Without a doubt LinkedIn is one of the most important sites a professional service firm should focus on. Its easy to use, its free, it's well established and liked and it's powerful for both the individual and firm alike.
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Is LinkedIn the Most Important Social Media Tool for Professionals?

Without a doubt LinkedIn is one of the most important sites a professional service firm should focus on from the outset and YES you should be using it to the absolute limit of its potential.

However it is not the only site to really focus on: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other video upload sites, your blog, online Directories, relevant forums, article sites and social book marking sites, they all have an important part to play in your social media marketing strategy and whilst LinkedIn is very important you must develop a strategy and see it in the long term perspective.

Its easy to use, its free, it's well established and liked and it's powerful for both the individual and firm alike. Do not see LinkedIn, just in the personal context alone see it as a really powerful professional networking tool at the level of the firm itself.

LinkedIn, had an Alexia ranking, July 2010, of 29; this means it has the 29th highest combination of visitors and page views in the world.

LinkedIn has over 70 million users and is perfect because all those users solely focus on using the site for business purposes.

When you join, LinkedIn, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you.

Your network consists of your connections, your connections' connections, and the people they know; all in all linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts.

As is the case with any social network, it's important that you take a little time and get to know the culture and appreciate the accepted norms; take it steady.

LinkedIn, is the online version of offline business networking. As such it's the world's largest professional network and is growing rapidly as a marketing tool for professionals because of its power to find and share opportunities and to support to build relationships:

It's a networking tool to find prospects and new clients, network partners industry experts, associates, vendors and business partners.
It allows registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business.
Many individuals openly promote relationships and deals that they are in the market for.
You can use it to build a sense of occasion for specific happenings around your organization.
LinkedIn, provides a perfect vehicle for getting feedback and undertaking research by simply asking questions.

Through your LinkedIn, network you can:

manage the information that's publicly available about you and your firm;
find, as well as get introduced to, potential clients, service providers, and subject experts, all of whom will come recommended; that's the glory of LinkedIn;
create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files and solve problems;
be found for business opportunities and find potential partners;
gain new insights from discussions with like-minded professionals;
discover inside connections that can help you to source contracts and close deals; and
post and distribute job listings to find the best talent for your company.

LinkedIn is growing at one new member every second.and whilst many seeLinkedIn as a career development tool for professional firm business owners it's primary purpose will be all about making connections. By the way your contacts in LinkedIn are called connections.

Never forget that first and foremost LinkedIn is a "friend of friends" networking tool that enables you to make connections, build rapport and gain insights.

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