LinkedIn launched in 2003. Its mission is to "connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful"; and its vision is to "create economic opportunity for every professional".
In December 2016, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn. The companies share a common goal - empowering people and organisations to be more productive. By working together, there is the potential to create a technology platform that will foster office collaboration, sharing and productivity on a whole new scale.
The benefits of joining LinkedIn
There are many benefits to having a presence on LinkedIn. You can:
- showcase your experience, skills and career achievements;
- demonstrate your knowledge through status updates and writing articles;
- connect with others who can grow your knowledge or lead to new business;
- access job opportunities;
- increase awareness of your brand and/or services;
- get referrals and recommendations;
- undertake market research;
- get found online.
To get results from LinkedIn, you need to make the most of your LinkedIn profile. Once your profile is ready, can you start to connect and network.
People do business with people
As a business-to-business (B2B) platform, LinkedIn allows users to create connections and build up a professional network of contacts comprising 1st, 2nd and 3rd-degree connections:
- 1st-degree: People you're directly connected to because you have accepted their invitation to connect, or they have accepted your invitation.
- 2nd-degree: People who are connected to your 1st-degree connections.
- 3rd-degree: People who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections.
Making and nurturing connections is very easy on LinkedIn. It's not fast-paced, so you can stay up-to-date with your network by checking in for just a few minutes each day.
A Company Page is a place for businesses to include information and post updates about their business. There are two key benefits to having a Company Page.
If you look at a Company Page, you can click to see all of their employees; this is the best way to dig out a contact name before approaching an organisation. Also, when employees link their profile to their employer's Company Page it allows you to find out more about the organisation.
A LinkedIn Company Page should also be a hub for content. Amplification by employees sharing their company's content to their own networks is going to the most effective way to get any messaging in front of clients and prospects.
News and insight
LinkedIn is also a rich source of news and knowledge. By checking in and scrolling through your newsfeed you can learn more about the people in your network:
- when people update their profile;
- when people make new connections (and what might this mean... a new prospect/client?);
- who is recommending them;
- what groups they're joining (should you join them too?);
- what status updates and content they're sharing;
- what they're liking, commenting on and sharing;
- what jobs companies are advertising and what news they're sharing.
Written by independent marketing practitioner Luan Wise.