Many entrepreneurs just entering the social media world are overwhelmed by all of the choices: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus, etc. They often ask where to begin. There are pros and cons to each network, but when it comes to business Linkedin is where you should be.

One key misconception about Linkedin is that it is just for people looking for a job or for recent graduates. Lies. It is very beneficial for any businessperson, even if only to maintain a digital version of your resume.

Advantages of Linkedin

  1. Very easy to setup and use. It has a step-by-step walkthrough for new users to help setup skills and work experience, upload a headshot, join groups, etc.
  2. Recent changes at Linkedin now make it more of a professional networking platform rather than just a digital resume. Members can tell their professional story and even maintain a blog on Linkedin, sharing ideas and tips with others. Many famous businesspeople also maintain blogs on Linkedin allowing others to follow them and learn from their successes or mistakes.
  3. Linkedin makes it easy to endorse those you have done business with and receive endorsements from customers. For those looking for a job, it is an easy way to maintain digital letters of recommendation from past employers and University professors.
  4. With more than 116M active users, it is a great platform to use to your advantage when broadcasting your thoughts. For users who are more experienced with social media, Linkedin offers WordPress and Twitter plugins. When you post a new blog on WordPress, it will automatically broadcast to a potential audience of over 166M Linkedin users.
  5. Linkedin is a great way to stay connected with real world networking opportunities in your industry. Use is to connect with new people, old colleagues and friends of friends.

Regardless of the industry you are in, you should have your resume on Linkedin. It is one of the few social networks that is beneficial even if you’re only passively using it.

Through industry groups, common interests and random connections with strangers I have gained access to a lot of networking opportunities I would not have otherwise had. Such as “networking after work” events downtown, open houses at ad agencies and technology conferences.

The next time you are going to meet up with someone for a One to One, research him or her on Linkedin first. You might find out that you have similar interests, used to work together in the past or an interesting icebreaker.