LinkedIn is a social networking site for the business world that is used for professional development, job seeking, recruiting, and building networks. Users can list and search for jobs, follow influencers, recommend colleagues, or solicit recommendations for themselves, and more. LinkedIn profiles often include links to work samples, employment histories similar to what you’d find on traditional resumes, geographical information, skill sets, and more. Like other social networking platforms, LinkedIn users may upload profile photographs, post updates, share articles, join groups, and comment on connections’ activities.

To form a connection on LinkedIn, users send invitations to those with whom they have existing professional relationships. In other words, there is no ‘cold calling’ in the world of LinkedIn connections—unless, of course, one upgrades to the premium version. Generally, connections can only be made one, two, or three degrees away.

Membership is free for members who utilize the basic plan, but there is the option to purchase premium membership packages that come with extra features, such as the ability to direct message those who aren’t connections, the ability to view who has visited your profile and with whom they’re affiliated, and more.

LinkedIn presents many opportunities for brands. Companies that have LinkedIn pages can build their own professional following, posting news and updates for their connections. Perhaps the biggest opportunity for LinkedIn and marketing, though, is its blog-like publishing platform that business leaders and industry influencers can use to share information.

LinkedIn reportedly has approximately 105.5 million active monthly users. In June 2016, the professional social media platform was acquired by Microsoft for a record-breaking $26.2 billion.

If you are looking for help with your LinkedIn strategies or marketing efforts, consider contacting the appropriate IMA thought leader here.

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