With what seems like a new social media site popping up every day, it is sometimes hard to realize what platforms are relevant and which ones you should put your efforts (and marketing budgets) into. If you are a professional, want to be recognized in your industry, or have a service/product you are trying to get noticed, I would HIGHLY recommend LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is aimed at professionals and assisting them in networking. This means that people on LinkedIn are your peers and leaders in whatever industry they represent. With a globally connected world, this allows you to connect with decision makers (if you’re pitching a product or looking for a job) and build relationships that could help you get the boost you need to launch your new product. With over 175 million registered users with a professional mindset when viewing LinkedIn, you could not ask for a better target market in the world. But doesn't Facebook have over 500 million users? Shouldn't I target them? My answer to that is Yes… and No. You should definitely be active on Facebook and have a business page presence, but you should also realize the mindset people are in when they are on Facebook. Most people on Facebook are checking friend updates, writing fun posts, and making random comments. These customers are not in a business mindset. This is one reason why GM recently stopped using Facebook ads (this was a 10 million dollar halt…ouch). Facebook is a great site to build customer loyalty and recognition, but it isn't the best site to sell services or products.
It is not all about selling products or services, although without that a business will not survive. Social media marketing is about building relationships and trust with consumers. LinkedIn is one of the best ways to do this. LinkedIn has a section called “Answers.” This is perhaps the most powerful tool on the site. This section allows your peers to ask questions. This gives you an opportunity to prove that you truly are an expert in your field by giving helpful advice. There are literally thousands of questions posted each week on a multitude of topics. All you have to do is find a question you know the answer to, and give an informative and detailed response. The person who asked the question will choose a “Best Answer” and “Good Answer”. Each time you get selected as a “Best Answer” or “Good Answer” contributor, this increases your LinkedIn profile status. So, the more you contribute, the more exposure your online profile will receive and thus, the more you will be recognized in your industry as an expert.
In our global web-interconnected society, Google searches on people have become a common event. Before an employer hires you, before an investor invests funds in your start-up before customers choose you to help them, a search will probably be run. LinkedIn is very well indexed in all major search engines and your profile will more than likely end up on the first page of results. Make sure that your profile is complete and all information is up to date.
Do you use LinkedIn? Have you been active on LinkedIn Answers? Do you have any questions I can help you with?