If you’re not already on LinkedIn, now’s the time to join. Whether it’s showcasing your company, recruiting staff or generating leads, LinkedIn offers myriad opportunities to connect.
LinkedIn has extended its publishing platform to all 17 million UK members, which means users can now display published posts within their professional profile. It has also introduced a ‘follow’ functionality, so that users can follow each other (and see each other’s shared content) without connecting. The changes offer members a way to build up their own profiles and visibility, as well as driving more traffic.
This follows the launch of Facebook at Work, an early pilot programme that aims to extend the network beyond the social realm and allow co-workers to connect. LinkedIn already has an established base, with more than 3 million company pages, representing more than 140 industries.
LinkedIn is piloting two new products to help co-workers connect. The first allows users to send InMail to co-workers, even if they aren’t already connected. This tool allows users to upload their contact information, making it easy for co-workers to access these details.
The second allows company administrators to send out information to groups of employees. So, for example, if a workplace is recruiting for a specific position, it could send out information to employees in that department who might share it with their network.
Not sure how LinkedIn can benefit your company? Here are a few suggestions:
- Identify prospects and customers (use LinkedIn Search to find people and businesses in your area)
- Request introductions/referrals to prospects from existing contacts
- Gather information about leads to allow you to tailor your messaging and make conversation easier
- Nurture relationships with existing customers (via personal contact, groups, or answering their questions in the Answers section)
- Enhance your online profile: LinkedIn contributions can enhance your SEO efforts and increase brand awareness
- Request recommendations from existing customers
- Drive traffic to your website via your shared content posts
- Recruit new staff: connect with a wider pool of talent with relevant skill sets
- Receive notifications when your customers link with competitors: use it as a trigger to reconnect with them
- Group discussions provide insight into trending topics among your customers/prospects and an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise
With greater innovation this year, LinkedIn is set to strengthen its position as a leading professional networking site, offering more opportunities than ever before for businesses to forge important online relationships.