By Pat Kramer, Writer For Hire
LinkedIn states as its mission, “to connect the world’s professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful.” Since I created my profile in May 2006, LinkedIn has come a long way and now offers businesses both a ‘high-tech’ and ‘high-touch’ way of building new relationships.
In November 2012, LinkedIn announced that it had 187 million registered users in over 200 countries and territories, worldwide. LinkedIn saw a 10 to 15 million member-per-quarter growth rate throughout 2012: About half of its members are in the United States. Contributing to the other 50% are Europe with over 11 million members (4 million+ users in the UK and 1 million in Spain), nearly 1 million in Pakistan, over 3 million in India and many more in the Netherlands, which had the highest adoption rate, per capita, outside the US at 30%.
I recently asked my connections to share with me how they are using LinkedIn for their businesses and how it has helped them. The responses I received were thought-provoking and gave me new insight into how others use LinkedIn to build valued relationships. I have listed three of the responses, here, to share with you their contributions:
Steve Goldstein, CEO of Payroll Management Solutions said, “The best use of LinkedIn for me so far has been testimonials. Only through LinkedIn have I been able to gather a large number of client testimonials that I have been able to use in my marketing efforts. That alone has been worth it for me.”
Jim Simonds, Principal of Arroyo Insurance says, “I use LinkedIn frequently. I have posted job searches (for new hires), and recently, International Insurance to do business in Vietnam. The site showed us who looked at our profiles, which in itself was mind-boggling.
“People in Vietnam are looking at the site and reading my postings! It has been a great outreach tool, internationally, and very easy to use as it is upgraded regularly.
“Also, I discovered that you can on use LinkedIn’s Excel spreadsheet to create a master list which I have used to create an email marketing campaign. There are so many uses!”
George McQuade, a well-respected L.A. PR guru started his own group on LinkedIn, “Entertainment Publicists & Communicators,” which has generated an interesting mix of PR professionals from around the globe.
“It started out as an experiment just to see what works and what doesn’t,” said George. “What works is engaging in personal conversations much like your inquiry. I have gotten three clients from Canada, China and the UK since I took LinkedIn seriously.”
By keeping his group, private, members can be candid and share confidential information with one another. As George says, “Like Vegas, what plays here stays here, except for the links.”
The group use to grow at three or four members a week and now comfortably generates two to three dozen a week with a total of 3,400+ members. Much of the discussion in his group focuses on education in the Entertainment Biz with many of the members PR professionals with 10 or more years of experience. Many are also in government relations and corporate communications.
While he feels LinkedIn limits users from growing their network by requiring they know their connections’ email addresses, LinkedIn believes that the “gated-access approach” (where contact with any professional requires either an existing relationship or the intervention of a contact of theirs) builds trust among the service’s users.
What are your uses or “success stories” with LinkedIn? To respond to this blog, please email me at: email@example.com.