The Pros and Cons of LinkedIn for Business.
Social media site LinkedIn is extremely useful for networking. But like all of the major social networks, it has both benefits and downfalls as a business tool. Here we will look at both the good and bad sides of the social media site.
1. Easy to go “Viral”.
Much like many other social media sites, LinkedIn has a focus on content. No matter if it’s achievements, job openings, or general updates, LinkedIn allows you to post it. The more times it is shared, Linkedin sees it as more authoritative, and so shares it to more people outside your 1st level connections. This becomes extremely useful if what you’re posting contains a link to your website or blog.
2. Improves Your SEO.
Personal branding is also extremely helpful via LinkedIn, as Google often ranks this near the top, which helps you dominate the search results Give it a try. Type your name into Google and see how high up the search results you are.
3. Professional Environment.
Most LinkedIn users are either
professionals or aspiring professionals. These people all share the same goal –
to network and make connections. Because of this, you can apply a slightly more
direct approach. Show what you have to offer.
4. Less Personal.
Although LinkedIn requires you have a
profile account, its focus is still primarily on businesses and professionals
networking and connecting. This means that once again that because most of its
users are coming from the same angle, you can be less personal. Looking for
someone to do PR for your business? You can search for someone with PR
experience and connect with them.
5. Free To Sign Up.
LinkedIn is free to start up an account and
begin connecting. A few features of a free account include:
· Build a professional network.
· Message anybody you connect with.
· Request and provide recommendations.
· Both search and view other members
· Save up to 3 searches and receive updates
on that search.
6. Increases Your Business’s Online Visibility.
Having a well-made LinkedIn page for your
business is not only a good way for professionals to find you. It’s also a
great way of finding potential leads. If you’re a small business and are
waiting for SEO strategies to boost your website ranking, try searching your
business name into Google. Chances are, much like your personal branding, your
LinkedIn page will rank high.
7. Free Research.
No matter whether you’re looking to
research your target audience or find information on what your competitors,
LinkedIn can help. With its useful search filters, it’s easy to find whoever
you’re looking for.
LinkedIn members include executives from
companies listed on the Fortune 500 list.
8. LinkedIn Pulse.
When you post a piece of content through
LinkedIn Pulse, everyone you are in connection with will receive a
notification. This notification lets them know you what you have posted.
Assuming this piece of content relates to your business, this can lead to an
extremely large amount of traffic to your website. It’s worth making sure you
have a medium to a large number of contacts before doing this.
1. Potential Spam.
Some people are like bulldozers when it
comes to business. Whereas you may take the delicate approach of connecting
with people that are relevant to you and your business, there are some that
won’t. Be prepared to receive connect requests and messages from random users
who are trying to sell anything to anyone.
You may take a careful and considered
approach to target your audience. People respect this. However, some people
prefer to follow the motto of ‘throw enough mud, some will stick’.
2. Time Investment.
To create and maintain a successful
LinkedIn network takes time and effort. This is separate from the time taken to
create an effective profile or page. Credibility in various groups on the site
requires regular activity.
Unlike that relative you don’t like,
LinkedIn is not something you can just check up on every so often. If you want
to get the most out of LinkedIn, be willing to set aside some time every day.
3. Fewer Interaction Types.
LinkedIn does not provide as many ways of
interacting with other users as other social media sites. Arguably this is a
good thing, as LinkedIn focuses on the professional rather than the personal.
However, the lack of features such as games, questionnaires, ‘memories’ often
cause people to call LinkedIn ‘dull’ or ‘boring’.
Despite the fact it’s labelled as a social
media site, don’t be fooled. There isn’t much social about it. It’s for
business, and (almost) business only.
4. Hidden Expenses.
Although LinkedIn is free to join, the
price of additional and better services can soon begin to rack up. LinkedIn
Premium prices range from $29.99/month for ‘Premium Career’ to $119.95/month
for ‘Recruiter Lite’. One of the benefits of these price brackets offer is the
ability to see more information on users and businesses. Although these can
offer huge benefits when compared to a free account, these can be costly for a
starter or medium-sized business. Especially considering these prices do not
include certain taxes.
5. Incomplete Profile Dilemma.
To get the most out of LinkedIn, it’s
recommended you fill out your profile as much as possible. Some of the
information it will ask you to fill in will be somewhat personal. On your
personal profile this includes past work, qualifications, and personal
information. On your business profile it includes location, services offered,
Yet only some of this information is available to see as a free profile. Areas such as salary are hidden behind LinkedIn Premium. So, you may feel inclined to not share this. However, an incomplete profile is often overlooked or considered unprofessional. It’s a catch-22. With huge potential that LinkedIn holds, you don’t want your personal or business profile being overlooked.