Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+, Pinterest … the number of social networks present in our daily lives is increasing and, far from stopping, it seems that the trend is going to continue on the rise. This diversity, which should be positive a priori, means that most people use many of these social networks without great knowledge, after all, in none of them.
These large platforms have something in common: they allow us to be in contact with our acquaintances and facilitate the exchange of knowledge, but at the same time they are very different from each other and present a multitude of possibilities that we are often unaware of, so we do not take advantage of the full potential that they put within our reach .
The undisputed queen of all social networks is, without a doubt, Facebook, a network highly focused on personal relationships and entertainment. In the opposite place to it, with the aim of facilitating the creation of a network of professional contacts and the search for employment, is the social network that we want to talk to you about today: LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn Story
LinkedIn was created in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant. Since it was launched in the United States in 2003, it quickly became the largest professional social network in the world, reaching only 4,500 users in its first month , a not inconsiderable number considering the moment in question.
LinkedIn came to Spain 6 years later, in the fall of 2008, and since then it has not stopped growing, currently exceeding 8 million users.
Such is the success of this social network that, last year 2016, Microsoft decided to buy it (for more than 23 million euros) with the aim of reinforcing its presence in the business services for professionals and companies.
What is LinkedIn for?
LinkedIn is a professional social network aimed at establishing commercial and professional relationships , so users are basically professionals and companies seeking to promote themselves, network, and offer and search for employment . It is a tool that allows us to create a profile with a professional image, as well as show our potential as workers and reinforce our personal brand.
LinkedIn allows us to provide data and information , not only about how we are and what we do, but what we know, our studies, interests and work experience.
In addition, this platform can also help us meet and contact professionals in our field of work, generate conversations, offer our services or publicize our projects, making it easier for them to find us and expanding our network of contacts.
In short, LinkedIn has become the online space where we can create and constantly update our curriculum vitae , show our work profile and comment with other professionals and companies with whom we are interested in establishing contact.
How does it work?
The operation of LinkedIn is very similar to that of other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter: by creating a new account , you can start to fill in the personal data requested. The only difference with other online platforms is that the data they will ask you for will be related to your professional facet: education, qualifications, languages, skills, current job, previous jobs, publications … basically what you would put on your resume.
In addition, LinkedIn will ask you for a photo to complete your profile . It is important that this fits professional parameters such as, for example, that the image is of good quality or that you appear alone, smiling and in a neutral background. It is also important not to reuse photos of events and avoid clippings, especially in the event that other people appear in the background.
You should bear in mind that the image will be the first thing that other users will see of you, so if it is adequate, your professional brand will be reinforced.
Advantages of using LinkedIn
The enormous possibilities that LinkedIn offers are present from the first moment of creating your profile since, according to the data you enter, the platform will propose possible contacts to you . For example, if you indicate that you have worked in a certain company, LinkedIn will examine the members of that company who have a profile and will propose them to you as possible acquaintances. This way it is very easy to recover lost contacts over time . Also, you can always decide whether to accept them or not. With all this you can create a personal and updated agenda of the professional contacts that you consider relevant.
LinkedIn also has the possibility of creating discussion groups , a tool that offers great opportunities. You can ask to join an existing group on a topic that interests you or create one yourself. This will allow you to update yourself on the topics that most attract you, consult questions with experts in those areas and also make new contacts that you can join your list. LinkedIn groups have great potential, as they allow you to reach a diversity of people around the world and this increases the chances of success of your image and your personal brand.
In addition to everything discussed, like any other social network, LinkedIn allows you to publish on your wall , being able, for example, to publish content created by yourself or corporate in the case of companies.
But the features of LinkedIn do not end here, there are many more. Probably one of the most used capabilities is networking, channeled through the advanced search tool , an instrument that facilitates segmentation for locating companies and people with whom you are interested in relating. Let’s say, for example, that you are interested in finding Community Managers of the automotive sector in your city. You could put in the search engine the keyword Communnity Manager , from the automotive sector, and search through your postal code. In the same way, a company that is interested in finding candidates related to a certain job could use this tool.
LinkedIn is, in short, a great tool that will facilitate your work relationships . Also, if you use it correctly, your reputation and your personal brand will be highly favored.