All the news about Facebook lately got us thinking about the social media landscape in general. By all accounts, Facebook has been a tremendous success. Over 800 million users worldwide share photos and life’s best moments…businesses use the tool to share new content and otherwise foster relationships with loyal customers.
But with the entire buzz surrounding Facebook, LinkedIn lurks in the shadows.
A network strictly for professionals, LinkedIn has grown tremendously in recent years both for individuals and businesses. Its interface is real simple to use and has stayed pretty consistent over the years – something that many users are eternally grateful for!!
LinkedIn is also a no-frills type of site – users are there to do one thing, make professional connections and interact with other professionals in their given industry.
In other words, it’s kind of dull in a lot of ways.
Facebook on the other hand has many different types of users there for a wide variety of reasons. Its interface is constantly changing and their privacy policies are controversial to say the least. Since Facebook is seen as the “cool” thing right now, something cooler may indeed come along one day and make Facebook as irrelevant as MySpace.
As this article by Geoffrey James on Inc.com points out, LinkedIn isn’t subject to the same coolness factor as Facebook, which is precisely why he believes the professional social network will certainly outlive its more ‘cool’ competitor.
Besides the ability to post your resume or solicit job seekers, LinkedIn also connects you with other like-minded professionals through its industry groups and discussion boards. You can also build a separate profile for your company and require all staff members build their own separate accounts.
While Facebook is more suitable for an ecommerce, retail or restaurant (B2C) enterprise, LinkedIn is ideal for B2B firms searching for new leads and contacts. One study from Hubspot examining over 5000 businesses found that LinkedIn delivered over 277% more hard leads than Facebook or Twitter, the micro blogging service.
One reason this may be the case is clutter – by virtue of its limited scope, LinkedIn has much less of it, which means it’s easier for users to find and digest information.
And according to Erin Everhart in her piece on Mashable.com, LinkedIn can also assist in SEO and link building efforts by providing a more direct way to reach other bloggers and companies about link exchanges. If you have a 2nd degree connection with them on LinkedIn, you can email the prospect directly.
The first step to using LinkedIn is of course to develop a complete profile – include a resume and be sure you have at least 3 recommendations so your profile is considered complete.
Take advantage of the many apps the network offers like SlideShare and another one that automatically pulls in new posts from your blog.
Once you have a complete profile, it’s time to start developing your network connections. One really nice thing LinkedIn does is help you find valuable people and informs them of the “…mutual connections you have with them.” Of course, we haven’t even begun to explore the business marketing opportunities but many of the same rules apply.
This e-book from LinkedIn provides some great guidance into building your profile, making professional connections and marketing your business on LinkedIn. We’re hoping to really dive into it so be on the lookout for a review here at SEO-e.
In the meantime, feel free to connect with SEO Advantage through LinkedIn by visiting LinkedIn.seoadvantage.com.
Let us know how you’re using the network to build professional contact and generate leads.
Are you participating in industry discussion groups?
Have you landed a job or client through the network or successfully used it to find new talent?
Leave us a comment or join the conversation on LinkedIn. We’re always interested in learning other peoples’ experiences with tools we find very useful.
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