LinkedIn helps businesses go professionally social

LinkedIn has become an incredibly popular service, thanks to the “World’s Largest Professional Network” steadily attracting a large variety of users. The social network has managed to uniquely place itself as a dedicated career-orientated service, which has widespread appeal from young business professionals through to company CEOs.

The reason LinkedIn has remained popular is because the service is constantly being updated and offering new elements to help people get connected. Moreover, users are free to add as much information about themselves to their profiles as they want, which enables them to create a marketable brand identity in an extremely competitive job market. As the economy has been suffering, the online recruitment and job search industry has become big business. LinkedIn has capitalised on this through integrating job adverts across their site and making it as easy as clicking a button to apply.

The service makes it extremely easy for users to get connected with other like-minded individuals; with a multi-purpose search bar, skills, education information, groups and company pages all offering methods to find people with similar interests or job prospects. Coupled with the ability to share contact information and the ability to message professionals directly on the site, LinkedIn offers its users a beneficial service.

However, users should be careful not to post anything that could be perceived as negative because it could have devastating consequence from potential employers and other users. Some argue that this makes the service feel restricted and overly marketed in the sense that participants only get to see a user’s socially-acceptable “good side”. One criticism of the service’s user profiles is that they’re “interactive CVs”, but LinkedIn’s users generally seem to be positive about the experience. There aren’t many competitors in this field, and those that are offering a similar service haven’t matched LinkedIn’s success yet. LinkedIn’s stock exchange IPO proved that the service is held in high regard in the public sphere. Incredibly, the company’s share price more than doubled in its NYSE debut back in May 2011.

Furthermore, LinkedIn is very keen to welcome businesses on the service. Users can easily add company pages and partake in/as them across a large assortment of the site’s activities. Interestingly, nearly every type of company is supported by the service which is great news for local businesses and those with smaller companies. There’s no reason why a compact business can’t compete in this area, and it is essentially free marketing as long as the company pages are filled with accurate information. What’s more, LinkedIn has a very high Page Rank, so it’s useful to sign up your business to the social network for SEO purposes too.

Company pages allow businesses to share a large amount of information with the general public in an easy to present manner. For example, take the SBE Ltd company page. The first thing you will notice is our overview; which includes a logo, a simple introduction to our company and our specialties. Directly underneath is information about our recent new hires, and then the sidebar to the right shows our ownership type, company size, website, industry, where it was founded and our headquarters (with a useful Google map). The products & services tab at the top of the page allows us to demonstrate what we can offer other businesses and other end-users.

Of course, all of this information is entirely optional but it’s a handy way to showcase your company to a large number of users quickly. What’s also important to note is that users logged in with their LinkedIn accounts can see more information in company pages, such as insightful statistics about your company’s employees. If users follow your page, they can also see users in their network that work for the business and how they’re connected to the company. Page owners can also share status updates and links to the page’s followers.

Do you use LinkedIn? Would you recommend other users and business to try the service? Let us know in the comments below.

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