If you are interested in Social Media then the most obvious choices include Facebook and Twitter,
but more recently LinkedIn, which is a network aimed at people working in a professional context.
As such, LinkedIn tends to be more useful for those in the work-based environment as opposed to
those who are looking for a social outlet. The focus of LinkedIn is less about socialising and more
about sharing information pertaining to working professionals belonging to shared networks or
groups that are relevant to their professional interests.
How successful is LinkedIn?
How useful it is as a business tool, however, is another matter. How successful it actually is in
driving businesses forward and building on sales require further attention as from a critic’s point
of view, LinkedIn can do little that sites like Twitter and Facebook cannot.
What can LinkedIn do for you?
Firstly we should look at what LinkedIn can do. LinkedIn is a network of people that can join
together and communicate based on their shared work or professionalism. People may link together
because they know each other socially and both use the site or because they know each other
through work and have found each other through their corporate profile. People can join groups
and get to know each other so that they can share their experience and advice or contribute to
conversation topics. The choice is up to the user as to how they wish to use the site. Unlike Facebook,
the groups on LinkedIn are very much focused on people’s work and interests rather than their social
preferences, and so it isn’t a form of social media that suits everyone.
Building your contacts
If LinkedIn isn’t good for building your social network it is good for building you working network
and contacts within your industry. You can get talking to people who you work alongside or
colleagues from other businesses that work in similar roles. You can share information with each
other about prospective employment opportunities with your industry or about some material
you have found particularly useful in your role, perhaps even a course you are due to attend.
Getting the most out of LinkedIn
To get the most out of LinkedIn it is important to work on your profile, which means more than
just your own page and details. You can upload your C.V and talk about your experience and
specialisms as well as your work history. This makes you look more employable if you are
searching for a job, or more knowledgeable if you are hoping people will consider you to be an
expert in your field and look at your website or blogs. LinkedIn could potentially drive a
considerable amount of traffic to your site depending upon your activity and the amount of
time you spend building up your profile and your online presence with posts and links.
Combing your social networking sites
LinkedIn also works on recommendations so the more people that you can get to recommend you
the better. You can include links to other social media profiles that you have or pieces of information
that you have included on your other networks. By combining the forms of media that you use in this
way you can get the most out of your networking efforts.