LinkedIn is way more than just your online resume and Rolodex. LinkedIn is now a go-to source of business news, a content publishing platform and a contact relationship manager (CRM).
Find out why LinkedIn is the best social media platform for start-ups, hands-down. If you’re undecided, check out these six reasons to get on-board straightaway!
1. LinkedIn is your auto-updating Rolodex
Back before LinkedIn we’d all keep a Rolodex or maybe an online database of contacts, but if that person changed jobs or businesses, we’d lose contact when their details changed. Nowadays, LinkedIn means we don’t need to worry about losing contact with people or losing their business cards.
2. Now it’s your free CRM
Since the recent rollout of ‘contacts’ functionality, you can now tag contacts, add notes and reminders, and record how you met them. That is a huge improvement in how we can manage our ever-growing network of business contacts.
Note: you can install this new functionality on your LinkedIn for free, but it doesn’t happen automatically. You’ll be prompted to install it when you login, and it takes a few minutes to process all your contacts into this new format. The invite to install it does look like a banner ad, so keep an eye out for it and don’t accidentally ignore it!
3. It’s the place for business news
LinkedIn is fast becoming the go-to place for business news. You can read unique articles written by a wide range ‘influencers’ and well-known business leaders, such as Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Arianna Huffington.
In addition, it also has the LinkedIn Today feature where they publish popular content from all around the web.
4. LinkedIn is your free content-sharing platform
It is now as easy as ever to share your content with your entire professional network. You can also submit your best articles to LinkedIn Today and if they decide to publish your work, you’ll be exposed to thousands more readers. And publishing your articles to LinkedIn Groups is the perfect way to introduce your content to new readers, and engage with them.
5. You can connect with fellow professionals
My colleague Selina Power got me thinking about better ways to use LinkedIn in her recent podcast. Until my subsequent discussions with Selina, I’d been quite closed in my approach as to who I accept as a ‘connection’ on LinkedIn.
My reluctance to accept people that I did not know personally lay in the fact that it may be seen an as endorsement of that person, when in reality I didn’t know any more about these people than what they say in their bio. I was initially sceptical about connecting, but since LinkedIn is becoming much more of a content publishing platform, it makes sense to broaden my network, so more people can read and interact with my content.
After all, we are marketing a business, and this is the perfect content marketing tool. My rule of thumb now is to accept people if they have written a personalised request.
6. LinkedIn is improving everyday
LinkedIn continues to get better and I’m sure there are many exciting improvements in the pipeline. I still wish that LinkedIn had the ‘follow’ functionality for individuals like it does for Company Pages, because it would allow for people who you don’t know to still opt-in to receive your content. That way it would still mean you could limit your connections to people you actually know but share your content far and wide. Maybe that will be next.
To help your LinkedIn marketing you may also like to download the LinkedIn Five-Minute Daily Marketing Plan – there’s a version for beginner, intermediate and advanced.
This article first appeared on StartupSmart.