27th January 2012
Until recently, I thought the website LinkedIn was pretty much just a glorified job site with not much else going for it. I now realise that I couldnt have been more wrong.
Sure, for catching up on the latest gossip and sharing amusing anecdotes with your friends it may not be the most appropriate platform (but I guess there is always Twitter and Facebook for that), but thats not what people are on there for.
LinkedIn it seems is where business gets done. Hundreds of thousands of senior executives from companies all over the world are signed up to the site, people from all the 500 fortune companies are on there, along with staff members from all the FTSE 100.
The statistics say it all, the increase of visitors to the site last year compared to 2010 was up a staggering 63% with 34 million unique users setting up profiles (according to internet analytics firm comScore). All that traffic meant it beat Myspace as the second most popular social network on the internet (behind the almighty Facebook).
Last year, market research company - Lab42, asked 500 people signed up to LinkedIn what they use the site for most...
Unsurprisingly, there is a large amount of job searching going on, but quite a lot more besides. The different tiers of business seem to use the site differently. Younger members use the site to post CVs, portfolios and network for jobs, compared to the more experienced professionals, who are doing all sorts from promoting their company, to conducting market research, to the most important of all winning new business.
So how do you do it?
Work wont just come knocking at your door; youll need to focus a lot of effort to pull all of this off, although if you win just one or two contracts it will have been worth it.
Dont forget too that there are others using similar tips and tricks, which could lead to them getting the inside scoop on your business and who youre trying to connect to. Remember to always be aware about how transparent social media can be, so dont give away too much!