I am not sure how many of you out there are familiar with the business networking site LinkedIn, but if you’re not you should be.
LinkedIn is a social networking site focused on the business community that was started in 2002. It currently has over 161 million members, and is getting new members at 2 per second.
This isn’t like the other social media site such as Facebook and MySpace, LinkedIn allows you to connect and network with high level decision makers. At one point the average household income of the members was $104,000.
As you can see, LinkedIn can provide valuable connections for your small business. However, directly connecting to others is only the tip of the iceberg. LinkedIn also provides groups you can join to connect to others based on industry, interest, or affiliation.
By joining these groups, you automatically are pseudo-connected to everyone in the group. You can send them invitations directly since you are in the same group. You are also able to create and join in discussions within the group. The more active you are in a group, the more you are recognized.
In addition to joining groups, you are able to create your own group.
As the owner of the group, you are now able to send messages to the entire group. This is key because these messages go into the members actual inbox, not their LinkedIn inbox. This is a great way to quickly build a massive email list for your small business. Many people create local groups and have in person group meetings as well as just connecting online.
There is also the benefit of finding employees for your small business through LinkedIn. Many job seekers head to LinkedIn to find their next position. Executives from all of the Fortune 500 are represented on the site, and the sites job board is very active.
In future articles I will explore specific areas within LinkedIn. From creating or beefing up your profile to creating and running your first group. You can also join my group on LinkedIn, The Small Business Success Network.
I hope to see you there!