In business circles, everywhere you turn, people are talking about LinkedIn.
Although it remains as the most enigmatic and misunderstood of all the major social networking sites, interest in LinkedIn is at an all-time high, and curiosity on how to leverage the site to generate revenue is piqued. At this stage, any individual or company consciously choosing not to recognize LinkedIn, or explore its potential, is viewed as laggard.
People are tired of hearing that they “should be” paying more attention to LinkedIn. They now want iron-clad proof that this thing really works before they invest their time, energy and money.
There is an abundance of online tutorials, blogs, white papers, eBooks and videos on creating and maximizing a LinkedIn presence. Much of the work is derivative, but look hard and you will unearth some solid, practical content. Whereas much can be gleaned from these sources, there is no substitute for learning LinkedIn through your own experience.
But there are those who continue to doubt the legitimacy of social networking as an instrument of business growth. To them, I would like to declare that LinkedIn is alive and well. The time is right to ratchet up your level of commitment, move forward on the site and don’t look back.
Here is why LinkedIn should be taken very, very seriously:
The LinkedIn Metrics
Internet science has one chief and extremely reliable indicator-namely, metrics. At the time of this writing, LinkedIn has eclipsed the 225 million user mark, adding new members at the dizzying rate of two per second. Each month, LinkedIn breaks its own record for unique visitor traffic, averaging in excess of 50 million unique user visits per month (Source: Quantcast, January 2013).
Studies further demonstrate that a person’s LinkedIn profile nets the greatest percentage of first clicks after a Google search by name. Given this trend, and the advantageous search engine position of the LinkedIn profile URL (at or near the top in the listings), people are finally waking up to the reality that their LinkedIn profiles need to be dressed for success.
A Rise in LinkedIn Evangelism
Some folks have been at LinkedIn for a long time and their persistence has paid off. Every day, there is a new success story, one that could not have happened without LinkedIn as an intermediary.
- A salesperson exceeded quota.
- An attorney landed a large corporate client.
- A recruiter filled an important position for a client firm.
- An executive in transition finally networked her way to that dream gig.
LinkedIn is changing people’s professional lives for the better, and those who are reaping the benefits are talking about it. The greatest inspiration to those who have yet to realize a LinkedIn breakthrough is found in the enthusiasm and accomplishments of those they know who created transformational change.
Social Media is an Industry
Social media is right up there with electricity, the telephone, television, the automobile, the airplane, antiseptic surgery, and controlling fire as mankind’s greatest innovations. It is a global phenomenon that has transcended the limits of thought and forever altered the ways in which we live and interact with each other. That it has had this profound an effect on human behavior from a business standpoint is truly remarkable.
Naturally, the industry around social media was bound to flourish.
Today, the demand for knowledge on how to leverage these platforms is off the charts, and there are legions of consultants, strategists, trainers, coaches, and analysts operating at the sole proprietor, partnership and agency levels. Additionally, social media is now a full-fledged academic discipline (taught at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels), and schools are preparing students for the rigors of a career in or around these crucial skills.
It is clear that resistance to LinkedIn is diminishing. Millions of users are now willing to take the leap of faith from dabbler to active participant. If you are a novice, ask questions. If you have gained traction on LinkedIn, do the work that will keep your wheels hugging the road. If you have crossed over into power user territory, you are poised for achievement. Keeping up with LinkedIn as it continues on this path of change is a challenge, but one certainly worth embracing. Stay ahead of the curve or fall behind.
References: Quantcast Measurement Reports https://www.quantcast.com/linkedin.com
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