The Benefits of LinkedIn

| Written by: Lauren Antista

President and CEO of Netweave Social Networking Kevin McNulty caught the FPRA Capital Chapter members up to speed on the latest updates to LinkedIn and how they can be utilized as a PR tool. With over 277 million users worldwide and 87 million of those in the U.S. (and growing), its now the third largest social media platform.

LinkedIn has added a lot of features and is much more this just a virtual resume that you update once and awhile and then ignore. As a social media platform, it’s moved beyond personal pages and groups, to offer pages for businesses that allow these businesses to showcase their services. Web referrals from sources like LinkedIn have increased by 35% in 2012-2013.

LinkedIn has also become the number one tool for members of the press to find sources. As a PR pro, you can amp up your profile to represent yourself as a credible source and use it as a way to vet potential connections. It’s also a great tool for research, allowing PR pros to follow the competition, test marketing ideas and gain inspiration, it also is a source of current trends and issues via discussion groups and connection with customers. It’s become an asset for the social media savvy PR professional.

Even the functionality of LinkedIn has amped up its ability to connect people and businesses. Demonstrating the search function, Mr. McNulty showed that you can refine the search down to the type of relationship you have with other users. Extra functionality is also available with the purchase of LinkedIn Premium.  There is also the ability now to make status updates on LinkedIn, something like Facebook, but with more of a informational and networking purpose in mind. Mr. McNulty stressed that these kind of updates should be diverse, updated frequently (at least weekly) and add value to the people that can see it. Users also have share tools like SlideShare, can share photos and those with a business page gain access to useful metrics. The key is to keep any profile active.

Mr. McNulty closed with a handy LinkedIn profile checklist to keep in mind, including the following tips:

  1. Complete profile to All Star Level.

  2. Review security and privacy settings.

  3. Use keywords in headline rather than your title.

  4. Share at least 1 update per week.

  5. Participate in group discussions.

  6. Continue to build your network.

  7. Offer help (bring value and you will be sought out).

Download a copy of Mr. McNulty’s presentation.

About Kevin McNulty:

Kevin McNulty is President and CEO of NetWeave Social Networking. Netweave is the Sun Coast’s first social media agency, represents over sixty clients (such as Florida Aquarium, SUN n’ FLY Fly-In and the South Florida Museum).  It was named the Manatee Chamber’s  Business of the Year 2013 and the Florida Attractions Association’s Association Member of the Year 2013. To reach Kevin, contact him at 941-567-1727 or [email protected].