In the era of social networks : LinkedIn, an essential tool

By Rémi Lachance, MBA, AHRC for the magazine EnVue : see below

enVue_07-08_11-30The growing popularity of web applications and smart phones have changed the way we use the Web. We are witnessing a profound change in attitudes and habits of Internet, which requires companies to adapt to this new reality.

The website is a necessity, but nevertheless it is a showcase not just for businesses, since people meet their needs (Products, services and jobs) by relying on recommendations and referrals of their network. To build this trust and positive experience, companies are now using various social networks, that become a staple in business strategies. According to a study of the company HubSpot, social networks rank first sources that led to sales 2010, well ahead of the SEO, blogs and sending marketing emails. http://bit.ly/aewfHr

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is more than a marketing tool, well 40 % users use it for this purpose. This is the professional networking site and the largest business network in North America.

  • LinkedIn is a real database which currently accounts:
    • 100 000 000 Members;
    • Over 930 000 exchange groups and discussions, which are grouped by various fields of interest, Theme, cities and sectors;
    • Over 2 000 000 Business.

Quebec, we have now 800 000 members and we will be more 1 million Quebecers 2013 sur LinkedIn. The annual growth in membership in Canada is estimated to 10% per year, reports Simon Henault, founder of Linked Québec, the world's largest francophone LinkedIn group.

This growth causes each, sooner or later, to ask questions : do I register? What can make me LinkedIn?

Why integrate LinkedIn?

Many reasons can justify your presence and integration of the LinkedIn platform to your business strategies or your business strategies. Utilities and functions LinkedIn are many and one of them will apply to your situation, as is the case for several users (managers, Recruiters, professionals, self-employed and entrepreneurs).

Eight Reasons to Use LinkedIn:

  1. Increase your professional network;
  2. Share information, acquire and share expertise;
  3. Finding Customers, partners and / or suppliers;
  4. Find an employer / employment;
  5. Recruit staff ;
  6. Promote Your Business, increase your visibility and your image;
  7. Publicize your events;
  8. Perform business intelligence (commercial, competitive and social).

Some examples

Barack Obama used the Questions / Answers section (http://www.linkedin.com/answers) during his first election campaign in order to probe the leaders of American SMEs.

Lingo24 (Translation Agency) a haussé de 400% the number of visits to its website and 29 % its sales 2009, as a result of effective use of LinkedIn.

Proxima Centauri management (firm recruitment and human resources) increased its visibility in the market and 30 % its turnover is originated in LinkedIn 2010.

It is possible to consult one of 100 success stories of LinkedIn and its impact: http://100million.linkedin.com

You can now create a business page for absolutely free and include the description of the company, le logo, products and services available, la taille, sector, the website address, a corporate video and even solicit recommendations. This is for everyone and requires only a little of your time.

By accessing the business pages that interest you, you can stay informed with the latest news that concerns, their recruitment or departures, services or products: http://www.linkedin.com/companies

Create an attractive profile

As you walk on the platform (www.linkedin.com) you will have, step by step, to build a profile. To guide distinctively profile and build a complete and attractive manner, see that some users:

http://ca.linkedin.com/in/remilachance

http://ca.linkedin.com/in/simonhenault

http://ca.linkedin.com/in/claudemacdonald

Tips

  • Following your registration on LinkedIn, Join the largest francophone community on LinkedIn, whether : Linked Québec – Thèmes :http://linkd.in/themes-LQ, Linked Québec – Régions : http://linkd.in/regions-LQ Linked and Quebec - Careers : http://linkd.in/carrieres-LQ. The latter group wants to be a "one-stop job". It is intended for researchers, employers, recruiters and displays jobs absolutely free.
  • Training plan depending on your comfort level with LinkedIn: beginner, intermediate or advanced. This will give you an overview of LinkedIn, optimize your time invested and effectively guide your steps. Two people were precursors and are recognized as a trainer in Quebec : M. Simon Hénault (Montreal) et M. Rémi Lachance (Quebec).
  • Plan or suggest the establishment of a policy on the use of social networks, in order to regulate the use at work, the information contained therein compromise and ensure sound management of online reputation.
  • Businesses can now use the services of community managers to maintain a presence on LinkedIn and other networks. Organizations that do not invest time in these new Web tools give free rein to their competitors and deprive themselves of benefits and actual benefits.