While Facebook and MySpace provide a more general arena for social networking, more specific social networking websites are always being developed. Some can provide a lot of value towards your marketing efforts, others will provide you with a way to meet people with similar interests, while a large portion will only offer a short life span as they get caught up in the competitive online industry.
One of the largest social networking websites geared towards professionals is LinkedIn. Although LinkedIn will probably not provide a large amount of potential visitors, it provides an important opportunity to meet, network and build your reputation with like minded individuals all over the world. Building your network of professional colleagues can open new doors and reach the people who may be able to offer helpful advice and resources to starting and maintaining your online business.
LinkedIn is provided as more of an example of what you can do with social networking websites. There is ample opportunity to find networking websites related to your business and market. It is hugely beneficial to build a reputation with the key players in your industry and this is a great way to get your foot in the door.
LinkedIn can provide three key benefits for your website. The first by showing your public profile in Google search results when potential customers search for you or your product/service. If your website is new, leveraging the size and reputation of LinkedIn may be a quick way to start building recognition for yourself in search engines.
The second benefit allows you to answer questions using LinkedIn’s Answers section of their website. If you have experience with a certain subject, you can help others while providing additional information on your website or blog. If other people can view you as an expert in a certain subject matter, they may turn to your website or blog when they have similar questions in the future.
Lastly, like Facebook, you can create groups surrounding your product, service or website and get your visitors to join. If your website is geared to professionals of any sort, LinkedIn creates a great avenue for you to allow your visitors to connect with each other.