Linkedin is a free to use social network, which is often seen as the more professional alternative to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Individuals and companies upload information about past experiences, what they currently do and what they can offer in the future, as well as much more.
However, some Linkedin users choose to pay a monthly or annual fee and take advantage of Linkedin’s premium services. But are they right for you?
What are the premium services and their benefits?
There are a number of things available to you once you’ve signed up for Linkedin’s premium services. Here are a few of the key differences between a premium account and a regular account and why they’re important:
InMail messages allow you to reach out directly to anyone on Linkedin. This may sound strange if you’re not used to the social network, but usually you must have an introduction on be someone’s connection to the able to talk to them.
You can send InMail directly from someone’s profile page or search results and then have to write a subject line and a reason for getting in touch.
With Linkedin’s premium services you can send a message to anyone you want. This is a handy tool for certain businesses that may need to reach out to people who aren’t currently in their network, for example, recruiters who have found the ideal candidate on the other side of the world, or a business who has found someone with the right services for their next big project and would love to collaborate.
Deeper search allows you to search by keyword, title, past or present company, location, industry and lots of other search criteria. With a premium account you get a lot more from your search results and you can also view complete profiles, even of those outside your network that would usually be restricted with a regular account.
These expanded search results give you much more information about the people you want to connect with, which is ideal for businesses looking for new recruits or sales leads.
You can also save your searches so you’re notified of new people as they sign up to Linkedin or change their settings so you’re always going to know if the type of person you’ve been searching for crops up one day.
Profile Organiser allows you to save important profiles that you’ve found so you can come back to them later. Searching Linkedin with the premium account’s advanced features means you’ll come across lots and lots of profiles, this organiser gives you a way of bookmarking them and saving them in a folder of your choice. You can then add contact information and notes about each person.
If you depend on Linkedin a lot, this is a great way to use it as a contact database and is much easier than saving people’s information across different networks. This will help you better manage online relationships, which can lead to partnerships, new recruits and business leads further down the line.
Who’s Viewed My Profile, if you’re a regular Linkedin user you can see some limited information about the people who have been looking at your profile. With premium services you can see even more information about those who have been looking (but you can only see names if they opt in).
This is a great way to make new connections and approach people who are clearly interested in your business and what you have to offer.
Premium Badge is a new icon, which will appear at the top of your profile and alongside your name in search results to show you have a premium account. If you like you can toggle this on and off.
Openlink Network is a way of allowing anyone on Linkedin (regardless of which type of profile they have) to contact you with a message free-of-charge. You need to turn this setting on, but it’s a great way of inviting more people to get in touch to find out more about your business and make your premium account even more useful.
What are the different plans available?
You can set up a different plan depending on your needs. The first is “Business”, which allows you to send 3 InMails per month and see 300 profiles when you perform a search, this costs £12.95 a month on an annual contract and £16.95 a month on a rolling monthly contract. This is probably the most the majority of those looking for premium services need. However, there are different options like “Business Plus” and “Executive” that give you even more for a higher price.
Visit Linkedin’s Subscription Plans page to find out more.
Do you really need them?
If you already use Linkedin a lot on a daily basis and turn to it for recruitment, networking or new business leads then it’s worth considering Linkedin’s premium services. Although you have to pay for them they make the network much more useful. However, if you’re new to Linkedin try it without any extras first and see how it works for you, plenty of individuals with lots of connections and business contacts don’t have premium accounts and still find the network invaluable.
Here at Codastar we offer Linkedin company page design and can advise you on the ways the social network can work for you, as well as helping you to make your products and services stand out.
[Image via Linkedin]