Social networks are basically websites used to make social connections with the help of an extensive personal profile. More than 200 networking sites have been made available on the internet to serve various purposes. The world of social networking, however, exploded in these recent years. It is then that the people started to realise that social media can also be used for other purposes like finding jobs, creating business ties and discovering new sales leads, apart from the usual task of making friends or sharing videos and photos.

The latest one to join the league of social media is a business oriented website called LinkedIn. Co- founded in May 2003 by 5 Stanford brains who wanted to cash in on the idea of developing an online professional network.  However, the website was the brainchild of Guericke and Hoffman, two of the five founders.

By October 2007, LinkedIn had some 15 million users using its facilities. Now with more than 135 million users in over 200 countries, LinkedIn is here to stay.

LinkedIn: A business networking tool

LinkedIn is essentially a tool and just like any other tool, it has been created for a purpose. Quite different from other social networks, LinkedIn is designed especially for the task of professional networking.  Completed aimed for your professional development, LinkedIn helps users uncover latest business opportunities and helps people achieve their professional goals. Today, more than 200 million users are a part of this strong network and are taking benefit of the company’s networking opportunity.

Potential customers

LinkedIn has shown tremendous development in recent years and is one of the fastest evolving professional networks in the world.  With a very traffic generated on the website, LinkedIn is now the ultimate destination for any professional to build strong professional ties.  A recent survey was carried to showcase how LinkedIn has evolved as a potential network in many countries of the globe. The data from the survey was as followed.

  • The DACH region comprising of three superpowers like Germany, Austria and Switzerland has an estimate of nearly 2 million people using LinkedIn.
  • USA tops the list with 57 million members logging to LinkedIn for professional networking.
  • India came second with more than 11 million followed by the UK with 6 million members enjoying the services offered by LinkedIn.
  •  Brazil and Canada with an estimated user network of nearly 4 million came next.
  • Countries like Italy, Australia, France and Netherlands each have 2 million members connected through LinkedIn.

Getting started with LinkedIn

Creating a strong LinkedIn profile

Signing up at LinkedIn is completely free of cost and one doesn’t need to be a social media aficionado to create a strong profile on this social networking website. Keeping in mind a few things listed below will simply your task.

  • Membership- at the time of signing up, LinkedIn asks for your basic information like name, email address, job title and company. If possible, use a smart business name to attract customers. LinkedIn then verifies your personal information and you are ready to create your own profile.
  • Profile- creating a profile at LinkedIn is like personal branding. The better you are, the more you attract potential businesses. Talk about the organisations and projects you are or have been associated with. Create a work history and amplify about all your accomplishments till date. This will be fruitful in the long-run.
  • Chose groups that matter- there could be umpteen reasons for you to be associated with at atleast one group on LinkedIn. These groups help you know more about your areas of interest. Many of them even keep you abreast with the latest happenings.
  • Account type- basic membership on LinkedIn is absolutely free but comes with limited features. But as we say, nothing in this world is a cakewalk. Thus, you can avail to business membership at a price of $29.95 per month. Such a membership will help you gain access to nearly 300 profiles while looking for business networks. The business plus membership costs a total of $49.95 and will help you see upto 500 profiles on LinkedIn. The last one is the Executive plan at $99.95 per month to make use of all the features of LinkedIn.
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