LinkedIn is often one of the most misunderstood social media networks. Crudely termed by some as “Facebook for business” this is an unfair assessment of a valuable social media network.
LinkedIn is an independent social media network that has been around for a long time, in fact it predates the creation of Facebook by two years.
Your LinkedIn account can be
Your online CV
A place to network with contacts from your online and offline world
A place to network with new connections
Somewhere to encourage and display recommendations from clients or employers
A publishing space for your business insights
A news service
A business promotion tool
A highly targeted advertising platform
LinkedIn for business can mean increased visibility, reputation and sales opportunities. There is lots of different functionality from advertising to news, but to get started businesses can focus on the following.
So whether you are a business owner, freelancer or employee LinkedIn is a social media network that can have practical applications to improve your professional life.
When you are getting started there are a few ways of presenting you and your business or publishing updates that you need to set up and start using as soon as possible.
LinkedIn Personal Profile
The LinkedIn profile is similar to an online CV as it shares many of the same features such as sections to list your skills summary, work experience, recommendations and contact information.
Your profile is public and will probably be one of the first things that appears if you Google yourself.
Other functionality on your profile includes a list of any LinkedIn published posts (blogs) you have written and shared with your audience, and a way for anyone to be able to contact you via various messaging features.
Take time to write your personal profile as done properly it can get you found and get potential contacts/leads coming to you.
Your Home Screen
When you log into LinkedIn you start at your home screen which like Twitter and Facebook is a list of the things posted by the people you are connected to.
You can use this to post updates about your business and your latest content. It is also a place to like, share and engage with your connections, by doing this you build depth to these relationships and increase your visibility.
LinkedIn Company Pages and Showcase Pages
The LinkedIn company page is like a Facebook Business Page a profile space for your business where you can post updates to users that make the decision to follow you.
This is easy to set up and can be administered using by multiple members of your company and managed via management platforms such as Hootsuite.