(that have nothing to do with job hunting)
LinkedIn in is often touted as a ‘Facebook for professionals’ and we often feel like it’s just another social platform to produce content for. Or we neglect it completely until it’s time to start looking for a new job. Of course LinkedIn is a great tool for hiring people and can be useful for freelances or service providers looking for new projects.
I've been on LinkedIn since 2005 - I hadn't realised how long I'd been a LinkedIn user for! In fact I joined LinkedIn before Facebook or Twitter and whilst it wasn't the first social network I joined, it's the one that's still around (who remembers My Space, Face Party and Friends Reunited?!). I remember joining to stay in touch with friends from my year abroad at a French business school and my network was instantly global - way beyond the backyard reach of Friends Reunited. Plus I could keep up to date with all my geeky passions for business and marketing in a way that wasn't yet available on other social networks. So after 12 years on LinkedIn here are my 8 reasons why small business owners should be on LinkedIn that have nothing to do with recruitment.
8 Reasons to be on LinkedIn
1. Stay connected with people you’ve met in person at networking events. Adding network connections as Facebook friends can seem a bit informal and you don’t always want these potential customers/referrers/suppliers to have an intimate view into your personal life. Save your sweaty gym selfies, nights out on the town and snapshots of your kids for your friends and connect on LinkedIn instead.
Plus you’ll have their contact details at you finger tips to download so you can throw away all those accumulated business cards!
2. Show that you are a real business with a LinkedIn company page that you and your staff can list the company as your employer and have the logo appear in your work section.
3. Expand your network beyond your local reach by joining groups. Open up opportunities to connect with suppliers and industry experts by joining in group conversations. You can also use groups to connect with people with common interests.
4. Share your knowledge and expertise to become known as the go to person in your network by publishing articles. This is also a great way to maximise your blog content as you can republish your posts as articles. And if you don’t have a blog then this is a great way to get started quickly and easily.
5. Keep your network updated with your latest news without bombarding them with monthly newsletters or e-shots.
6. Keep tabs on your competition by following their company page.
7. Stay connected with a wider network of influencers or referrers - people who might know your ideal client, people who you went to school with or worked with in a past life (that’s what my corporate days feel like anyway!)
8. Find business support services – whether its keeping up with the latest technological developments or industry regulations or finding a service provider, you can use LinkedIn to connect with, get advice from and get recommendations for a myriad of suppliers from accounting and marketing to warehousing.
So now you know why you need to be on LinkedIn to you know how to make an impact on your network?
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