LinkedIn: it’s not just for fuddy-duddies and stuff-shirts anymore!
I mean seriously, it’s just a smart idea. Most everyone in the professional arena knows (or should know) about LinkedIn and what it’s for. The third sentence from the chapter on LinkedIn in that book I’m reading, Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals makes it pretty clear. “Could you benefit from expanding your professional network?” Ummm, yes.
If you answer no to that then I guess you don’t need a LinkedIn. Enjoy the long, hard road of mediocrity. Unless you’re a celebrity or super-rich or something in which case, lemme get a job! Sorry for the deviation, but you never know, ya know? Maybe Warren Buffett or Bobby Brown is reading this. I guess to be fair, LinkedIn isn’t a perfect fit for everyone. That book does mention that there are people out there who’s job puts them in a position where being easily found online is not an advantage, although I can’t think of a good example of that right now so I’m moving on. I guess bank robbers don’t really need a LinkedIn, but that’s a different blog post altogether.
LinkedIn is a really awesome tool that professionals can use to bolster their professional network. I found it interesting that this book mentions how people in different positions within organizations tend to use LinkedIn for different purposes. It says that the higher-ups use it mostly for trade industry networking and promotional purposes, whereas middle management uses it to “keep in touch” and network within their industry while the newbies in the business world use it for finding jobs and networking with their co-workers. I could have come to a conclusion similar to that on my own but I trust these folks and their organization’s logo is on the front of this social media book.
To extrapolate on another point the book makes, LinkedIn seems to also function as a sort of social media channel for people who aren’t on social media. As found on pages 82-83, “If you do nothing else — No blogs, no Twitter, no podcasts or videos — LinkedIn gives you a platform to be found and to create a professional online presence. There is nothing (yea, I exaggerate) that I dislike more than trying to find someone online and there’s literally nada. Come on, it’s 2013. If, as a professional, you aren’t online in some way, shape, or form then people are likely to begin seriously questioning your capabilities and desire to succeed in the professional world because quite frankly, you just have to be online. I’m confident that folks reading this don’t fall into that category though. 🙂 So if nothing else, LinkedIn is kind of like an online curriculum vitae.
A function of LinkedIn that I have yet to personally delve into are the different tools that are offered such as Polls, Group management, Answers, and Alumni, all of which can help businesses that aren’t relatively huge to publicly display their expertise in areas relevant to their goals as a company.
Another good reason to get a LinkedIn (for my fellow almost-professionals) is that according to this book I keep referring to, a study was done (way back in June of ’11) that showed about 75% of companies in the U.S. will either always, or at least sometimes check the LinkedIn profiles of their potential employees. I’d bet by now it’s closer to 100%.
Something that seems to run the social media gamut that I often find weaved throughout different conversations I have had and things I have read is the term “human.” Social media allows companies to show their human side which is interesting seeing as social media is technology and machine-driven. It’s true though, even though it is through a digital channel, it’s a huge step towards humanity when compared to those automated phone messages, I friggin’ hate those things.
Ok, it’s getting late. All in all I’d say go out and get yourself a LinkedIn, you have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain so go out there and be a winner! Here’s some motivation:
Disclaimer: Joe Sloan has no professional affiliation with CIPR or “Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals,” yet…