With all the networking sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo, Viadeo and XING available now, how do you as a business owner and entrepreneur find the best networking site for professionals…the one that allows you to most effectively engage your audience and get more clients?
To make choosing easy for you, first know that there are really only 4 primary professional networking sites: LinkedIn, Plaxo, Viadeo, XING.
And of these primary sites, you’ll want to be where your audience is most receptive, which is often determined where they are physically located.
Here is what you to know when choosing where to focus your audience engagement efforts:
Of all the global professional networking sites, LinkedIn is the largest, with over 120 million users in over 200 countries and territories … and professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second.
Here are some of the facts:
- More than half of LinkedIn members are currently located outside of the United States.
- There were nearly two billion people searches on LinkedIn in 2010.
- LinkedIn is currently available in nine languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Turkish and Romanian.
LinkedIn also has a worldwide membership:
- 120m+ professionals around the world as of August 4, 2011
- 26m+ members in Europe
- 6m+ members in the UK
- 2m+ members in France
- 2m+ members in the Netherlands
- 2m+ members in Italy
- 1m+ members in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland)
- 1m+ members in Spain
- 10m+ members in India
- 4m+ members in Canada
- 4m+ members in Brazil
- 2m+ members in Australia
- As of June 30, 2011 (the end of the second quarter), LinkedIn counts more than 6.5 million students and 9 million recent college graduates* around the world as members (*LinkedIn defines recent graduates as members who graduated between 2008 and 2011)
LinkedIn and Business:
- As of June 30, 2011 (the end of the second quarter), LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate hiring solutions are used by 75 of the Fortune 100 companies.
- More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.
- LinkedIn represents a valuable demographic for marketers with an affluent & influential membership.
- Thousands of developers are using LinkedIn APIs to create innovative tools and services for professionals.
You can also post to Twitter from LinkedIn to increase your reach.
Plaxo.com is the world‘s leading online address book, hosting over 50 million address book accounts … and it also has a strong interface with FaceBook.
If your audience is in France, you’ll want to be on Viadeo, with over 35 million professionals.
If your audience is primarily in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), you’ll want to have a presence on XING
XING describes itself as “the social network for business professionals” and has more than 11.1 million members worldwide as of June 2011.
But what if your audience is truly global? If that’s the case, then I suggest you have a presence on all four sites and see where your audience is most receptive.
How do you do that? You do it by evaluating comments, likes, etc. in response to your posts.
Tip: Check your site’s Google Analytics to see which sites are referring to you and focus your interactions on those sites.
Advanced Tip: Set up a goal in Google Analytics to see what your opt-in rate is from your different referral sources…it can be extremely illuminating and go far in helping you focus your marketing efforts!
For example, for my marketing business, I’m on all 4 sites, but focus my attention primarily on LinkedIn, where I’ve been a user since 2006, am the LinkedIn #1 All Time Top Female Expert, have one of the Top 1% Most Viewed LinkedIn Profiles and have a high opt-in rate for my free report “Top 10 LinkedIn Success Secrets.”
So now you have a better idea of where to start engaging your audience, to deepen your relationship with them and get more business.
QUESTION: Where do you focus your professional networking attention online? Please share your comments below.
© 2011 ChristineHueber.com
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