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Three: Key Playing Fields in Social Media

How Can We Use LinkedIn?

There's a reason LinkedIn is one of the top talked-about social networks for connecting with investors and growing relationships. LinkedIn is a virtual tradeshow. It's a place where you can mingle among others in your industry, build your brand, distribute relevant content, join specific groups and conversations, and build beneficial relationships.

When optimized and used efficiently, LinkedIn can be used to bring in more client relationships and job opportunities, to network with peers and industry leaders, to engage with existing clients, to add a more personal face to your business, and to offer a valuable offshoot to your website.

So, how do you filter through the fray of people and profiles to find those strategic connections and build your brand? That's what we'll be talking about in this chapter.

FIRST, WHAT EXACTLY IS LIIUKEDIIU?

LinkedIn is a business-oriented, profile-based social networking site connecting millions of people worldwide. Profiles are filled with job histories, educational backgrounds, recommendations, referrals, and even resumes. Your ability to network with relevant associates, clients, and leads is almost endless.

In February 2014, the platform reported more than 270 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories (and more than 19 languages around the world). The financial services industry was reported as the second largest industry, with more than 2 million members in 2013. Statistics show that two people sign up for a LinkedIn account every second. There is no doubt it's one of the most important social networks.

WHY IS LIIMKEDIIM DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKS?

LinkedIn is different from other networks because of its high degree of professionalism and business networking-focused culture. This isn't Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You won't see posts of your friend's vacation photos, cat videos, or food pictures. You will, however, see millions of conversations pertaining to your local network and industry. People are using LinkedIn in many ways:

■ To prospect and generate leads

■ To discover valuable connections

■ To network with others in your industry

■ To increase brand exposure and to position your business as a leader

■ To establish credibility as a business and/or individual

■ To seek employees and/or employment

■ To gain insights from discussions with experts in group

 
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