The rise of LinkedIn

Since its launch in 2008, LinkedIn has become an invaluable tool to businesses and professionals, and with a 300 million-strong global user base including more than 15 million registered UK users, the company should be able to maintain its leading position in the professional networking space.

Despite this success, LinkedIn’s communications manager Darain Faraz says, “a relative minority are using the site to its full potential”. That means many individuals and businesses aren’t making the most of the opportunity for putting themselves in the shop window.

First and foremost, LinkedIn is becoming the primary point of call for job hunters and employers. Due to the changing economic climate putting particular pressure on people beginning their career, the fastest-growing demographic on LinkedIn is students or graduates, with their numbers having doubled in the past year.

For business professionals, LinkedIn has changed networking irrevocably and now forms a large part of an individual’s business identity. It can often be that all-important first impression head-hunters or prospective employers will gain of you. You are no longer walking into a room of people who don’t know you, and it also gives you a chance to research the people you are meeting as well. This makes your first meeting slicker and it is now easier to have meaningful conversations from the outset, as you (and they) will be able to prepare more effectively beforehand.  

For this reason, ensuring your profile gives the right professional impression to those looking at it is important for making the most of the networking opportunities LinkedIn presents. LinkedIn is not a sales platform, it’s a way to be introduced to and meet business professionals. With the acquisition of Slideshare, LinkedIn will only continue to attract more businesses to its site.
For businesses, a presence on the LinkedIn company pages is vital. Below are our top tips for making sure your business page is a success:

  1. Ensure all your employees are linked to the company page; it will reach people outside your network without you having to make much of an effort.
  2. Fill it with content: take advantage of the variety of information you can put about your company on the page. Share your blog, coverage you’ve achieved in publications or even just articles that you’ve read and found interesting.
  3. Share your page – link your profiles across all social media where your organisation is active.
  4. Ensure all your personal LinkedIn contacts are following your company page.
  5. Show that you are active on LinkedIn – engage with other businesses and users by setting up groups and discussions, and join in with those set up by other organisations.

There is no doubt that LinkedIn will continue to rise in prominence and success, and businesses and professionals can’t afford to be left behind. Having a profile on the site is no longer enough, make the most of the world it opens up and ensure your business page is up to scratch.

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