A contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Alexandra Samuel, recently wrote an article to help small businesses make the most of their presence on LinkedIn. Although the article did contain some helpful advice, in particular her comments about using your network on LinkedIn to make the most of business trips and leveraging LinkedIn to find ideal candidates for open jobs, I believe there are a few points that could use some additional perspective. WSJ: “Don’t use it for marketing:” LinkedIn has a wealth of professional information, yet the WSJ recommends that businesses ignore LinkedIn for marketing purposes in favor of other platforms like facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. This may be good advice for B2C businesses; however, if you earn a living selling to other businesses, I recommend you take a serious look at LinkedIn. Firstly, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and territories. This figure includes business leaders and decision makers across geographies and industries, in organizations ranging in size from the Fortune 100 to small businesses. Secondly, LinkedIn offers a variety of tools to build your company’s brand and generate relevant leads for your business. Through tools like Sponsored Updates, LinkedIn can help ensure your most engaging content reaches the right audience – decision makers and business leaders at prospective customers.
Lastly, all of this translates to more effective marketing. In fact, ~2/3 of B2B marketers indicated that LinkedIn is an effective marketing channel – higher than any other social media platform according to the Content marketing Institute. A core tenet of LinkedIn is the ability to map one’s professional network – regardless of whether they are a coworker, professional acquaintance, customer, or competitor. The WSJ argues that by connecting with competitors, small businesses are “…making their entire network accessible to the competition.” I think this is misleading because simply having a shared connection with both a competitor and your costumer doesn’t provide a medium for them to connect. In order for the competitor to receive a “warm introduction” to your customer, he/she would have to ask permission. Otherwise, your competitor is relegated to a cold call. In addition, this article misses the potential upside of connecting with competitors. Firstly, a top performer at a competitor could become your company’s next top performer. If you’re not connected you will have a hard time keeping tabs on this person’s professional trajectory. Secondly, competitors that are active on LinkedIn will likely post professionally relevant information – posts that will show up on your News Feed or LinkedIn Pulse – that will help you stay informed on your industry. All in all, I would argue that the risk of not hiring a top performer from a competitor or missing out on businesscritical updates in your industry outweighs the risk that connecting with a competitor will provide them an advantage in your space. At LinkedIn, our mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, and this includes small businesses. We hope this response to the WSJ will help provide context and clarity to their advice. If you’re interested in learning more about how your business can make the most of its efforts on LinkedIn
Smith was born into a family of musicians. Her father plays instruments, her great-grandmother was a singer and she even had an aunt who was part of the popular New Jersey Mass Choir. Her father currently owns a record label, Devine Records Management LLC in Florence and Charlotte , and the Devine Glory Magazine. At the Stella Awards, Erica Campbell from the gospel duo Mary Mary taught Smith a lesson that she said has stuck with her. Campbell said that when she was in high school; one of her teachers asked her why she wouldn’t choose to perform rock and roll music instead of gospel because it generated more money. “And she said one thing, ‘Does rock and roll music save souls ? ’” Smith said. “Gospel music changes lives. Other music, it makes you feel good or makes you feel a type of way, but gospel music, it can change your life. It actually saves people, so I think I’ll keep doing gospel music. And that’s my roots, too.” Smith said she wants to attend Francis Marion University or Winthrop University. She also wants to do an international tour. Adams said Smith is preparing for the 2015 Dove Awards , which will be held in October. “I want to win some more awards. Its fun winning awards,” Smith said. “That’s not the only thing, but its exciting getting awards. It shows how much work you put in. I just want to keep doing music.