The other week you may have been graced with a brief email thanking you for making up the three million Australians subscribed to LinkedIn.

The archetypal message was complete with a photo of happy LinkedIn users and a personal signature from the Australian managing director. You probably would have also skimmed it for 20 seconds before hitting delete. Beyond the simplistic efforts to keep in touch with LinkedIn members, the self-proclaimed milestone may be worth noting.

Unique viewers vs. active users
Social Media News does bring up an important fact. They estimate LinkedIn’s active users to be only two million. However, their February Social Media Statistics indicate LinkedIn’s unique Australian viewers were up 400,000 from the previous month.

Facebook still dominates web 2.0 with around 11 million users, but LinkedIn’s numbers represent the largest growth for that period out of all the popular social media platforms. The professional networking site also attracts more viewers than the highly topical Twitter. Although slightly down from February, March statistics show LinkedIn’s views are still steady and above Twitter.

Spend time detailing your profile
Surely then, LinkedIn is a necessity for building a business or paving out a career. A friend of mine seeking work in advertising was not so convinced. Her complaint was that LinkedIn did not offer the amount of job opportunities she expected. A crucial factor is the amount of information you provide.

Caution is always preached when providing personal information on social media. When it comes to LinkedIn though, adding as many details as possible can get the most out of it. Jobs, groups and contacts will be suggested to you based on the experience, education and skills listed on your profile.

Consider the premium account and reap the rewards
Premium versions of the account are also worth looking into. I was offered a free trial for a month and was impressed with the amount of extras. You can monitor your own profile views, search people out of your network and have a nifty logo pop up when your name is searched.

In the early stages of having a LinkedIn profile, these little extras can be the difference when establishing important contacts. I went back to the free standard version after the trial, but fast-forward a few months and I’ve now been offered a 25% discount to come back to the premium version for three months.

Clever marketing will be rewarded. I imagine LinkedIn will reach four million users by July.

Keep active and don’t neglect traditional networking
A thing to remember while juggling your own social network-mix is to keep your profile current and stay active. Many business opportunities can come from online, but conventional methods of networking also still apply. Connections made on LinkedIn are much more valuable when you’ve had face-to-face contact initially.

Who was the last person you connected with on LinkedIn?

Image courtesy of Nan Palmero.