You might ask yourself how I can compare LinkedIn to your favorite Country Club, but it’s actually quite simple: everybody and every company you either know or want to get to know in this world is already a member. Networking between professionals, customers, and businesses has drastically changed over the past few decades.
In the last twenty years there has been a sharp decline in traditional forms of intercommunication and marketing between businesses and individuals.
In our culture, the participation of using the internet and social media as a communication tool has undermined conventional forms of networking. LinkedIn has become the new country club for members to join, engage with their peers, and develop unique relationships with future employees, employers, business partners, and customers alike.
If you’re interested in learning how to turn these tips into actual results, be sure to check out our free ebook “How to Dominate your Competition Using LinkedIn.”
The Front Nine
Okay, so there’s no immaculate greens and fairways, no morning dew burning off from the horizon at sunrise, or even a clubhouse to grab a bite to eat…but there is something more amazing going on than all of the above. There are enough connections available with other members, companies, and interest groups to make your networking efforts more productive and cost effective than attending any conventional trade show in your area in a fraction of the time.
LinkedIn was founded in 2003 but didn’t gain much attention until the past few years when every single friend, co-worker, and family member you know started showing up on your dashboard as a potential connection to you or your company. As of September 2012, LinkedIn announced their latest count of over 187 million members from over 200 countries. In fact, two people sign up for their free “basic” profile on LinkedIn.com every second of the day!
LinkedIn Marketing Facts
Here are 5 statistics from LinkedIn that you cannot overlook as an employer, a business person, or an individual looking for a job:
- As of 2012, every executive from all Fortune 500 companies have a LinkedIn profile
- There are 2.6 million company pages to browse, connect, and share with through your own profile
- There are over 1 million LinkedIn Groups that have formed between members of all industries
- LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than one million LinkedIn Groups.
- LinkedIn members did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform in 2011 and are on pace to surpass 5.3 billion in 2012.
The Back Nine
Homepage: Your homepage is your professional dashboard where you can see news briefs, network updates, messages, and invitations from others to connect.
Profile: This is your professional identity page where anyone can see your career accomplishments and learn more about you, including the ability to connect with you.
Jobs: This section is where anyone can look for a new career opportunity or for employers to post a new job/position.
Groups: Join industry related groups and browse for discussions to engage in as well as post your articles, blogs, or press releases for other members to engage in.
LinkedIn Today: This is a homepage for your industry where you can read industry related articles and share pieces of information with your connections.
Company Pages: This is a great opportunity for you to setup a professional page for your company loaded with content to gain online exposure.
Answers: Ask questions and reply to others with your knowledge and experiences. This is your opportunity to become a thought leader in your industry and do some serious networking in return.
Mobile: This is the area of the website where you can accesss mobile applications for your phone and take full advantage of LinkedIn wherever you go!
Settings/Personalization: You have complete control of how your information is displayed and how other members can contact you.
It’s no surprise to us members that the group of individuals who run the management operations at LinkedIn are from companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, TiVo, Paypal and Electronic Arts. If you haven’t started your profile on LinkedIn it’s very simple, free, and extremely beneficial for you as an employee or employer, an industry thought leader, or maybe the CEO of your company.
For more information about how to take advantage of LinkedIn today, grab the wheel of that golf cart and check out our free ebook, “How to Dominate your Competition with LinkedIn.”
*Statistics courtesy of the LinkedIn Press Center