Ali Matar is Head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Growth Markets, Southern Europe, Middle East and North Africa and today we met with him to discuss LinkedIn usage, trends, tips and tricks for marketers. Enjoy the read!
- You are currently leading the LTS business for LinkedIn in France, Iberia, Italy, Middle East & North Africa. Are there any differences in how people use LinkedIn in the different regions?
LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Available in 24 languages, professionals around the worlds are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second. Students and recent graduates are the fastest-growing demographic, with more than an estimated 40 million registered users.
The usage of LinkedIn varies from region to region. In the UAE, for instance, according to a LinkedIn survey done in May 2016, an average salesperson noted spending 4.8 hours per week using social selling tools. The respondents cited using social selling platforms like LinkedIn to build and nurture relationships with prospects than they use face-to-face meetings or entertaining prospects outside of the office environment. Approximately 89% of those interviewed agreed that “social selling”—leveraging your social network to ultimately achieve sales goals—connects them with the right prospects, while 83% agreed that social selling is important as a strategy for closing more deals at their company.
According to the latest report by LinkedIn on the 2017 MENA Recruiting Trends, LinkedIn and company websites are the top ways to promote and measure brand, with 68% of MENA feeling it is the best channel to build an employer brand.
- How can marketers benefit from LinkedIn? What does LinkedIn offer that no other social media network does?
LinkedIn’ mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. It is creating economic opportunity for every person in the global workforce.
The cornerstone of our business strategy is to focus on our members first. We provide the majority of our services to our members at no cost. We believe this approach provides the best way to continue to build a critical mass of members, resulting in beneficial network effects that promote greater utilization of our solutions, higher levels of engagement and increased value for all of our members.
We provide enterprises and professional organizations of all sizes with solutions designed to identify specific talent within our global network, enable their employees to be more productive and successful, build brand awareness, and market their products and services.
- What is the key advice you would give each marketer to present themselves and their company on LinkedIn? How to differentiate on LinkedIn? What common mistakes do people make when using LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is one of the best business platforms that has ever existed for establishing yourself as an expert, growing your influence, strengthening relationships, and attracting new clients and customers.
In addition to making sure that you adjust to the changes in your profile layout and features, it’s a good idea to “reboot” your profile from time to time.
Using LinkedIn for business is all about the network you build and the connections you make—think, for example, about vendors, the people you work with, and the people you meet at events. With LinkedIn’s advanced search capabilities, it’s not only about who you know, it’s about who they know. You can leverage existing relationships to build new ones and grow your network.
Using Company Page feature is a great way to promote your business on LinkedIn. However, having a Company Page doesn’t mean that follower will come. Marketers will need to enhance the page with their brand’s personality, empower colleagues to join the page as they are the best resources to start growing an audience.
Thought leaders are leaders who share their thinking publicly and build a following around their ideas. One of the most powerful ways to market yourself and grow your influence today is through publishing thought leadership content.
Another way is to join LinkedIn Groups relevant to your interest and profession
- What do you think is the future of social networks?
Social media is here to stay, and it’s something that every single small business needs to start to utilize if they want to stay ahead of their competition. Short-lived content is the future of social media with virtual reality playing a key part.
- What new functionalities or developments in social media do you foresee?
According to the opinions of different social media examiners, they stated that 92% of people said social media is a must for their business to boost up. Video has become one of the most compelling ways for brands to tell their stories on social media, with virtual reality videos playing a key role in the trend. According to a research, only 1% of millennials trust an advertisement meanwhile, 33% of millennials trust blogs when making a purchase decision. Influencer marketing will also become smarter.