To most people, LinkedIn is simply “Facebook for Professionals.” That’s not entirely wrong; many professionals do use the site to connect and interact with each other, without the games and distractions of other networks. Businesses and organizations of all types and sizes are on it, and many even use LinkedIn for recruiting and hiring.

With more than 106 unique monthly active users, LinkedIn is a site that’s particularly useful for those who focus on business-to-business or nonprofit work, who can — and should — leverage relationships with colleagues, customers, members, and influential donors to find new connections. The more people who are in your network, the easier it is to discover people you may know at companies you’re trying to sell to or to donors you’re trying to solicit. Think of LinkedIn as a modern day Rolodex that grows itself organically.

But LinkedIn’s power goes beyond simple connections. No matter what your line of work or type of business or organization, LinkedIn can be beneficial for:

  • Finding like-minded individuals in the Groups area. Groups are discussion forums centered on a topic, which you can use to share ideas with peers, pick up a few tips to help your business grow, and connect with people who share similar passions. Scroll through open questions posed by others on the site and answer those that fall in your area of expertise.
  • Helping your search engine optimization efforts. Search engines love inbound links, and your personal profile and company page can both link back to your website, giving you a higher rank in the world of Google.
  • Learning about the latest news in your industry. Use LinkedIn’s Search features to find industry experts and leading companies in your industry. Their updates will appear in your LinkedIn news feed, enabling you to stay on top of the most recent and relevant information in your industry.

In addition, LinkedIn is a great place to share your content. For example, with our Social Share feature, you can quickly and easy post your email marketing campaigns to the site, extending your reach into networks you may not even know about.

By leveraging LinkedIn’s many features, you can increase the online visibility of your business or organization and join in on the many conversations taking place on the network. It’s one powerful way to stay top of mind, find new prospects, and connect with customers and members.

Are you using LinkedIn? How has the site worked for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.