals. Many headhunters now use LinkedIn as one of their primary tools to search for talent. It can save on advertising costs and cut out third party recruiters. You may not be looking for employment, however, opportunities to connect, share and develop can be just as significant.