LinkedIn has the greatest online impact on your personal professional brand. For your professional image, LinkedIn is more important than any website, even Facebook, Twitter, Google+, your blog, any social network… any website. The only thing better is you, in person.
How can that be? Facebook is the #2 highest traffic website in the world and reaches 43% of the global internet according to Alexa. LinkedIn is not too shabby with over 100 million profiles, but it is the #12 most visited site and has a 6% reach. Plus all the experts say that every business needs a Facebook fan page and that everybody needs an active Facebook profile. That is absolutely true.
So how can I write that LinkedIn is more important for your personal professional brand than Facebook? The distinction is your personal professional brand versus your personal life. Get in your professional marketer mindset. LinkedIn is the best place to promote yourself and connect with similar business professionals.
Then add an amazing complement of social networking features tailored to help you accelerate the development of your professional image. LinkedIn has it all.
Not just for finding jobs
Many of us started using LinkedIn for the first time to find jobs and to post a better online resume. That was how most users used to think of the network, especially in the company’s early days. That is no longer the case. People in the corporate world are keeping LinkedIn open all the time just like they do Facebook at home.
Also you don’t need to worry any more that LinkedIn activity means you are job searching. You are not raising a red flag when share a relevant article, get a recommendation or update your profile. You are adding value, standing out from the crowd and representing you and your company in a positive light.
In fact, a LinkedIn profile is now expected if you are in sales or marketing role or in a technology industry. Before you meet somebody face-to-face, I guarantee that they checked out your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have one or it is obviously neglected, then you are setting off the warning alarm.
High impact social networking
Connections, timelines, likes, comments, groups, apps, events, polls, an advertising network, news and much, much more. LinkedIn has all the social networking features you can want. Leverage these to stay visible with connections, promote yourself and supercharge your personal brand. More importantly these features are incredibly effective. The difference maker is that you and everyone on LinkedIn are there to represent yourself as a professional and to do business.
Farnoosh Brock sums it up perfectly in her recent post How to Use LinkedIn to Create Unique Opportunities for Your Blog Business on ProBlogger.
1. The LinkedIn community approaches networking with a business-oriented mindset and wants to hear about your business, your offers, your products, and your services.
2. The spirit of the LinkedIn community is to support one another as business professionals, as opposed to Facebook and Twitter where we are first peeps and friends before we talk business.
3. The LinkedIn professionals are very likely decision makers in their business and your connection with the right person could mean real business and profits.
Not just a numbers game
Lastly, if you do want to find a job, LinkedIn is the best. I am biased though. When I was unemployed before joining PayPal, I was being contacted by 2-3 recruiters a day. In fact, I got my interview with PayPal because the recruiter found me on LinkedIn… not because I had an inside contact or had submitted my resume online.
I have a word of warning though. You look terrible if you are only blindly adding dozens of connection daily and adding nothing else, just like on other social networks. Sure the bigger your network, the better. But on LinkedIn business professionals in your field are paying attention to your every move. Contribute to a group discussion. Recommend a co-worker or valued customer. Post a relevant article.
Don’t be a connection spammer. On Twitter, people just choose to not follow you back. On LinkedIn, you don’t get the call for your next job.
How do you use LinkedIn? Comment with your favorite LinkedIn benefit.
And of course, feel free to connect with me.