The Benefits of Using LinkedIn - dummies

By Jan Zimmerman, Deborah Ng

LinkedIn has many features for the brand and social media marketer. You can establish your expertise through the LinkedIn content platform, interact with your community via brand pages and groups, and reach out to others via LinkedIn messaging.

Also, LinkedIn offers opportunities to network every day. You can expand your business connections through LinkedIn far more than by using Facebook or Twitter.

You need to be on LinkedIn for the following reasons:

  • Recruiters and Human Resources professionals are on LinkedIn. People who are hiring are looking at your profile on LinkedIn. In fact, if you’re not on LinkedIn, it may lead them to speculate why. For example, are you not Internet savvy? If you’re looking for a job, it’s expected you’ll be on LinkedIn.

  • LinkedIn has extensive job listings. If you’re looking for work, you can take advantage of LinkedIn’s job search engine. Many top brands are using LinkedIn as a way to find suitable candidates through job listings, and there are plenty of listings exclusive to LinkedIn.

  • Receive (and give) endorsements and testimonials. LinkedIn enables your peers to endorse your skills and write up recommendations, and you can do the same for them. People who are searching for networking connections or job candidates will take these recommendations into consideration.

  • Make important business connections. You get to choose whom to ­connect with on LinkedIn. For example, you can connect with past co-workers, employers, and Fortune 500 executives. You never know who will accept your invitation.

  • Join professional groups that include like‐minded people. LinkedIn hosts thousands of online groups, enabling professionals to network within their respective niches.

  • Reach out to the people who are viewing your profile. LinkedIn tells you who’s viewing your profile, which opens the door when it comes to meeting new people and making important connections. For example, if someone you’re interested in working with has viewed your profile, you can contact him, saying, “I noticed you viewed my profile. I’d love to chat.”

  • Updating an online resume’s is easier than continuously updating a paper resume’s. With LinkedIn, you don’t have to worry about hiring a professional resume’s writer or formatting documents. You just have to click the Edit button and enter your desired information. The formatting is done for you. (However, you still have to worry about spelling and grammar.)

  • Establish your expertise by using the LinkedIn content platform. LinkedIn invites users to create content, as well. Posting articles on LinkedIn can help to establish your expertise.

  • Read news from your connections. Your connections post news, tips, and updates, which you can look over to stay current on industry trends and timely topics.

  • Research other businesses. A lot of businesses are on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in working with a particular business, you can use LinkedIn to read its business profile, connect with people who work for that business, and more.

  • Introduce others to your books, websites, blogs, and more. Your profile has spots where you can list books you authored and links to your blog, website, or other online content. This drives more traffic (and sales) to your interests.

On LinkedIn, your community members aren’t called friends or followers; instead, they’re considered connections. You have varying degrees of connections: The closer you’re connected to a person, the more ways you can interact with him or her. For example, you can’t send a private message to someone who isn’t a 1st‐degree connection.