LinkedIn is my absolute favorite social media platform.
Not only does LinkedIn enable me to connect with my audience, but it's also one of the fastest growing networks among small business owners and entrepreneurs - and I'll tell you why.
With all the social media sites coming up and trying to take over your day, there's not one that compares with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is professional, it provides a wide array of networking opportunities, it has huge reach and potential application for business, and it's fairly simple to use.
And these are just some of the basics - let me tell you the five reasons why you really need a LinkedIn presence for your business.
1. Google your name
This is it, in a nutshell, right here.
Google is the way that people search for businesses online - and if you have a LinkedIn page, there's no doubt it'll show up in the search, right after your website.
If people want to contact you, you can't just rely on them seeking out your "contact us" page on your website. But when they search for you on Google and see your LinkedIn page, they know they can get more perspective on, and insight into, your business there.
Go ahead, check it out.
2. What do you want people to know about you?
LinkedIn is different from any other social media because it's where you can tell everyone exactly what you want them to know about your business.
You can customize anything you put on LinkedIn - whether it's in networking groups, job posts or even promotions.
You have all the tools you need to target any audience, and let them know exactly what your business is about at the click of a button.
3. Positioning Power
As business owners, we all want to establish our credibility, develop a relationship with our clients, and be influential, right?
When it comes to LinkedIn, you have the added capacity to position yourself among the most influential people within your industry.
The sharing power is tremendous - making connections with top industry leaders and networking in groups to gain trust among your peers has never been easier. This enables you to associate yourself, and your business, with a high level of expertise and credibility that you just can't gain from any other social media site.
4. Keeping connections you recently met warm
The first thing you do at a networking event or when meeting someone is to get his or her business card, right? LinkedIn is basically your social media, online business card.
People can forget they have business cards, not return a phone call or an email that's listed. But when you connect with LinkedIn, you can ensure you're not forgotten. You can connect immediately and reach out to whomever you want.
Go ahead, endorse them, recommend them, and connect with them on a more professional level to build that relationship. It's that easy, and all without having to meet face-to-face - which, let's be honest, is pretty hard to find time to do these days.
5. Fastest path to your next client
Let's face it, the entire world has gone digital. LinkedIn is the one digital platform that helps you reach your next client quickly.
People are on LinkedIn to look for jobs, post jobs, look for business help, and so much more. With just a little bit of research and promotion, your business can attract top clients, and let you into their world so you know you're recruiting the best.
LinkedIn is the one platform that gives you all the information you need to know about your client - so you might as well use it.
This post originally appeared on Karen Yankovich's blog.