No, not the value of the EuroMillions. That is the total amount of LinkedIn users today. This may shock you if you are one of those who overlook it as a social media platform. But, since its’ launch as a job hunting site in 2003, LinkedIn has evolved into a global force in SME and B2B networking. More current stats show that:
- The daily average profile view of 15million.
- Only 33% of its members are in the US (the UK is represented by a healthy 15M+ users).
- The top 5 sectors represented are IT Services, Hospital & Health Care, Construction, Education Accounting.
- Growing at a rate of almost 10% per month (It has added more than 23 million members since December 31, 2013. ), LinkedIn shows no plans of slowing down.
- LinkedIn users generally spend over 2 minutes on a page after they click-through.
- A bounce rate of 51% (better than Twitter’s 56%), shows that they are generally more engaged on LinkedIn.
With these growth and usage stats, it would be foolhardy not to take advantage of the power of LinkedIn.
New LinkedIn Features for 2014.
- Many industry watchers say mobile is the future of marketing. In three short years, LinkedIn has also increased the amount of users arriving on LinkedIn via mobile by 22%. This is largely due to their aggressive multi-app strategy.
- In 2014, the mantra seems to be ‘content is king’; and producing & distributing content seems to be the fastest way to get noticed online. But what is the point if you can’t measure its’ ROI? LinkedIn recently launched its Content Marketing Score feature, which allows brands and SMEs to measure the reach and impact of their content. It provides a system ‘scoring’ yours’ against other brands in the same industry. Not stopping there, they also offer tips on how to improve your score.
Another new feature is the Trending Content Tool. This allows SMEs to see a list of topics that their audience resonates with. Talk about having a crystal ball! This allows you craft the type of content needed to actively engage your target audience.
These updates form part of the new blogging system that LinkedIn recently implemented. I know you may not be as influential as Bill Gates, but you do have a voice and thoughts that you want to share. This trio allows you to do just that.
To take full advantage of LinkedIns’ potential for your business, you need to understand what sets it apart from other social media platforms.
The Power of Connections, Groups & Networks.
There are currently over 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups, that have members sharing content, providing answers and making business contacts.
Think about that for a second. Over two million ‘pockets’ of highly targeted and relevant collaborators and prospects for you to tap into.
Connecting with as many people as possible on LinkedIn has many perks. A major one is that your business can show up for your selected keywords, multiple times. How?
By using the power of connections.
- LinkedIn has a graded system of connections that you can have. Your entire network is comprised of the connections you have. Your direct connections are classed as 1st degree connections. Your 1st degree connections’ connections make up your 2nd degree connections. Your 2nd degree connections’ connections are your 3rd degree connections.
Now, if someone were to search for a keyword that describes your business, the more people are connected to you, the greater number of people whose search results will show you at the top of the results.
How do you get so many people to network with? Join Groups!
Start by joining groups with many members. We recommend 5,000 and more. By joining a group, you will be adding all its group members to YOUR LinkedIn network. As you are now in their network, you will come up in their search results within LinkedIn and you can communicate with them.
- Joining groups and increasing the size of your network allows you to find opportunities and also be found. You do this by using the Advanced Search functionality in the LinkedIn dashboard. It gives you the first 500 results based on the search terms you entered from within your network.
When you first join LinkedIn, any search you do will not return up to 500 results, but as you grow your network, you will realize why a large network is key to using LinkedIn. The larger the network, the more you will find and be found.
- An often overlooked bonus is the power of referral partners. With a large network, you can more easily find non-competing businesses that share the same customer demographic as you. Depending on your relationships with them, they can recommend your business to their customers. Think about it as a salesperson on permanent retainer.
Just imagine a prospect hungry for your services, and you ‘didn’t have to lift a finger’. Your sales funnel will be crammed with more opportunities than you can take advantage of.
LinkedIn is here to stay. As long as there are professionals, who need to interact and collaborate, LinkedIn will provide a platform for them to do so.
The question is how are YOU using LinkedIn? Do you think you can you use it more effectively? Are you stuck?
Let Search and More help you manage your accounts. We can create content in your ‘voice’, connect with thought leaders and position you as an expert in your field. Contact us today and lets discuss making vital connections for your business growth.