So now LinkedIn has passed the 100 million user milestone and continues to add 1 million more every week so it should hit the 200 million users comfortably within the next 2 years.
On the back of LinkedIn’s planned IPO, a whole raft of new initiatives and new tools and platforms are being rolled out to build a really robust and valuable tool for business professionals. Unfortunately most users miss these new innovations unless they stumble across them and manage to work out how to use them – the great mystery is why LinkedIn does not communicate better with its users when it brings out new tools, especially since they are so powerful. The only way to find out what’s happening is via the LinkedIn Blog – if you know where to find it!
So apart from me, what are the other 99,999,999 LinkedIn user actually doing with it – sadly the answer is often, very little. Yes, there are the innovators who really do understand the power of this business network who deliberately work to secure new business contacts & introductions, who contribute their expertise to others and who use it as a marketing tool for themselves and their businesses. But most are still stuck in the collecting contacts and being silent phase. This is a bit like attending a networking event, getting everyone’s business cards, walking out and then just entering them into your Outlook address book – oh and then saying networking doesn’t work!
So what next – once you have some contacts linked to you, you just have to decide what you want to tell them each week about your professional life, your business, your products, your challenges, your successes – and of course respond to theirs too. But keep it business and professional – leave the social stuff to Facebook & Twitter.
Of course the easiest way to get to grips with this is to come to one of our Masterclasses. Contact one of our friendly training advisors for more information.
STEPHEN DANN, LinkedIn Expert