LinkedIn: A Global Economic Platform

Linked: A Global Economic Platform

It’s not necessary to understand how the social networks function to derive utility from them. However, that knowledge will not only give your business more clarity for making better decisions, it will help it identify and adapt to emerging trends long before the competition.

The magic that enables the various digital networks to do what they do well is known as digital graphing or mapping. Digital graphs are the foundation of each and every digital network, with specific strengths the result of their respective structures.

Facebook is a social platform, Amazon commerce, Google content, and so on. However, according to a recent study, as a result of their commitment to connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, LinkedIn is poised to become the first global economic platform.

Note: If you want to learn more about digital graphs, I covered this extensively in the first chapter of Built-In Social. You can download it here.

A Digital, Social, and Global Economic Network

For users, LinkedIn started as an online resume. These days it has become a platform that is driven by recruitment, business development, and content.

LinkedIn: A Global Economic Platform

You may be surprised to learn that entrepreneurs and small businesses are the leading users of LinkedIn. This is one reason LinkedIn has made a steady stream of acquisitions and improvements to help us showcase our talents as individuals and businesses, with those digital graphs then connecting us to new connections, information, and opportunities.

LinkedIn digital graphs seek to build alignment between like-minded professionals by anticipating what we want to know, who we wish to connect with, and more. So, the more the network knows about you and your business, the better it can help you achieve your goals.

LinkedIn: A Global Economic Platform

For example, Slideshare is a LinkedIn feature that gives you the capability to use PowerPoint® presentations to visually tell your story, while also embedding audio and video. LinkedIn Publisher accomplishes the same by showcasing your best articles, while also linking to additional content anywhere else on the web.

Your website is most likely where you promote your business capabilities – as you should. However, LinkedIn is a robust platform that can help you get it noticed fast.

Most businesses are hardly using LinkedIn at all. Nevertheless, as powerful as LinkedIn is now, we are still in the early stages of what it can become. My suggestion is to get serious about the one network that is committed to helping businesses succeed.

The Global CRM Potential of LinkedIn

For some time now, LinkedIn has shown promise for becoming a powerful CRM. While you would not want to rely on it exclusively (because you do not own it), a small business would be crazy not to take advantage of its capabilities.

For example, LinkedIn Contacts give us the capability to integrate Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Google contacts, and more with our accounts. As a result, whenever I send an email using Gmail a note is automatically attached to that person’s LinkedIn profile, thereby reminding me of our last communication.

Additionally, if that person is not yet a connection, LinkedIn will notify you and suggest you connect with them. Thus, LinkedIn helps you keep your business network updated, and in real-time. Periodically downloading your LinkedIn connections to your own CRM naturally ensures those connections are available within your proprietary marketing system.

Presently at 225 million profiles and 2.1 million groups, and with 2 new users joining every second, LinkedIn is the platform of choice for cultivating your online professional network. LinkedIn may not be as sexy as Facebook or Twitter, but it’s economic power for businesses is undeniable.

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About the author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

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Connected Economy Alignment is Value


In this connected economy, the challenge is not connectivity – but alignment.

If you look for differences you will find them; and if you seek alignment, cooperation, and collaboration, you will find that too. This is why learning to effectively manage your business networks is without question the key to your business success.

Alignment is the result of taking connectivity to the next level. This is often accomplished by partnering or collaborating to progressively achieve mutually beneficial objectives.

Who are these partners?

These are logically team members, friends, and influencers, but could also be what you to be competitors.

Alignment Builds Value

When a company gives freely, it earns the respect of the community, and that creates alignment. When a business is creating and sharing solutions that are relevant to their communities, alignment is naturally achieved.

This is why businesses need to start thinking of being problem solvers, what I like to think of as being in the answers business.

In addition to the content solutions that your business shares online, your products and services are also tangible and desirable solutions.

However, it is vital to first share free content in the form of tips and advice. That is what attracts buyers to what your business is selling. It’s a process of attraction that leads to engagement to build relationships and trust that ultimately lead to profitable outcomes.

The Social Marketing Process ©Jeff Korhan

The Social Marketing Process ©Jeff Korhan


Business in The Trust Economy

Like it or not, our business environment is being profoundly shaped by the influences of social media, and smart businesses are learning they can prosper if they seek to understand and embrace it.

Many of us are competitive by nature. Yet, when we channel those energies toward increasing value for the communities we serve, we can not only achieve our goals, but help others do the same.

Being a team player is a skill that ranks above technical talents. This is why nearly anyone will choose to to align their business with partners they trust, and therefore enjoy working with.

Communities are the New Markets

Traditional marketing speaks to markets, which are an abstract construct created by businesses that want to sell to buyers.

That’s a model that has become irrelevant in this connected and socially influenced economy. Consumer now have a voice, and every business should be finding new ways to engage customers with your brand.

We all live and work in local communities. So, respecting their dynamics is essential for succeeding in a trust economy.

It has taken me some time to learn this, but the feedback I am consistently receiving these days underscores its value.

This recent quote from Twitter is an example:

2013-06-07 Collaboration

Truth be told, that tweet was the inspiration for this post.

So, look no further than the comments of your community friends and followers for what matters most.

Pretty simple, huh?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, helps mainstream small businesses create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth. Get more from Jeff on LinkedInTwitter and Google+.

Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – Just Released April 2013 (Wiley)