LinkedIn is by far the most useful business network on the internet. I say this because LinkedIn has grown from a social network that connects professionals into a powerhouse of business tools that can improve your bottom line.
As is the case with much of the web, its prominence in emerging markets is also growing. In a country like South Africa for instance, LinkedIn grew 83% (600 000 professionals) in 2011 and 2012 has already seen a 45% increase with a total of 1.6-million people using the professional network.
It’s also interesting to note that the top growth sectors are Manufacturing, Agriculture and Medical with growth rates of between 57% and 70%. These stats show that LinkedIn in South Africa has become the place to be in order to network with other business professionals.
The business of LinkedIn shows in its share price — currently at US$98.52 (compared to Facebook, which is currently trading at US$27.83).
LinkedIn offers advertising solutions that help target business professionals to ensure your content reaches the right individuals. It also offers services that help you connect with the right people and strategically build your network. The real benefit and business value come in their main revenue driver, LinkedIn Recruiter.
LinkedIn allows people to brand themselves online and build a profile that will help them secure a great career in the future. This means that the information available about candidates is rich and deep, helping employers get a better feel of the candidate before calling them in for an interview. These branded business professionals reveal a new competitive advantage to headhunt employees instead of opening up all prospective positions to large amounts of “job spam”. Finally, we now have a way to find and approach those hard to find passive candidates.
It has become clear that having a LinkedIn profile is no longer optional, but an imperative for the success of your career in the future.