I decided to read Chapter 9 on “LinkedIn: Social Networking for Professionals” in our textbook, “Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals” because I wanted to educate myself about the networking site. I don’t know anything about it yet I have one, so I thought “Hmm.. why the heck not?!
First and foremost, let’s learn a definition. Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) defines social media as “the building of communities or networks and encouraging participation and engagement.” This is spot on! We are encouraged to engage with people in real world and then there’s also our favorite way of interacting, the Internet. Seriously, what would we do without the Internet? God bless Robert E. Kahn and Vint Cerf! We certainly wouldn’t have the sites nor applications we love so much today and we wouldn’t be able to link with our peers, mentors, friends, family and professionals AKA LinkedIn.
I was astounded to read that over 135 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities. And, as of November 2011, there were more than six million members in the U.K. (The site’s UK homepage, p. 80) As I am always trotting the web, I wanted to find out how many people in the states use it. I found a great resource telling me all about the statistics of LinkedIn. I was expecting to find statistics on just USA but I was happy to learn about other countries association with “Facebook’s sensible older brother site” (Appleby, Matt p. 79). As of November 2013, it shows the Top 10 countries with the most people on LinkedIn, which I am going to share with you!
- USA – 84,851, 462 (Sidenote: #GOMERICA!)
- INDIA – 20, 959, 886
- BRAZIL – 14, 623, 515
- UK – 12,772,853
- CANADA – 8,095,417
- FRANCE – 6,103,611
- ITALY – 5,651,460
- SPAIN – 5,076,834
- MEXICO – 4,895,155
- AUSTRALIA – 4,688,775
WOW!! I am so happy to learn that LinkedIn is such a hot commodity in the world! I was thrilled to know that the US LinkedIn population is greater than the rest of the Top 10 LinkedIn countries combined (minus Australia) and 3,769 times BIGGER than the least popular country (Montenegro). Some more statistics (fun facts, if you will) that I found fascinating is when I read what the population of US LinkedIn users is equivalent to:
- The entire population of Spain
- Twice the population of South Korea
- The population of the entire US in 1906
- Canada’s population as a country will catch up to LinkedIn’s US population by the year 2056 (HOLY COW! If you were curious, I’ll be 65 years old then!)
So, what’s in it for me? Matt Appleby writes, “LinkedIn sells itself as a platform to connect/reconnect, boost your career and find answers; simple really – just an online extension of our offline networks.” So it’s basically for us college students who are eager to find a job after graduation. It is so FOR me! LinkedIn is a fabulous outlet. “It gives you the opportunity to belong to multiple networks based on school, university, employer, shared skills, professional bodies, shared interests, local business networks and so on.” It’s also a “highly effective tool for managing a personal professional brand online.” With LinkedIn, we (the users) have to differentiate between ‘PR person’ and ‘person’ (Appleby, Matt p. 81).
It was also interesting to know that not only Facebook has branded pages, but that LinkedIn have developed Company Pages since November 2010 and that two million companies have created their own LinkedIn Company Page! Way to market! Appleby says “What Facebook has become to consumer marketing, LinkedIn is for business-to-business.” He also says, ” ‘LinkedIn is strictly business, and that’s what makes it such an attractive option for business-to-business marketers.” He then goes on and talks about what the original Company Pages involve; which allows members to follow, share and see who in their networks was linked to the business or recommended its products and services. Company Pages present opportunity for many reasons such as “to reward the human side of a company, to see individuals behind the brand and highlight how these people use its products.” The Cluetrain Manifesto is talked about in this section which I found fitting because we’re reading that right now in class! (Appleby, Matt p.83-84)
The final thing I’d like to touch on is where LinkedIn is going. As I read, I can tell it’s definitely moving forward. As I keep researching online, I see articles on what’s new with LinkedIn. Just 11 hours ago, they welcomed new features to the site, such as:
Making the most of who’s viewing your LinkedIn profile with ‘How You Rank':
Who’s Viewed Your Profile is one of the most popular destinations on LinkedIn – after all, we all secretly love to see who’s been checking us out. For many savvy professionals, Who’s Viewed Your Profile is more than just a glimpse of who looked at your profile, it’s filled with customized insights designed to help you build your professional brand, generate new opportunities, and manage your network.
Stay Up-to-Date with your LinkedIn Groups
One of the easiest ways to boost your professional brand on LinkedIn is to find other like-minded professionals to connect and exchange ideas with in LinkedIn Groups.
Find “People You Know”
Strong professional relationships can make a successful career. But building a healthy, thriving professional network takes time, experience, and especially a little know-how. LinkedIn’s all-new People You May Know page is taking some of the mystery out of building that network. The new People You May Know simplifies the experience of growing your network.
By incorporating these new features, it seems as if some of Facebook’s features rubbed off on LinkedIn, don’t you think? As we know by being media literate people, familiarity and intimacy make up formula. As long as LinkedIn keeps growing, the better the business-to-business campaign will get!
I’m glad I informed myself on LinkedIn because I’ve definitely introduced the site to myself whereas at the beginning of the semester, I had no idea what LinkedIn was all about. I’m looking forward to use my resources and find opportunities that will gear me into the right direction – a job! :)
I’m going to leave my readers with this question…
edited with PicMonkey