According to a survey of 5,000 people, the top four reasons people come to LinkedIn is to reconnect with colleagues, manage their professional identity, see what colleagues are up to and to find new business opportunities.
Facebook allows for business promotion, but most people use it recreationally. LinkedIn is designed for business connections.
There are several benefits to staying active on LinkedIn:
• Manage your professional information. You can use LinkedIn to market yourself and your company. You can also include links to specific websites and company pages.
• Introductions to potential clients. LinkedIn lets you search for people by name, company, title, ZIP code or keyword. Once the search is complete, LinkedIn shows how you are connected to a person. If someone you are connected with is connected with the person you are searching for, you will see there is a “second degree” connection. The different degrees of contact present possible linking connections and establish you as a non-stranger if you decide to reach out to someone.
• Collaboration on projects. Say your project is in need of a high-tech manager. LinkedIn has 5.5 million people registered as high-tech managers. Filtering by ZIP code and seniority will help you find the perfect one.
• Gain insight. LinkedIn recently partnered with Twitter and added a tweet feed on its homepage. It also partnered with WordPress, so members can stream blogs through their LinkedIn pages. SlideShare allows members to share presentations, research, survey findings and pretty much anything that can go into a presentation. These additional features have helped LinkedIn become a great aggregator of information.
• Discover inside connections. LinkedIn has a “people you may know” feature. You might be surprised by how many people you share links with!
• Find talent. A LinkedIn page has become somewhat of a virtual résumé. Most users post work experience on their pages. This lets potential employers can sort through talent.
• Monitor the competition. When a business has a LinkedIn page, anyone has the ability to “follow” that company. This feature notifies you whenever a company updates its profile, adds members or posts information. This lets you see what other companies are doing, who they are hiring and what they are promoting.