What is LinkedIn – And Why it Matters
Let me guess. You’ve setup a Facebook group, trawled Twitter and even tried converting Instagram into paying customers or job leads, and failed. Right? If you’re trying to find your business voice with social media and can’t make it stick, then LinkedIn could be the answer. You see LinkedIn is different to most “social” media platforms. In fact it’s revolutionary. The reason why is simple. People on LinkedIn are very focused. They are business owners looking for business products and services, or recruiters looking for employees.
As opposed to Facebook where people “hang out” for the sake of it, LinkedIn’s main purpose is to get the business world moving.
So let’s look at that in more detail. First thing we need to do is learn some facts, and these figures leave tell tale signs as to the importance of the platform to job seekers and entrepreneurs.
- LinkedIn now has over 450 million users. That’s 450 million business orientated people looking to either, buy, sell or hire from you. And that’s the key. They have a reason to be there and it isn’t to share cat pictures and memes.
- Endorsements are used by LinkedIn as LIKES on Facebook to “thumbs up” other peoples talents and skills. It instantly shows how many people in your contacts list “approve” your skill set. So far over a billion of them have been shared.
- LinkedIn is a large company, in fact it has over 5000 employees. It is a real ongoing concern that will be around for a while. In other words, it’s worth investing time in the platform.
- LinkedIn groups are the center of the network. There are over two million of them so far and they focus on certain niche businesses. This concept is very important. Why? Because it means “focus”.
And effective marketing to businesses requires you knowing where they hang out in the first place.
- The average user has an income exceeding $100k per year. They have expendable income.
Now this data on its own is meaningless. It has no point of reference. But when you understand that LinkedIn as a social network is primarily for the benefit of getting things done, in business, it all makes sense. There is no wasted effort here, networking is the primary focus not a bi-product as in Facebook.
For instance. If you publish a blog post about your marketing business on Facebook, no matter how targeted the audience, they are primarily there for entertainment. Twitter is much the same. But if you post the same information to a LinkedIn group surrounding your niche, then something happens. People take a deep interest, because it adds value to the mission they are undertaking whilst on LinkedIn.
To. Make. Money. And. Grow. Their. Business.
So you see, it’s not so much the data and metrics, or value you can offer, either as a business offering a service or an employee looking to wow a certain company. The real gold here is the recipient and the entire reason they are on LinkedIn in the first place. It’s the difference between fishing in a swimming pool as apposed to a lake. Which is better for catching fish?
If Facebook users seek value in humor and political conversation, LinkedIn users seek value by way of useful information that can be used in a practical sense to enhance a business. The key difference is, that value is waiting to be compensated. Business owners are looking to spend money, LinkedIn is where they decide how to spend it.
All you need to do is provide the value up front and understand how LinkedIn works to make the most of it. LinkedInfluence is a great resource for learning how to use LinkedIn effectively.