Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has become a very important social network with 467 million users to date. More than 5.5 million South Africans are currently registered on this platform.
LinkedIn is best suited for companies and individuals wanting to establish credibility and to connect within or outside their respective industries. Many business owners and company leaders are using LinkedIn as a tool to be brand ambassadors and promote their businesses.
PERSONAL AND BUSINESS PAGES
LinkedIn offers both personal and business profiles. When opening an account, it’s important to decide what your objective is. You can sign up for a basic profile, free of charge, or select a premium plan with advanced features to help you meet your objectives ranging from R325 to R1 200 per month. You need to consider which option is a good fit for your business needs. The more you pay, the more features you get, however, currently 79% of LinkedIn users use the free version, so the majority seem to get by.
KEY QUESTIONS THAT CAN HELP YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT ACCOUNT
- How much am I willing to spend?
- Will the money I spend be worthwhile?
- What are my objectives?
- Do I want to use this platform for personal job opportunities, recruitment of employees, communicating with existing clients or finding new potential clients?
- Will LinkedIn give me access to my specific target market?
WHAT LINKEDIN OFFERS YOU
- LinkedIn allows professionals to provide a summary of their skills, qualifications, achievements and employment experience. It serves as a platform for individuals to indirectly market and open themselves up to potential employment opportunities.
- Companies and recruiters also use this platform to search and research potential candidates.
- Some professionals use LinkedIn to communicate with others in their network by posting or publishing interesting and relevant articles.
- LinkedIn can be used for collaboration purposes through forums, creating or joining groups of interest, membership bodies and companies.
- It also allows you to follow influencers outside of your personal network.
- You also have the option to rate and write online references for former colleagues.
HOW TO CREATE A POWERFUL PROFILE
Complete your profile “headline” and describe yourself carefully to ensure that the right people find you and understand who you are.
Keep it short and informative and use powerful descriptive keywords.
List your experience. This is a key element of your profile and will act as your CV.
Consider listing your skills and what you have learnt from each experience.
Ensure that the most important information is at the top and that you use the summary section to specify your future aspirations.
Your profile photo says a lot more about you than you think. This is a professional network, so ensure that you include a professional-looking picture. People are less likely to interact if you don’t have a profile picture.
Before you hit save, proofread your entire page. Don’t shy away from getting a second set of eyes to review your profile before it goes live.
Sources: SA Social Media Landscape Report