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Chris Brown LinkedIn Insights & Top 3 LI Features for Business

16 May, 2013

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This is the final in my recent series of blogs inspired by discussions at the recent Buy Yorkshire conference organised by Yorkshire Mafia.

Read the others here:

On day two of the conference, I booked in for the ‘Hire, Market and Sell with LinkedIn’talk by Chris Brown, senior manager at LinkedIn.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 187m members in 200 countries. Often referred to as the social platform for business, LinkedIn can “help maximise your hiring, marketing and sales functions, inform your business strategies and increase performance.”

LinkedIn – with its slogan relationships matter” – was founded in December 2002, and launched in May, 2003.

Chris Brown on LinkedIn Features and Potential

Chris Brown on Twitter: @chris_brown_uk

Chris described how companies are now becoming much more strategic on LinkedIn. Some companies are using staff LinkedIn profiles to generate warm leads. In his role as Senior Enterprise Sales Manager for LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions business (the largest and fastest growing business at LinkedIn), Chris enables businesses to find and connect with the right talent.

It was interesting to hear about the incredible amount of data that LinkedIn is collecting, and the potential it has for being used. For example, when Lehman Brothers collapsed following the 2008 banking crisis, LinkedIn could track where its displaced employees went; which sectors they moved into, and which teams moved to which companies. The use of this data for market research purposes can help LinkedIn to monitor sector swings and can understand why certain companies look attractive. This is attractive data, not only for recruiters, but – for example – for market analysts and economists too.

Chris also discussed some of the products, services and features available with LinkedIn. Here is my top three:

(1) LinkedIn Maps“Map your professional network to understand the relationships between you and your connections.” See it in action on digital cartographer Oliver O’Brien’s blog. Or find out how to analyse the information and use it for community management and building teams on this Community Sense blog.

(2) LinkedIn Alumni“Provides high-level insights about alumni of your school, as well as access to the more detailed professional profiles they’ve shared.” LinkedIn Alumni helps you to see where your alumni live and what they do.

(3) In Follow button – This enables you to add a “follow on LinkedIn” button on your company website or blog, allowing visitors to follow your company LinkedIn page with just one click. This will not only help drive traffic, it will also increase your exposure to new customers and clients on LinkedIn. It’s a great feature and very quick and easy to install. Here’s how to add a LinkedIn Follow button to your site.

I’m a big advocate of LinkedIn for professional networking and a regular participant and contributor in LinkedIn group discussions, so it was really interesting to hear about all the available features for businesses and see the potential of LinkedIn data to inform business decisions.

LinkedIn mobile?

But if I had one criticism of LinkedIn, it would be around their investment in mobile. As a developer, I see more and more clients demanding mobile optimised websites and requesting mobile apps. (Here is a free tool to check if your website is mobile optimised.)

According to Google, 93% of people in the UK us their mobile phones to access the web every day. Even though LinkedIn pushed out its new mobile app just a couple of months ago, Facebook and Twitter mobile apps are still giving far better functionality. So why isn’t LinkedIn investing more in mobile?

What do you think about LinkedIn features? Do you use them for your business networking or to promote your company? Have you used LinkedIn data in an innovative way to find talent or make key business decisions? And do you agree with me that LinkedIn should invest more in mobile?

Other blogs that may be of interest:



I’d love to hear your views! Please share your comments in the box below or start a conversation with me on Twitter: @jrconsultancy

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