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Here’s why we think you should consider joining the world’s biggest professional network. LinkedIn is the world’s leading professional social network, figures released in June 2019 stated that there were more than 650m members on the platform. As a result, its influence on the business world cannot be ignored. It remains one of the best places online to connect with likeminded business people and share updates about your professional achievements.

It’s also useful if you are trying to grow your company. In this post, we’ll take a look at the types of people who have accounts, why you should consider using it, and the first things you should do when you sign up.

A brief history of LinkedIn

LinkedIn launched in May 2003 and was one of the first business-orientated online social networks. It’s a great opportunity to create professional profiles and connect with others to engage and ensure your contacts know what’s going on in your world professionally.  Used properly, it can generate leads, create a personal brand and most importantly add value to your business. It’s also possible for companies to create special pages that allow them to post under their company name rather than through a personal profile sharing successes; contract wins and collaborations – all helping to increase your profile.

As of January 2020 they have acquired 19 different other companies in their quest for growth, such as SlideShare, Lynda.com, and PointDrive. The network was bought by Microsoft for $26.2bn in December 2016.

Who uses LinkedIn?

The most recently released figures state that LinkedIn has 650m members. Around half of these are classed as ‘monthly active users’, meaning they log in at least once per month.

In terms of tangible use, LinkedIn’s own research states that 79% of B2B marketers find it to be an effective source for generating leads. In 2015 they revealed that 45% of people who read articles on the platform are managers, vice presidents, or CEOs. In other words: decision-makers are actively browsing and using LinkedIn, giving you the chance to get in front of the people who can make things happen without having to go through gatekeepers.

Marketers regularly cite it as the platform they get the most use out of in terms of leads and sales. If you’re looking for new suppliers or businesses to make connections with, LinkedIn is where you need to be.

What can I share on LinkedIn?

In short: anything you want!

However, the best accounts on LinkedIn - or any social media channel - don’t try to actively sell things to their followers. Instead, they are the perfect places to add value and educate people on the benefits of using your particular solution to solve their problems. A video showing your product in action, for example, will work better than a text-based post asking people to buy from your website.

It’s also a very good place to share your achievements, such as client wins or expansion plans. As LinkedIn is used predominantly by professionals, showing that your company is in rude health is often well received and gives people confidence in your services.

Why you should have a company page

A LinkedIn company page is different from your personal profile.

Personal profiles are great for building connections with people. You can comment on posts, send messages, and build your own personal brand. However, in order to create a connection with someone you need to have their approval and also be active in similar networks.

A company page can be followed by anybody without permission. And with no obligation to follow them back. Your company profile can have a link to your website, and you can begin to talk about the business’s achievements from a different perspective.

Finally, it allows you to set your company as an employer and feature the logo on your personal profile. Without a company page your employer simply appears as a dull grey square.

Where can I find out more about using LinkedIn for my business?

If you’re interested in learning more about how LinkedIn fits into your wider digital marketing strategy, we’re running free to access ‘Getting to grips with LinkedIn’ masterclasses at various venues across the north east. These four hour sessions will help you understand which parts of your profile need to be updated to attract relevant connections, and how you can identify and approach potential leads.

We will also share tips from other businesses about how they have used their company pages to reach different audiences. And there will also be time for us to work with you on developing your profile and company page to ensure you’re making the most of every opportunity.

Article by Digital Allies.

Give them a call on 0191 500 7900 to talk about all things digital.

NBSL LogoThis article is brought to you by NBSL's North East Business Support Fund which funds the costs of business improvement projects such as website development, marketing strategies, external consultancy – click here to find out more

The North East Business Support Fund  has hundreds of registered providers offering a wide range of business support. NBSL has used its best efforts to post on this web site the most accurate and reliable information given to us by our providers but does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information. The thoughts and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and are licensed to NBSL for publication on this website.

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