Businesses, as they begin to use social media more and more, they are realizing how to get the most of the applications that they are using in addition to knowing which applications to use. That goes for consumers and job hunters as well. I get closer towards my graduation; I am starting to build my new profile for my career search. One of the applications I will put my profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with millions of members and growing rapidly. It can help establish a professional profile and control one of the top search results. In addition, it can build and maintain a broader network of as well as learn about other companies. But, LinkedIn can do more than just that. It can actually help develop and leverage powerful tools to find and reach the people you need including customers and other companies with which to do business.
LinkedIn is a great network for finding leads, growing their business globally, or finding the right vendors. However, they are more ways to get use LinkedIn. Current customers can post recommendations on a business’ profile for visitors like potential customers to peruse. Also, businesses can link blogs from their LinkedIn profiles about their products. When looking through the LinkedIn, I found many grocery store chains miss this opportunity. Giant Eagle (my company), Wegman’s and Delhaize have very basic profiles basically advertising positions that they have open. However, Publix, a southern grocery store chain based in Florida, has a much more expansive profile. They include updates, Facebook and Twitter accounts’ links as well as links to blogs about the company and products. They also have a look into their culture and interviews with employers. Whether or not this is the cause, Publix has many followers than the other three.
LinkedIn offers a way for businesses to sell to and work with other business through their own profiles and researching others. Businesses can also utilize LinkedIn for business to business transactions and couplings. There are grocery forums and groups such as Progressive Grocer and retail and Wholesale for Network where businesses can interact and sell their services and products to each other.
Regardless, these social media is used sparingly with the grocery store chains as well as many other businesses. It is mostly used as a job search tool. The site states its mission is “to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” There is no desire on the LinkedIn site to be a social networking site for the masses. The site is for managers, primarily middle managers and young professionals who want to build contacts and look for employment. However, there is room for companies to develop a more PR usable tool. By filling out the LinkedIn profile completely, such as what products or services they sale would expand their ability to show what they have to offer. Also, adding more links to other social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter as well as adding the LinkedIn links to those outlets can continue to bring in potential customers. But many companies just have a small explanation of the company and just job postings.
The Value of LinkedIn, http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/45, accessed on Feb 2013
Kawasaki, Guy (April 2010), Ten Ways for Small Businesses to Use LinkedIn, http://blog.linkedin.com/2010/04/12/linkedin-small-business-tips/
LinkedIn accounts of Publix, Wegman’s, Giant Eagle, and Delhaize.
Evans, Meryl K (Jul 2009), 33 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business, http://gigaom.com/2009/07/13/33-ways-to-use-linkedin-for-business/
Horton, James (2011), How Fortune100 Companies Use LinkedIn, http://www.online-pr.com/Holding/Fortune%20100%20and%20LinkedIn.pdf