LinkedIn is becoming a popular new portal for professional-minded savvy networkers to conduct business activities, job searches and entrepreneurship enterprises online. Because LinkedIn is a more exclusive and focused online community than, say, the mega-popular catchall communities that Facebook and Twitter have become over the last few years, LinkedIn has some significant benefits and advantages over its larger but less refined online competitors.
Whether you are considering returning to earn your degree in anything from an MBA entrepreneurship online program or you simply want to take advantage of a thriving online community with a clear business focus, these seven benefits of using LinkedIn can take you from invisible to highly visible and desirable in less time than you might think.
LinkedIn Profiles Make Easy Introductions
The first of the seven benefits of using LinkedIn revolves around creating a profile. Your LinkedIn profile, unlike online profiles you may have created on other social media sites you belong to, revolves solely around your professional pedigree. Not simply a place to list where you have worked and what you have already accomplished, whether it be a series of savvy steps as you launch a new business or the pursuit of an online MBA entrepreneurship degree, your LinkedIn profile page also gives you the chance to seek out new opportunities with like-minded peers, collaborators, colleagues or future employers.
LinkedIn Groups Launch Productive Conversations
The next benefit of using LinkedIn is the chance to participate in LinkedIn Today and Groups. Groups is a LinkedIn Today feature that allows you to find like-minded colleagues to brainstorm, network, conduct job searches, create new enterprises and much more. For instance: if you were to decide to pursue your mba entrepreneurship online, you can search for a LinkedIn group where other professionals pursuing their entrepreneurship degrees gather to talk shop. Because this group focuses on your specific interest, you can gain great value from participating without wasting time or energy. You can also start your own group to gain exposure and build out your network.
LinkedIn Makes Brand-Building and Networking Easy
Two more fantastic advantages when you use LinkedIn revolve around the steps you take toward marketing and building your social network. Whether you are advertising that you will soon graduate with your entrepreneurship mba and you are on the hunt for a job, or you have launched a new business and want to spread the word about your brand and its products or services, LinkedIn gives you a tiered networking system to spread the word via advertising that – simply put – doesn’t resemble advertising. With LinkedIn the days of direct mail and thrusting a pushy flyer (or a resume!) in someone’s face are over. Now you can effortlessly build your social network as you market yourself or your business and effortlessly market yourself or your business as you expand your social network.
LinkedIn Allows for Targeted Research
Another often overlooked advantage of choosing LinkedIn to build your networking skills and contacts is the valuable information you have access to once you are inside the community. Because LinkedIn prides itself on maintaining a professional and industry-minded focus, the community can provide a wealth of information about a business or individual you are interested in learning more about, as well as links to hot topics and relevant articles and posts about different areas of industry. You can also contribute your own blog on LinkedIn to share your knowledge with others and join topic-specific groups in which members post links to content you can easily access in just the mere click of a button.
LinkedIn Cares About Others
The final two benefits of using LinkedIn involve paying it forward and showcasing your volunteer efforts. Because giving and receiving are inextricably intertwined, you can receive just as much benefit from taking on a mentoring and encouraging role for younger professional members as you can from being mentored and encouraged in continuing your own professional journey. With a new feature called “LinkedIn Volunteer Experiences and Causes,” you can showcase causes you are involved in and champion the volunteer efforts of others.
This benefit also allows you to network in a very organic way and meet others who share your passions both personally and professionally. Whether you plan to enter the field of nonprofit management or found your own nonprofit organization, or you simply wish to establish your presence as a professional who values giving back, LinkedIn launched Volunteer Experiences and Causes for exactly this reason.
This author of this article is Jamie Gordan-Post. A social media strategist who also has earned her MBA in due time, Gordan-Post has studied the impact of the several major social networks, which include LinkedIn. She believes that establishing a presence on the site is a must for any professional today. Gordan-Post lives in North Carolina with her family.PS: Digging this story, news or review? Let us know! Comments open.
About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is a professional self-employed blogger and the founder / owner of Technology Blogged. 22, with a love for good writing, you'll find me playing 'Drag Racing' on my HTC One X and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to my feed for unique editorials. Find me on Google+. View author profile.