“Relationships matter.” Not only is this a motto social media experts tend to live by, but it’s also the original tagline for LinkedIn. Launched a decade ago this week, LinkedIn had 4,500 members at the end of its first month. According to co-founder Reid Hoffman, “Today, hundreds of millions of professionals around the world are turning to LinkedIn to connect with each other, manage their identities, get insights they need to be great at what they do, and find their dream jobs.” LinkedIn is the original professional social network, and at ten years old, it continues to be a terrific place to market our small businesses, brands and ideas. Here’s just a few reasons why LinkedIn is a social media marketing must.
It’s a great place for blogs and articles: Worried your company blog is too heady, too technical or just too business-like to find an audience among regular blog readers? Post that sucker on LinkedIn and watch the schmoozy professional set gobble up your content. LinkedIn’s audience reads and responds to more serious and specific blogs and articles than, say, the kids over on Facebook.
It’s like giving your business card to millions of people: LinkedIn boasts more than 200 million active users from millions of companies and organizations in every possible field imaginable. Having your company active on the site, therefore, introduces you to millions you might not otherwise have met.
It’s a great place to see what your competitors are up to: From the ice cream place in the mall to the Fortune 500 investment firm, they’re all here on LinkedIn — and for users, this is great news. Not only do job searchers get a more creative way to widen their nets, but companies using the site for marketing get a front row seat to see how their contemporaries and competitors are using the site, too.
It’s drama-free: Tired of the blubbering and griping on Facebook? Over Twitter meltdowns? LinkedIn is the place for you and your company. For a social network, the site is delightfully free of most of the personal BS found on other platforms. It’s a mature exchange of information, for the most part, and is largely free of baby mama drama, cat videos and unsolicited political opinions. And for that we’re extremely grateful.