How Tu-Tuesday: LinkedIn Special Part 1 What
by Sian Jamieson
What is LinkedIn and Who is Using it?
LinkedIn is a social network designed exclusively for professionals and businesses around the world. The purpose of the site is to allow users to create and build business networks with people they know, work with and trust. LinkedIn also allows you, as an individual, to present your professional identity online, your virtual CV if you like.
In terms of social media, LinkedIn is the place for professional conversation and connection.
LinkedIn works much like Facebook does. You have your own personal profile and you can create pages for your business. Here’s an overview of what to expect when using LinkedIn:
- Your Home Feed: Again, much like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, on LinkedIn you follow people and people follow you, you follow business pages and people follow your business pages, and as a result, we receive posts (called ‘updates’ on LinkedIn), and we see all this information in our Home Feed.
- Updates: The purpose of all communication tools is just that – communication. So in order to make a network like LinkedIn work, we have to create content for it in the form of updates. Like your Facebook Page, you can create text-based posts, add images, links, and videos.
- Publish a Post: Unlike Facebook or Twitter, you can publish blog type posts direct to your LinkedIn profiles. This lets you write more in-depth articles for people to read, rather than a short update.
- Interact: Like any type of social network, being interactive is key to the usefulness of the site. Liking, commenting and sharing other people’s content is no different on LinkedIn.
- Your Presentation: How you present yourself in life is the same as you would online. LinkedIn provides you with a dedicated platform to present your professional self to the world. First and foremost a good, professional looking profile picture is essential. People are far more likely to connect with someone they can see is a person, whereas a graphic, logo or an empty picture does not create the best first impression on LinkedIn.
- Who you are and what you do: LinkedIn is the perfect place to document all your experience, knowledge and expertise. Go through each of the steps from writing a short summary about yourself and what you do for people, your work experience (your CV). Choose skills that you are known for and use in your professional life. Enter in your educational background and provide extra information about your interests, personal details, and contact information.
- Connections: On LinkedIn, we make connections with other people (a bit like asking someone to be a Friend on Facebook). Ideally, you want to connect with people you work with, want to work with, people who add something to your business or your understanding of your sector/industry, and the people you meet who you want to maintain a connection with. In some respect, LinkedIn connections are a bit like the old fashioned roller decks with reams and reams of business cards organised within.
The most common connection you are likely to make will be a contact, a person you know personally and who you trust on a professional level. Once you have connected with them, you are considered by LinkedIn as a 1st Degree Connection.
You also have an extended network of connections made up of people that your connections know. These are presented as your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc degree connections. The closer the connection someone has to one of the people you are connected to, the closer your connection.
LinkedIn has made a name for itself as one of the leading online recruitment services. Not only can you search for job opportunities from all around the world, but you can also post job vacancies to the site, and promote them directly to professionals seeking work.
- Companies: Companies provide you with all the recent updates from the company pages that you follow.
- Groups: Let’s you see all the posts made to the Groups that you are a member of.
- Pulse: This is the LinkedIn blogging community, you can see and read all the latest professional blog posts from here.
- Education: Was a dedicated feed for all news and items relating to education, however, this is being discontinued as of 16 May 2016, to be replaced by a tool to help students find new opportunities and employment.
- Slideshare: LinkedIn acquired Slideshare back in 2012. Slideshare is the biggest presentation slides-sharing community online. Through direct integration with LinkedIn, you can not only access Slideshare, but you can upload your own content and manage your own Slideshare profile.
- Online Learning: Partnered with Lynda.com you can now access and take part in hundreds of online training courses in the areas of business, creative and technology.
Creating Company Pages
The Company Page
Like your Business Facebook Page, the LinkedIn Company Page lets you create a presence for your business on LinkedIn, create and publish updates and communicate with other LinkedIn users.
The Showcase Page
The showcase page is an extension of your company page that highlights specific aspects of your business, such as a brand, product or campaign. You can create up to 10 showcase pages for your Company page.
Who Is Using LinkedIn?
There are over 400 million LinkedIn users around the world, with a quarter of those visiting the site on a monthly basis. 200 countries and territories are represented, with 70% of all users living outside of the USA. In 2015, there were 15 million LinkedIn members in the UK. In the last two years, 5 million of us have joined the network alone.
Who are they?