What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a type of social networking website dedicated to business owners, professionals and companies. It was founded by Reid Hoffman in 2002 and was officially launched in May 5, 2003. According to their official website, LinkedIn has over 161 million members in over 200 countries as of March 31, 2012. Among its members are executives that belong to the 2011 Fortune 500 companies and more than 2 million companies are listed in this social networking site. The company headquarters are located in Mountain View in California.
Features and Applications of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is considered the top player among the professional social networking sites. Professionals use its wide range of features and applications to promote themselves, their products and services, their companies; they also use it to meet new people, establish relationships and expand their network. Here are some of LinkedIn’s features:
Unlike the profile page of other social networking sites, the LinkedIn profile page can serve as the user’s resume. This is what other members initially check out when they are looking for potential business partners. For headhunters, the user profile is the one they assess when looking for prospective employees.
- LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups serve as a meeting place for members of the industry where they can interact with one another and exchange ideas and opinions. Members of the group can also share content from their own website or blog to facilitate a discussion among the group.
- LinkedIn Answers
This feature functions like Yahoo! Answers where members can post industry-related questions. These questions are answered by other professionals within the LinkedIn community.
- Job Listings
Members who are looking for a job can search for companies they are interested in working for. LinkedIn provides them with statistics on the demographics, information about the company and if there are any job openings in the company. Members can also use LinkedIn to submit their application.
How LinkedIn Can Help Your Business
There are plenty of ways LinkedIn can help small businesses in terms of expanding their network, generating more business and finding employees for them.
- LinkedIn can help small businesses get new customers through word-of-mouth marketing and online recommendations from satisfied customers. These recommendations can be posted on the profile page which will entice new customers.
- Building and expanding a business’ network is one of the main functions of LinkedIn. By becoming a member of a group, the business owner can meet other members of the industry and perhaps establish a partnership with one of them in the future.
- LinkedIn also allows companies to check out and keep an eye on the competition. They can compare different business strategies which will keep them on their toes.
- LinkedIn also lets companies keep in touch with their stakeholders; if they have a Twitter account, they can integrate it into their LinkedIn account as well so their followers can check out their profile in the social networking site.
- Companies who are looking for outsourced services can find the right people in LinkedIn. Members in the community can make suggestions on who or what company to hire, and at the same time, companies can also advertise their services in LinkedIn.
Post written and researched by Robert Kirk from RFK Solutions Ltd. An SEO Company based in Central Scotland the company offer range of Search Engine Optimisation & Web Design services to clients throughout the UK.