When we kissed the 1990s goodbye, none of today’s major social networks existed. LinkedIn was the first to launch, but that wasn’t until 2003, followed by Facebook (founded in 2004), YouTube (founded in 2005) and Twitter (launched in 2006). In a lot of ways these social networks are still “babies.” Their “parents” are working to grow them up in order to see the full potential of what they will become and what they can do for the “family.”
As for us, the small business owner, we often have at least one ear in the game trying to see where we should spend our marketing energy. Well, LinkedIn may be the spot. LinkedIn states that it “operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 120 million members in over 200 countries and territories.” According to comScore, LinkedIn is now the #2 social networking site online. That same comScore study from June of this year shows LinkedIn has had a 63 percent increase in unique visitors (while MySpace continues to drop—experiencing a 50 percent decrease during the same one-year timeframe).
So, what does that mean for you?
You probably need to be on LinkedIn (if you’re not already). But before you dive in, here are a few resources to help you get familiar with and maximize this social network opportunity.
How and Why To Use LinkedIn.com
This is a novice-friendly, 8-minute, SmallBizTrends video produced by Jim Kukral. If LinkedIn is completely new to you or you just want a quick refresher/reminder of some things you should be doing on the site including participating in LinkedIn Answers, then this might be the video for you.
New User Starter Guide and the Small Business User Guide
I have struggled to learn how to use some social network sites because I didn’t read the “instruction manual.” And I didn’t read the instructions because they were nonexistent or they were wordy and boring-looking. Not so with LinkedIn’s current User Guides and other information about how to maximize the site. The Small Business User Guide is a series of short videos; the New User Starter Guide takes less than 3 minutes to read.
Elements of a Good LinkedIn Recommendation
If you need people to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn but you’re not quite sure about how to do it, Chris Brogan has some tips on what to say and how to ask.
Check out the tools I’ve mentioned here, and you’ll have a greater sense of what LinkedIn can do for you and how to start using it.
From a PPC perspective, LinkedIn can be a great way to obtain B2B leads when you need to reach a certain position in a company. The targeting is pretty awesome.
Great videos. Recently, I have been spending my marketing energy on LinkedIn due to the fact it is strictly a professional network. Facebook is my second fav; however, it is not only professional. Thanks for confirming that I am on the right track.
Thank you for the article. LinkedIn is a great way to obtain leads but also to connect with other professional in your industry. The third thing is for me that LinkedIn is great in building trust with potential clients.
Hi Rita, You’re welcome. Putting my energy there too.
I definitely think LinkedIn is one of the most under-utilized social networking websites.
Lionel Bachmann @ Model Trains
Thanks for this post. I’ve heard LinkedIn was a professional networking site, but I never heard of it as a place for businesses. I thought it was more for networking within corporate america. I’ll have to check it out and spend some time looking around. The video also helped give me some more information. Thanks.
LinkedIn is really a very Professional website to have your social networks and connections there. As only Employees or working professionals or those people who are interested in making social relationship with some good people join LinkedIn.
This is great insights, thank you.
i do not see my name on a group list how am i connected to linkedin ? i am a member i am having trouble with pass word please help
pass word help please