Small business professionals are becoming a big part of the professional networking site LinkedIn. A new study has found that of the 175 million LinkedIn members worldwide, more than 15 million are small business professionals.
The study, conducted by LinkedIn, found that there were 15,222,964 professionals on LinkedIn working at companies with between 11 and 500 employees. The majority of those members live in the United States where there are 6,874,850 small business professionals on LinkedIn. The United Kingdom, India, the Netherlands and Canada all followed the United States. The United Kingdom and India each had more than 1 million users while the Netherlands and Canada each had more than 500,000 users. Overall, the research found that 75 percent of the small business professionals on LinkedIn lived in 10 countries around the world.
"Small business professionals leverage LinkedIn in a myriad of creative ways," said LinkedIn's connection director, Nicole Williams. "Not only do they leverage the site to make critical hires, but they also use LinkedIn Groups like 'mini conferences' where they can learn more about various subjects like advertising and public relations. We've also heard of small business professionals relying on their networks to find trusted vendors, partners and even funding for their companies."
With the growing network of small business professionals on LinkedIn, the networking service offers the following tips for small businesses already using LinkedIn. Those tips include:
· Use your employees to help spread the word
Workers who have a complete LinkedIn profile can help to grow your small business. "Giving your company more exposure, by demonstrating your employees' strengths and expertise, will lead to more business leads later on down the line," LinkedIn said.
· Create a company page
More than 2 million businesses have a LinkedIn company page. Those pages can help businesses give out information about themselves while also keeping track of their competition.
· Encourage customers to help spread the word
Customers can help a business to grow by giving good reviews online. On LinkedIn, businesses can post positive customer reviews and ask customers to post a business recommendation in order to improve their online reputation.