Social media has changed the world of marketing and become a force to be reckoned with during the past few years. But it’s more than just a social affair. The social media has given individual and businesses amazing options in terms of how we create, connect and share what we have online, particularly with a niche social network like LinkedIn.
It’s important to understand how social networking works, particularly for those in business.
In its simplest form, social networking involves forming substantiating online social networks for communities of people who share common interests and activities. Sites like LinkedIn allow users to create personal profiles and then interact using these connections, sharing media, sending messages and blogging. Most importantly, social network enable you – and your business – to extend way beyond your personal network.
Used correctly, social networking can be an incredibly powerful tool in your business operation.
The LinkedIn Concept
LInkedIn is a network that has been established specifically for the use of professional people and businesses. And again, relating to the very basic form, it is a social networking system that enables members to not only connect with other people doing related jobs and business, but to also recommend people and businesses to other members of LinkedIn.
It can be HUGE!
Just a few months ago, in February 2013, LinkedIn announced that Hewlett-Packard (HP) had hit the 1-million mark in terms of people following them – making them the first company to achieve this milestone. This didn’t just happen. HP has, for years, considered LinkedIn as a “critical” link to their customers; and they use the network to reach and build relationships with their community of customers, as well as prospective employees and partners. No doubt they are well aware of the fact that Sir Richard Branson reaped 1-million followers on LinkedIn a very long time ago!
According to Natalie Malazenko, VP of HP’s digital marketing division, the reason their achievement is “critical” is because these million followers in turn link to more than 43-million individuals who are on the LinkedIn network. So it is enabling the company to access an enormous database of potential clients.
Of course like all social media networks, the LinkedIn concept has evolved and developed over time. One of the most notable changes was introduced in 2010, allowing members to “follow” various companies. This is similar to Twitter, but is has a different impact.
In 2012 LinkedIn introduced a “follow company” option that can be embedded on web pages, and which makes it easier for people looking for jobs, and companies looking to hire, to connect.
There is no doubt that using LinkedIn for business will help you to leverage the playing field and compete very successfully in your own area of business expertise. It is also an amazing tool that you can use to grow your business.