As you've now seen, there are many different social media platforms that offer their own unique focus and engagement for specific audiences. Let's now take a look at a social media platform devoted exclusively to professional networking. LinkedIn. When Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn launched his first social media site, an online dating platform, roommate finder and professional networking site called social net, it failed because it did way too much. Learning from that experience, Hoffman then decided to focus on one thing, professional networking, and he officially launched LinkedIn in 2003, making it one of the oldest social media platforms around. Today, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with almost 700 million users worldwide. It's a place to connect with colleagues both past and present, discover new people in your industry, or even find your next job. While 12% of users visit daily, the majority check into LinkedIn multiple times per week. Amongst users, men edged out women with 57% to 43%. While the largest age group interacting with LinkedIn is between 30 and 49, the platform is also reportedly growing fastest among 18 to 24 year olds. Additionally, 57% of users access LinkedIn through the mobile app. LinkedIn has only continued to grow in recent years. Of LinkedIn 690 million users worldwide 160 million are found in the US. With Europe coming in close behind at 157 million users. India with 66 million users is the third largest user of the platform. As you can see, LinkedIn truly is a global network. But are all of these users just job seekers? According to LinkedIn, 90 million of them are senior level influencers, 63 million are decision makers, and 40 million are what's called mass affluent or individuals who have assets between 100,000 and a million dollars. 17 million are opinion leaders and 10 million are C suite level executives. This not only means that every level of the professional ladder is represented on LinkedIn, but that users are able to follow and interact with industry leaders as well. Individuals can use LinkedIn to boost their career. But LinkedIn offers a lot of value to businesses as well, considering it's not only a place to engage with the public, but can serve as a hefty recruitment platform. Let's have a look in the next section. For the career focused, LinkedIn is the place to center your professional life, grow your network, develop new skills, and search for your next job or career. Even though it's a social media platform, you won't find users sharing pictures of their dogs or vacations. Instead, think of it as an interactive resume. When you set up your LinkedIn profile, you'll be asked to include summaries of your job history, your education, any specialized skills or certifications you have, and any accomplishments. Be sure to add a professional photo and include a summary of who you are and what you do. You can also set your profile to public or private, and even denote if you're open to job opportunities. There's also a recommendation section where you can receive testimonials from colleagues. You can also give other people recommendations as well. You can ask current colleagues, past coworkers, family or friends to join your network. Once someone is in your network, they're considered a first degree connection. As you come across new connections, LinkedIn will tell you if you have someone in common, and they will be a second degree connection. This will make networking introductions easier. LinkedIn will also recommend people you may know based on places you've worked or where you went to school. Each user has their own definition of a connection. For example, many users only connect with someone if they've worked together in real life. But other users connect to those they've never met in order to extend their network. Use the search bar at the top to easily find connections. If you don't want to connect with someone directly, you can also follow them, which means you can see their posts on your newsfeed, but you're not part of their network. Also, all their LinkedIn users can follow you as well. Just be aware that LinkedIn users can set who can follow them: all users, or just those they know. You can also follow businesses as well. Are you looking to further your career? On LinkedIn, you can search for jobs according to location and skill, and set up alerts to be notified of open positions. LinkedIn will also recommend new positions based on the information you've added to your profile. For example, if you add web design to your skill section, LinkedIn may suggest web designer and developer positions to you. Businesses can post open positions on their own profile pages as well. And LinkedIn offers the ability to apply to a job with your LinkedIn profile. Did you know that 55 job applications are submitted every second, and every seven seconds someone is hired? Back on the homepage, you'll find a newsfeed which functions similar to Facebook's newsfeed. You can post job status updates or announce that you're looking for a new position. You can also link to articles on industry news or professional growth. You can write your own articles as well. Like, comment, or share those posts to increase your interaction with other LinkedIn users. In 2015, LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com, one of the leading online learning platforms, and launched LinkedIn learning, which features videos and courses on everything from accounting to graphic design to Excel. LinkedIn users must pay a subscription to access the courses. But if a user's company has a license, they may be able to access the entire library for free. While all these features are included in an individual free plan, if you want more from LinkedIn, you can upgrade to a premium account. Premium gives you more information on profiles, access to hiring managers through Email, access to the expansive LinkedIn Learning library and insights into who is searching for you. I'm sure that by now you understand the benefits LinkedIn can have for your career. Later in this program, we'll explore a bit more about how you can use LinkedIn and create a great profile to help you in your career as a social media marketer. Of course, as I'm sure you can imagine, the certification badges you will be awarded after successfully completing this program will become an important asset for you. While LinkedIn provides great value for individual users seeking to further their careers, LinkedIn is also a great tool for businesses looking to expand their engagement or find their next talent. With nearly 700 million users, the LinkedIn community is ready to interact with businesses they know and looking to discover new businesses or industry leaders to follow. Similar to other social media platforms, businesses are able to create profiles share content and engage with users around their brand. Users can follow businesses and have their content appear in their newsfeed. Businesses can also see what kind of content is trending in their community and target specific segments with their posts. Let's take a look at a LinkedIn profile of Squarespace, a company that provides software for easy to build websites and hosting. Because of the networking nature of LinkedIn, businesses are able to connect their colleagues to one another. Going behind the face of the brand to the people of the company. LinkedIn users can see who works at a company as well through the people section of the profile and LinkedIn will recommend connections to users simply through affiliation with the same company. Additionally, if a company is global, LinkedIn is a great way to engage employees in one space. Businesses can use LinkedIn as another option for recruiting. Because user profiles are essentially resumes, businesses can find new talents based on skills, experience and availability and even connect directly with the users on the site. Businesses can post open job positions and allow applicants to apply directly with their LinkedIn profile. Because users are already looking to engage with brands, industries and ideas. LinkedIn can also serve as a great advertising platform. Businesses can use LinkedIn to target specific demographics or segments. And not just with recruiting offers, but in seeking out new clients or customers. For example, on the homepage, you'll find a promoted box where businesses can advertise services that may be helpful or interesting, including online business courses or services for small businesses. Additionally, you'll see suggestions of businesses to follow which may also be paid. Given LinkedIns massive user base across 200 countries and territories that contains millions of senior level professionals and thought leaders, advertising can have a much greater reach and even draw in a new customer segment. In fact, LinkedIn is considered one of the best social networks for business to business marketers to attract new customers and followers. You've now learned the basics about LinkedIn and how it is a unique platform that focuses specifically on professional networking and career advancement. With its global reach and increased growth, you can also see how it provides a unique space for marketers to engage with new audiences in different ways. Next, we'll look at a very different and much younger social network. TikTok.