Small Business

LinkedIn Raises Profile Among Business Owners

Regina Hing, Special to

There are a lot of people working their networks, looking for an introduction to the person who might be their ticket to the next big job.

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And 150 million of those people are connecting worldwide via LinkedIn, the business-focused social networking site, which announced that it hit that milestone number today. The company also posted strong earnings: nearly $168 million in revenues for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, an increase of 105% compared to the same period in 2010.

Historically popular among jobseekers, the site has been gaining traction among small business owners and startups lately, who use it to find business leads and suppliers, market themselves, and even source funding. The company has been ramping up its strategy in this space by highlighting features such as Q&As and group connections.

"We've heard from many small business owners who say LinkedIn Groups are like mini-conferences", Krista Canfield, a LinkedIn spokesperson, told "They learn more about topics or industries without having to travel or pay an admission fee.”

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company says the Greater Boston area is the region with the highest number of LinkedIn users in the U.S., with 11.6 million users registered. New York City is next with 5.1 million, and Los Angeles is third, with 2.7 million.

These cities round out the top 10: San Francisco Bay Area: 2.5 million; Chicago: 2.2 million; Dallas-Ft. Worth: 1.8 million; Washington, D.C.: 1.7 million; Atlanta: 1.4 million; Philadelphia: 1.3 million and Denver: 1.3 million.

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