LinkedIn Tuesday announced a major milestone: 100 million users are now on the professional networking site. While it’s still no match for Facebook’s 700 million community, it’s no mean achievement considering the fact that LinkedIn is more a professional network rather than a pure social network.
More than half of LinkedIn professionals – 56 million come from outside the United States, a strong indication that LinkedIn is now a well known global phenomenon. From a business perspective, it’s an interesting tussle between Facebook and LinkedIn. Though the former is the undisputed king of all social networks, it has launched several features worthy of a high end professional network. Similarly, though the latter operated as a pure professional network earlier, it has been ringing in the changes to improve its social quotient. It’s an interesting battle and it’s hard to pick a winner.
As a business, how do you tap the 100 million strong LinkedIn communities? Here are some handy tips to help you out.
Though Facebook is increasingly being used by businesses for background checks and prospect verification, it’s not a substitute to LinkedIn by any means. The latter has perhaps the most comprehensive pool of talent available anywhere. If you need to hire staff for your business, LinkedIn is still the best bet to find most suitable candidates. LinkedIn recently added the Skills section which lets businesses see professionals ranked as per their skills. This is a great way to find experts for any skill whether it’s technology, sales, marketing or any other.
LinkedIn is a fantastic place for business networking. I have myself benefited by connecting with several like-minded professionals on LinkedIn. A number of businesses across varied verticals already used LinkedIn as a networking tool to find new channel partners, sales associates and business partners.
Marriages are made in heaven but it’s fair to say that business partnerships are made on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn offers several insights into your business competitors. Whether it’s new joinings or employees leaving, most of such information is publicly available. Of course, it’s up to you how you leverage such information in the best possible manner – whether it’s tapping competitor talent, trying to pull customers away from them or coming up with other methods to beat your competitors at their own game.
LinkedIn has made a conscious effort to go social in the last year or so. It has added several new features such as Groups, Status Updates, Likes, Comments, etc. which were originally missing. I consider Groups and status updates as a good mechanism for viral marketing. Whether it’s a new product launched by your business or a new promotional campaign, these are good mediums to make your contacts aware of it.
How do you leverage LinkedIn for your business? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.