Tik Tok is for viral sketches, Instagram is for perfectly charming pictures, Facebook is for family photos, and LinkedIn is for… job seekers? True, the platform did start out in 2003 with the main aim of linking employers with potential employees, but it’s evolved to be so much more than that. Today, it’s considered the benchmark for professional networking social media platforms with more than 700 million users around the world.
If you know how to use it correctly and with confidence, LinkedIn can become one of the most powerful tools that can connect you to the right people, market your business, help position yourself as a thought leader in your industry and build your professional brand. Let’s take a look at how leveraging LinkedIn can play such an important role in your career.
Why should you use LinkedIn?
1) It’s absolutely free
Although LinkedIn does offer a paid premium membership for added benefits, the basic free version offers plenty of features and is available for anyone to use.
2) Build and nurture connections
Network, network, network! LinkedIn allows you to connect and engage with past co-workers, mutual connections, employees, potential leads and other thought leaders in your field. With just a quick message, you could even connect with your greatest role models.
3) Keep abreast of the latest news
The connections, companies and hashtags you follow post news, tips and updates, which allows you to stay current on industry trends and information.
4) Rank on Google
LinkedIn profiles rank highly in Google searches, which means you can tell anyone searching for you online exactly what you do, your experience and skills, and any other relevant information you’d like them to know. Feeling stuck with what to write? We have a blog post dedicated to what you should include in your LinkedIn summary.
5) Build your brand
Your online presence and social profiles are your own form of branding, which can create invaluable benefits for both you and your business. Building your brand is all about getting people to know, like and trust you, so that they’ll eventually want to work with you or buy from you.
6) Become a thought leader
By sharing your knowledge, opinions and industry insights on LinkedIn, you can position yourself as an authority figure in your industry.
7) Build social proof through endorsements
In today’s world, people rely on the recommendations of others to make decisions. LinkedIn enables you to build social proof through customer and colleague endorsements and recommendations that show how you add value.
8) Join groups and forums
There are thousands of online groups and forums that allow you to follow and discuss topics relevant to you. Being an active participant further builds trust and helps you gain recognition as an authority in the field.
9) Increase sales with LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a sales management (paid) tool designed to help you tap into an extensive network in order to target the right buyers, understand key insights, and build trusted relationships with customers and prospects to ultimately land more sales.
10) New opportunities
Last but certainly not least, LinkedIn can provide you with opportunities not possible anywhere else. For job seekers, you can tap into its powerful job board (and even apply to jobs directly through the networking platform), set job alerts based on your interests, and turn on the discreet “I’m interested” button, which lets recruiters and potential employers know you’re open to new opportunities.
For businesses, as we mentioned before, it can help to find the right people, gain new leads and engage with prospects, learn insights, nurture relationships with existing and potential customers, and many more invaluable benefits.
The Bottom Line
While LinkedIn is still an excellent platform for networking and recruiting, don’t overlook its value for the host of other benefits mentioned in this article. Keep in mind that like any digital tool, it takes time, patience and consistency to see effects. Start by beefing up your profile, connecting with like-minded individuals, creating engaging content with relevant hashtags in your posts, and who knows, you might just be pleasantly surprised at how many wonderful opportunities come your way.