Social media has made a name and place for itself in every facet of life. It doesn't matter if it is school or work, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all involved. Businesses rely on the use of social media as a marketing tool and as a way to connect with the public in various ways. Small businesses use LinkedIn as a way to interact with many of their colleagues for many reasons. Reasons that can be beneficial to the business.
Small businesses use this form of social media to link up with others that are either in the same field or they can be a valuable resource at some point in time. Many business owners use LinkedIn as a way to find potential clients by locating those that they are linked with. It is quite similar to Facebook, however it is more of a professional way of networking with others in order to increase revenue or find potential prospects. Some companies even use this site as a way to screen potential employees.
LinkedIn is good if a small business is just wanting connect with people or gain a name for their business. It helps to verify a businesses reputation by who they are connected with. However, it is not worth the trouble if a business is just wanting to promote or advertise their company.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn doesn't have a news feed or the capabilities to be able to advertise or gain followers. All social media sites are made for people to network with other people through who they know, some allow you to follow them so that you can view their day to day activities, while some are used to gain a network of colleagues. LinkedIn is perfect for professionals to gain access to other professionals and find a common link.
Small businesses would fare better with other social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, because they can create a page specifically for their company and advertise for their company. They would be able to attract followers which would increase business and revenue.
Some people may find that LinkedIn works for them, however it's not for everybody. Unless they are only wanting to network and verify an employee or potential employee, then they are better off sticking with Facebook or Twitter so they can gain followers and direct more traffic to their business. LinkedIn is good to verify their reputation and use in conjunction with the other sites, but it's not worth the hassle to attempt to maintain both of the sites.
You have to decide on the best use of your time. If your business niche is one that will greatly benefit from reaching out to other professionals, than LinkedIn is an obvious route. If you want or need to use your energy marketing directly to individuals who can potentially become customers, than another social media outlet might be best for you.