Savvy small business owners know the power of professional networking, but in recent times they’ve also climbed onto the bandwagon of online professional networking with LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 175 million members worldwide.
According to the professional online social network, there are currently 15,222,964 LinkedIn members who are small business professionals (defined as those who work at a company that has between 11 to 500 employees) from all around the world.
Globally, the top five countries with the most small business professionals on LinkedIn are:
- United States (There are 6,874,850 LinkedIn members in the U.S. who are small business professionals.)
- United Kingdom (There are 1,059,303 LinkedIn members in the U.K. who are small business professionals.)
- India (There are 1,012,058 LinkedIn members in India who are small business professionals.)
- The Netherlands (There are 597,010 LinkedIn members in the Netherlands who are small business professionals.)
- Canada (There are 579,253 LinkedIn members in Canada who are small business professionals.)
Singapore is ranked 26th out of the more than 200 countries surveyed, with 66,562 members LinkedIn members in Singapore who are small business professionals.
“Small business professionals leverage LinkedIn in a myriad of creative ways,” said LinkedIn’s connection director, Nicole Williams.
“Not only do they leverage the site to make critical hires, but they also use LinkedIn Groups like “mini conferences” where they can learn more about various subjects like advertising and public relations. We’ve also heard of small business professionals relying on their networks to find trusted vendors, partners and even funding for their companies.”
Here are some tips how small business professionals can use the world’s largest professional network to their advantage:
Your work can’t always speak for itself. Remind your employees to spread the word about your business.
Growing a small business from scratch is daunting, so surround yourself with loyal employees who will help you expand. Encourage your employees to thoroughly complete their LinkedIn Profiles, so prospective clients know you’ve hired high caliber experts. Make sure they include LinkedIn Skills and specialties in their profiles and also encourage them to participate in LinkedIn Answers. Giving your company more exposure, by demonstrating your employees’ strengths and expertise, will lead to more business leads later on down the line.
Make sure your company is listed – and we’re not talking about in the phone book or on the New York Stock Exchange.
Over two million companies have a LinkedIn Company Page – does yours? LinkedIn Company Pages not only provide key statistics about your business and who’s interested in it, for free, but they also help you keep track of the competition. When you follow a competitor’s LinkedIn Company Page, you can find out what talent is joining, and leaving, those companies.
Maintaining a happy customer base offline? Make sure they sing your praises online as well.
A happy customer can be an influential advocate for your brand. In the digital world, it’s all about receiving positive online feedback. If you’re already giving your customers great service, then you’re halfway there. Have you received a glowing email about your exemplary service or revolutionary product? Add a free Products & Services tab to your LinkedIn Company Page and ask your customers to write your business a recommendation. Building out this page on LinkedIn will help prospective customers find you and also enable them to understand why your current customers are happy.
[Image credit: Wikipedia]