I have recently passed 11,000 connections on LinkedIn. A fact that gives me a fantastic network of people whose daily digests I can read, digest and comment on/think about, who can read and respond to my posts and give their thoughts. Most importantly these are people whom I can connect with to do business in some way.
I left the UK with 250 connections and barely used LinkedIn now I find it an essential part of my business day and more importantly it makes doing business in Singapore easier. In fact it makes doing business in Asia easier.
All of my jobs in Singapore have come through LinkedIn. Not through adverts but through connecting with people on it, meeting them and the chemistry/experience matching a requirement which leads to an opening/business opportunity. LinkedIn taps into this entrepreneurial spirit, this can-do Asian atmosphere.
I have also used LinkedIn to connect with CMO’s and decision makers at Singapore or Asia Pac or Global brands. I have won new business through Linked In, much more so that general emails or PR or events or any other form of new business. People in Singapore and Asia in general are much more open to hearing about a succinct marketing proposition. There is a spirit, not just amongst the expats, that is communicated throughout Singapore about wanting to learn more and see how people can work together.
LinkedIn has proved a constant source of inspiration and wonderment. I gain new business knowledge every day on LinkedIn in ways that I wouldn’t just by reading one newspaper like the FT or one website like TechCrunch. LinkedIn gives you insights and makes you aware of business and marketing stories that you may never have heard about and provides fascinating eye openers as well general business information. It also gives you a feeling about what other business people are thinking and how they are reacting to stories in often revealing and surprising ways. The trending in LinkedIn is very indicative as to how the business world in Singapore/Asia/Globally is thinking.
I was recently notified by LinkedIn that I had the 21st most viewed profile in Singapore, apparently that is a “power profile”. Nice word but all it means is that I like connecting to learn more and I like sharing business and marketing stories that I have found with other people. People seem to respond to me so it’s a win-win! Classic engaging. Many others do it better than I and I enjoy their articles and comments too.
There are now over a million people in Singapore on LinkedIn, one fifth of the population. This is probably more than two thirds of the PMET’s in Singapore which probably means that LinkedIn in Singapore has a higher proportion of professionals connecting than any other country in the world, although the US would be close. If you’re not on it you’re lost. I’m still amazed when I find someone who is not on it! They are missing out!
The UK, India, Australia and Brazil all have high numbers of LinkedIn professionals and they also happen to have a high number of social media users in general and be very tech savvy, something that Singapore with the world’s No.1 smart phone penetration excels in. The LinkedIn smartphone app has certainly increased engagement in the world’s most smartphone friendly country!
LinkedIn is amazing for SME’s more so than for MNC’s. It’s a fantastic way to connect and do business, arrange meetings, share thoughts, bounce off ideas, Skype with contacts, meet new people, whatever you want to use it for. I found it amazing for new business development and developing a B2B brand. You can reach the right decision makers directly without having to go through teams and pa’s, you reach their personal email address and contact them as a personal brand not just a CMO of an MNC.
This makes people more responsive as long as the message is short, focused and has a simple call to action, usually meeting up or arranging a Skype call to discuss. The worst kind of mailing on LinkedIn is where someone sends you 1,000 words and tries to sell you their services on inmail. It doesn’t work that way, it’s good for connecting, creating interest but you still need to take it off line to develop the idea and the relationship….keep it simple and you’ll be amazed. On line meets off line to create partnerships.
Using LinkedIn groups effectively is key as is posting and engaging and I don’t really see the point of people who are on LinkedIn and need you to put their email address in to send them an invitation! It’s called LinkedIn for a reason, it’s all about connecting, if you don’t want to connect don’t go on the platform!
LinkedIn recently dramatically increased usage and engagement by asking CEO’s and leading opinion leaders to write their thoughts on LinkedIn to be shared with the 300 million people globally. Remarkably they offered no financial inducement for doing so. Just as remarkably they have been overwhelmed with the response! CEO’s and CMO’s and leaders in business thought know the value of seeding an idea, spreading an idea and inspiring millions. They are therefore very happy to blog away for free!
I can only see LinkedIn growing over the next few years, there is no competitor in this space as there is in the B2C social space. If you want to connect for business there really is only one social network.