Australian businesses that haven’t yet included LinkedIn as part of their social media strategy would do well to reconsider their decision. Just as Facebook is a powerful social media tool to promote products in the retail market, LinkedIn arguably has no parallel as an online networking and referral medium.
With LinkedIn already passing the 5 and half million members, Australia accounts for 2% of the platform’s global membership. Given Australia’s relatively small population, this figure is significant considering it represents 35% of the workforce. With approximately one out of three employees present on LinkedIn, it isn’t hard to imagine how with just a few clicks of the mouse, valuable connections can be formed, without having to spend endless evenings at networking events.
To the skeptics among you who may feel LinkedIn is a passing fad, the fact is it shows no sign of slowing down. The platform has grown at a rate of 45% in the last 12 months, with approximately 2 members joining every second! Quite predictably, the concentration of members is from the major cities: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane respectively, which account for a larger share of the workforce occupying white collar positions.
It’s about Investing Time Purposefully
This is a key distinguishing factor between LinkedIn and other social media platforms. When members enter the LinkedIn portal, they do so with a completely different mindset than they do when logging in to their Facebook accounts. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are generally looked upon as a means to socialise and get entertained online in a relaxed environment. On the other hand, LinkedIn members seek strategic alliances they can derive value from; and also use the platform to sharpen their skills with cutting-edge industry information which is shared by others they may consider leaders in their respective fields.
LinkedIn members span a broad spectrum of industries, age groups and professions. Over 70% of members are aged 25 years and over, with 44% working for corporations employing over 10,000 employees.
One of the common challenges business executives face when approaching decision makers of a company is getting past the gatekeeper. Over 35% of LinkedIn members are decision makers and 21% occupy senior positions. Using the right approach, it is far easier to connect with these individuals than approaching them through a cold call or solicitation letter.
Is your Profession Represented?
Although the figures in the infographic are impressive, one of the questions in your mind probably is what cross section of professions and industries is represented to make LinkedIn a worthwhile social media tool? As you can see below, a broad spectrum of professions are represented, including health care, education and engineering. So whatever your profession, you will find valuable connections to help you grow your business, find jobs and effectively brand your business.
Besides being an effective networking platform, LinkedIn provides a great opportunity to plug in to industry leaders such as Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, BHP and others. There are also 8,500 special interest groups such as CPA and Engineers Australia sharing important updates – critical information professionals need to keep abreast of if they are to stay on top their game.
Multiple Content Delivery for Better Engagement
LinkedIn is not just a networking tool, but a complete business information dashboard. With email open rates falling and spam filters blocking emails from being delivered, savvy business owners have turned to LinkedIn as an alternative online communication tool. Discussion groups provide deep insights into specific industries and emerging business trends. LinkedIn is also growing in popularity as a recruitment portal, and someday could be preferred over sites like Seek. For targeted advertising, LinkedIn is giving Google’s Adwords a run for its money. Setting up business pages gives companies the opportunity to showcase their business – as if they have a website built in within LinkedIn.
Boosting Your Search Engine Ranking
LinkedIn is now the fourth most popular social media site. What does mean to you? The traditional model to help websites rank was to build back-links through article writing, YouTube videos and posting comments on forums. However, with search engines giving prominence to social media sites, posts on these sites rank higher. The reason is that the content provided in posts is fresh and relevant. One more reason why you cannot ignore LinkedIn as a social media tool!
It’s all about getting L.E.A.D.S.
Probably, the most important question on your minds is, will LinkedIn help in generating targeted leads and not tyre kickers? It’s important to remember when using social media, that it’s not a hard-sell tool. This is one of the biggest mistakes made by business owners. You are there to build connections and establish trust, which eventually should lead to a sale.
Shown below is an interesting acronym on what getting L.E.A.D.S. from LinkedIn is about.
Leverage – The Power of LinkedIn – Why, How and What?
Engaging – Your Market Place – What & How?
Action – Setting up your profiles for success
Daily Paces – Steps forward
Strategies – Towards generating LEADS!
Finally, what’s really important is to use LinkedIn strategically, beginning with a clear objective and implementation plan. Once this is in place, it is important to establish a daily activity plan and diligently follow through to ensure you spend a few minutes every day on the activities which will take you closer to your goal.
SolomoIT is a digital marketing agency, based in Sydney, Australia, offering fully integrated social, local and mobile marketing solutions.