Well, let’s start with the fundamentals.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 500 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Bought for USD$26 billion by Microsoft last year, it is the site where professionals are signing up to join at a rate of more than two new members per second. Additionally, there are more than 40 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn; in fact there are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic. It provides you with an opportunity to connect with professionals and engage with them on a personal level. And further, over 80% of B2B leads generated from social media come from LinkedIn.
Now Let’s look at the Caribbean numbers.
There are 2,434,900 Caribbean professionals on Linked in at the moment.
The top 5 most LINKEDIN Caribbean Countries are:
1. Puerto Rico 600,000+LinkedIn members
2. Jamaica 370,000+ LinkedIn members
3. Trinidad 320,000+ LinkedIn members
4. Haiti 150,000+ LinkedIn members
5. Bahamas 110,000+ LinkedIn members
Caribbean Professionals on LINKEDIN
Anguilla 10,000+ LinkedIn members
Antigua n Barbuda 27,000+ LinkedIn members
Aruba 39,000+ LinkedIn members
Bahamas 110,000+ LinkedIn members
Bermuda 43,000+ LinkedIn members
Belize 46,900+ LinkedIn members
Barbados 83,000+LinkedIn members
Cayman 33,000+LinkedIn members
Dominica 15,000+ LinkedIn members
Grenada 23,000+ LinkedIn members
Guadelope 71,000+ LinkedIn members
Guyana 51,000+ LinkedIn members
Haiti 150,000+ LinkedIn members
Jamaica 370,000+ LinkedIn members
Martinique 58,000+LinkedIn members
Montserrat 2,000+ LinkedIn members
Puerto Rico 600,000+LinkedIn members
St Vincent & The Grenadines 18,000+ LinkedIn members
St Kitts 13,000+ LinkedIn members
St Lucia 33,000+LinkedIn members
Suriname 57,000+ LinkedIn members
Turks & Caicos 14,000+ LinkedIn members
Trinidad &Tobago 320,000+ LinkedIn members
US Virgin Islands 44,000+ LinkedIn members
UK Virgin Islands 13,000+ LinkedIn members
What does that mean for you a Caribbean Professional + Entrepreneur?
The next best thing to face-to-face networking and building relationships to further your career and grow your business — is Linkedin. It’s the ultimate in online networking platform. This is how technology, access to the internet and people, opens doors and connections that makes building our networks and businesses better and certainly a bit faster. Remember you are only as great as your network and the nature of your network determines.
That said, you can only get great results come from not only understanding how it works technically, but why it works. LinkedIn is a professional platform — not a social platform. That’s important to know so you use it right and get the best results.
People connecting with each other, making referrals, introductions and recommendations …well that’s nothing new really in business or the Caribbean. The difference today however, is that the networking world has become much BIGGER, because of the web and social media. This is why LinkedIn used strategically can help you make those smart, qualified connections to boost you personal and company brand.
LinkedIn could be said to be the playground for professional decision makers and that your LinkedIn profile is now the hybrid of resumes, websites, Facebook and blog pages — pretty much the most complete presentation of who you are and what you are up to … professionally — when used right. And that’s a really good thing.
But you have to be clear on you intention for Linkedin.
So here are 4 Strategies to building a bigger network on Linkedin
1. Make your Profile as complete as possible as it’s a representation of who you are and what you are up to
– Develop your profile, put up a professional head shot, link your blog and company website.
2. Determine with whom you should be trying to connect.
– Start by connecting with everyone you know and whose business card you get.
– Make a target list of who you want to meet-companies and people. Leverage that knowledge to send smart and thought messages that resonate. Being spammy and salesy from the first message is never a good tactic.
3. Share Content and Consistently.
– Share articles, videos, podcasts that you are reading. watching and listening to. It drives traffic to your profile, company page and website, which means that your personal and company brand stays top of mind and you get to start interesting conversations and you can show your industry expertise.
4. Join Groups and Create Your Own Group.
– Groups are the fastest way to make hundreds of connections and then engage with them.
– Use the search feature and keywords to find and join groups based on your industry, expertise, interests and who you want to connect with.
– Create a group based on your industry, expertise and interests
– Think being a part of and creating community as one of the key ways to make some of the best connections.
Have questions, leave it in the comments below.