With all the professional networking sites like LinkedIn, Viadeo, Quora, Plaxo, XING, etc., available now, how do you as a business owner and entrepreneur find the best professional networking site for your business…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 3 primary professional networking sites: LinkedIn, Viadeo, XING.
And of these primary sites, you’ll of course want to be most active where your audience is most receptive, which is often determined where they are physically located.
Here is what you to know about these professional networking sites so you can make the best choice about where to focus your audience engagement efforts:
According to Forbes, “LinkedIn is, far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to business professionals today.”
Of all the global professional networking sites, LinkedIn is also the largest, with over 318 million users in over 200 countries and territories around the world…and professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second.
It is significantly ahead of professional networking website competitors Viadeo and XING in terms of membership.
Here’s an overview of who is on LinkedIn and what it is:
* Founded in 2003, headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and available in twenty three languages.
* 67% of LinkedIn members are located outside of the United States.
* LinkedIn counts executives from all Fortune 500 companies as members.
* LinkedIn members did over 5.7 billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform in 2012.
* LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups. BONUS TIP: Groups are a great place to position yourself as an expert and thought leader.
* Member numbers by region:
56M+ Asia and the Pacific
11M+ Southeast Asia
One purpose of Linked is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people with whom they have some level of relationship, called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.
This means that when you use LinkedIn effectively, you have a tremendous opportunity to engage with the affluent and educated audience there. And for me, because I have a system for getting the best results from my LinkedIn efforts, 90% of my new clients find me on LinkedIn.
If your audience is in France, you’ll want to be on Viadeo, with over 60 million other professionals…and 9 million in France.
Headquartered in Paris, Viadeo’s membership base include business owners, entrepreneurs and managers. The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.
Similar to the other professional networking sites I’ve included here, Viadeo lets you as a member build relationships with new contacts, maintain a list of business partners, stay in touch and create business opportunities.
Viadeo is branded as ApnaCircle on the Indian sub-continent. In China, Viadeo’s brand is Tianji and is the country’s largest professional network with over 17 million members and rapid growth.
If your audience is primarily in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), you’ll want to have a presence on XING.
Founded in Hamburg, Germany, in 2003, XING has more than 14 million members worldwide – with over 7 million based in German-speaking countries.
As with the other professional networking sites I’ve listed above, you can use XING to boost your business since it’s a platform where professionals can meet up, find cooperation partners, experts and generate business ideas. As a member, you can meet, exchange views and share your expertise in over 50,000 specialist groups, while also getting together at networking events.
Although primarily DACH focused, XING is used by people from over 200 countries. Available languages include Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Swedish and Turkish.
What also sets XING apart from the other professional networking sites I’ve listed above is that it has a special Ambassador program for each city or region around the world with a substantial constituency. The Ambassadors hold local events that promote the use of social networking as a business tool, letting members introduce business ideas to one another, and get to know each other on a personal level.
About 76% of all XING pageviews come from Germany, 90% from the D-A-CH area, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
But what if your audience is truly global? If that’s the case, then I suggest you have a presence on all three professional networking sites and see where your audience is most receptive.
How do you do that?
It’s easy…you do it by evaluating comments, likes, etc. in response to your posts.
Bonus 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 really help you focus your marketing efforts!
For example, for my marketing business, I’m on all 3 professional networking 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 which professional networking site is best to start engaging with your audience, deepen your relationship with them and get more business.
If you’re interested in getting more details on how to quickly and easily get better results from your Social Media, click here to schedule your complimentary Social Media Results strategy session with me to explore that and to find out what you can do to have a results breakthrough. I have a limited number of appointments available and request that only people who are serious about dramatically increasing their results schedule a time to talk.
QUESTION: Do you have any other social networking sites for business that you use? Which one has worked the best for your business? Please share your comments below.
© 2014 ChristineHueber.com
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