While Facebook might boast the biggest user base at 1.2 billion users, LinkedIn still offers a sizeable 300 million making it the largest professional network on the Internet. When many people think of LinkedIn, they think of it as a job search tool for job seekers and recruiters. However, there’s much more to it than that. When utilized properly, it can also become one of the most powerful marketing tools for your business or personal brand.
At its core, LinkedIn is like any social network – you make connections, spark conversation and engage with other members. The biggest difference is you don’t have direct access to consumers so you can’t use your status updates or posts to market directly to them. In fact, blatant spamming or hard sells are generally frowned upon and can give you a bad name. So if you can’t directly market to consumers, how do you use LinkedIn to grow your audience?
LinkedIn allows you to post status updates much like Facebook. Unlike Facebook, these posts should not be about your family or what you had for breakfast. Instead, it should offer advice or information on how to solve a problem. You don’t have to limit yourself to your personal updates either. There are plenty of groups in almost every field where you can provide some input. The more you connect with other people and provide useful insight, the more you position yourself as an expert. This, in turn, grows your audience.
Navigating your way through LinkedIn can be a daunting task, but luckily the following infographic can help get you started. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. It can take months of hard work to build your audience, but eventually you’ll grow your audience and, if the content you provide is truly valuable, they will become your brand ambassadors.