I have posted videos and how to's for several months here on the Patch about using LinkedIn for job search as well as to market your small business. With all the other publicity and mentions in the news, you might be asking yourself about now: “Just what is all this fuss being kicked up about LinkedIn all about?”
My answer is at present LinkedIn is the largest social media site dedicated purely for business networking. I describe LinkedIn as a gigantic Excel© spreadsheet, or database of millions of business people divulging relevant information about their business experience, their interests as well as the businesses they work(ed) for. They are looking for opportunities and you just may be their solution!
So if referrals or recommendations mean anything to maintaining or growing your business, LinkedIn is one place you should be spending considerable time. LinkedIn is no longer merely just an aid in finding a job.
As of February 9th, LinkedIn reported over 150 million users and a growth rate which adds more than two users per second. That means another 14 million users, give or take, have joined the ranks since those figures were published. At that size it is nearly five or six times larger that its biggest rival, a business networking application on Facebook.
Forty percent of the membership is from the United States. (This percentage has shrunk with LinkedIn's spread to foreign countries.) Almost 2.5 million companies are represented on LinkedIn. All Fortune 500 companies represented.
So where's the benefit or what does that mean for the average small business owner or job seeker? These numbers represents over 65 million business people just from the U.S.A. looking to network in some way. Is that an opportunity or what? I call it a goldmine of opportunities.
What Facebook is to socializing on the Web, LinkedIn is to conducting business via digitally networking over the Internet. In my opinion the benefits are far reaching. LinkedIn is more efficient than face to face networking (although it does not replace it). You can do it at your own schedule, even in the comfort of your jammies. The best part is it can optimized for business totally free of monetary investment if you so choose. Therefore, if you are on a shoe string budget and have more time than money to promote your business, LinkedIn is ideal once you learn the ropes.
In future posts I will talk more about the how to's and necessary steps to make yourself found, or what I call “Being The Hunted, Not The Hunter” on LinkedIn. Until then, for more information and how to's, please read my dedicated Web pages on LinkedIn.