LinkedIn is possibly the best way to build and maintain professional contacts today. Presently, it has over 120 million registered users – the largest membership among business-related social networking sites – who use the site in various ways to improve their business, making LinkedIn an indispensable business tool. Below are some of the ways you can use the site to your advantage.
Create an online professional profile. It’s what LinkedIn was created for, and it does it very well indeed. Your profile is like your C.V., only much better: it shows your career or business history, who you have had, or are having business with, and what they think about you. This way prospective business partners will have a good and immediate picture of you and your business.
Update your business status. If there’s an important event in your company – for example, you began a partnership with a major corporation – you can announce it on your status. You can also post about milestones in your company or other big events. Another way to use the status is by posting about special deals that you’re offering to your clients.
Hire people easily. A large fraction of LinkedIn members are individuals working freelance, looking for a temporary work or on the lookout for a new employee – any of which you can hire according to the needs of your company. If you need professionals to work part time, full time, as inters or on contract, simply post your requirements on your profile page and wait for the applications to arrive.
Know the word on your company. The Company Buzz is a great feature of LinkedIn (via Twitter) that works by letting you know what people are saying about your company. This could be very important as it informs you of any negative comments people might have about your company and therefore let you correct whatever may be wrong in your business.
Connect with the right people. LinkedIn will connect you with clients and customers, but just as importantly, it can also connect you with people who can improve your business. These may be companies or individuals who can offer solutions to your own problems. By working with them and making them a part of your network, you make sure that your business is running at its best capacity.