Firstly, it’s important to remember that LinkedIn is no longer just a fancy job site. In many industries, it seems that very high percentages of people (often as high as 90+%) have no idea at all exactly why they are on the site in the first place or how to make the most of LinkedIn.
When questioned more closely, most think they joined LinkedIn because they were at some point either looking for a job, or had heard that posting your CV or information about yourself might, in due course lead to a better job. Several people have told me that they joined LinkedIn because they had heard that that’s where all the headhunters hang out.
Whilst LinkedIn is indeed very much a ‘fancy job site’ with their revenue growth very much linked to their recruitment services, on the surface LinkedIn is in fact now a key business resource and should form part of your sales, marketing, communication and reputation building strategy – whether you are an employee or a business owner.
I would also go so far as to suggest that your LinkedIn Company page (you have got a Company page haven’t you?) should be viewed as a business asset (we’ll go into detail as to why this is in a future blog), it’s that important.
Because LinkedIn has become such a valuable and powerful business tool, they are doing everything they can to keep you on their site for as long as possible every day, and to make the features business tools in their own right. In short, they want to try and make sure everything you will ever need is available on just their site. Don’t forget, LinkedIn is a huge mine full of data about people and companies, and all the features the site provides are there to help you leverage that data.
You would be forgiven for thinking that there’s not much that you can do on Facebook now, which you can’t also do on LinkedIn, and slowly but surely LinkedIn is transforming itself into a real-time business resource.
The latest evidence of this is yesterday’s launch of real-time updates on your home page, which will show you updates from your contacts, and when someone has liked or shared something that you have posted on LinkedIn, viewed your profile, accepts your invitation and more.
What’s more, LinkedIn tell us that 23% of unique visitors interact with the site through a mobile device, so they’ve also extended the new features to the iPhone, iPad and Android.
Even better, is that they have now added Company pages to the online experience, enabling you to keep up to date on companies that you are following.
And on the horizon, you’ll soon be able to edit your LinkedIn profile direct from their apps.
There still remains a robust discussion about the future of LinkedIn – or to be precise the future of online business networking. Some still feel that Google+ will eventually dominate. We’ll see, that’s for another day.
In the meantime, we could all take a leaf out of LinkedIn’s approach, and think seriously about ways that we can make our own websites more invaluable to our customers and visitors.
Is your site just an online brochure - or is it a valuable resource that people want to return to time and time again?
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