Just about everyone has a LinkedIn account, but very few people know how to use the network to their advantages. For many people, it is treated as a dynamic resume on line. They can connect with people in their industries, join groups for discussion – but it hasn’t really caught on the way that other social media sites have. In the past year, there have been some significant changes in LinkedIn that may signal that it has finally become viable as a way to promote your business, product or service.
Why has it taken so long for LinkedIn to catch on?
LinkedIn is billed as a “professional network.” It isn’t the type of social media site where one posts what you are watching on TV in the moment. It is one step away from a B2B network, and connects the people within the business structure instead. This has led to some confusion about how to use it. If it were a B2B model, companies know how to handle that – but LinkedIn emphasizes the individual within the company without losing sight of the business they are in. There have been some horror stories about people linking their social network accounts only to have their weekend shenanigans show up in their professional feed on LinkedIn, but those days are just about over. So how do you use it?
Pulse and Influencers
The hottest new product LinkedIn has out is their Pulse app. This is a user specific news feed that presents the latest information from the industries you select in your feed. It also presents posts from “influencers.” These are members of the LinkedIn community who have a high re-share and comment rate for their posts; they are also established voices or experts in their individual industries. This has helped to transform LinkedIn from a network of resumes, into an exchange of industry news and information, plus industry specific discussions among people who are in the know.
What is could mean for you
The new LinkedIn can help to establish you as an expert in your field. This can translate into opportunities for new positions, projects and even as a very effective way to perform demand generation on a B2B level. As you get more connected on LinkedIn, you are bringing people into your business based upon their knowledge of you as a professional. This isn’t a product driven network, but a performance driven social media site.