Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Social Media Specifically for Business Professionals

By Kristin Rabas, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Social media has hit the mainstream at full speed, turning heads and starting conversations about what, where, when and how among top executives. On the other hand, social media has caused a stir with school aged kids as well. And that’s just it - many business people see social media as a fad or as a personal tool for kids. While that may be true in some instances with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, LinkedIn was developed specifically for business professionals looking to connect and network with other business professionals.

LinkedIn is similar to Facebook in that you post information about yourself. But in this case, the information is about your professional background, current endeavors and future aspirations. This isn’t the place college students are posting spring break photos but an area where you can find out what organizations a business associate is involved in or what type of educational background they have.

An advantage to LinkedIn is that you must accept an invitation from the other person before they can access your information, which helps control who can see your information and who can’t.

Linkedin can also be utilized for the following:

•Recruiting – A person’s profile is similar to a resume. It shows what organizations the person has worked for and for how long, any awards the individual has won and much more. It’s a great way to get a preliminary view of someone’s experience.

•Staying in Touch – Connecting with past coworkers or friends allows you to see where they’ve been and where they are now. LinkedIn also gives you the ability to send messages to your connections in a similar fashion of sending an e-mail. So even if your college roommate has changed jobs, you can still keep in touch.

•References – LinkedIn features a recommendations application. You can write or receive a recommendation from others you are connected with that others can view, similar to a reference on a resume.

•Associations – LinkedIn gives you the ability to display organizations you belong to or support. Through this application, you can find others who have the same interests or support the same causes.

•Making Connections – Networking is an essential part of almost any business person’s career. Meeting someone at a corporate function can be quickly forgotten but meeting them and then connecting on LinkedIn can keep that connection open.

Like any other social media network, the ways to use LinkedIn are endless. If you’re curious about LinkedIn or have any questions feel free to view my profile to see what LinkedIn is all about at the link below (I have my privacy set so anyone is able to view my basic information):

Are you currently on LinkedIn? If so, how have you used it and how do you intend to keep using it?


Beth said...

I use LinkedIn to stay in touch with people, but I would like to use it more to make new connections!

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts! It seems most people simply post their profiles and "accumulate" contacts but then don't do a lot with them. I like LinkedIn for the ability to post questions and get instant responses. Found some great resources that way

Unknown said...

I am currently using LinkedIn. It’s a great tool that allows me to connect with business professionals that I have collaborated with on a project or just know in the business community. Plus it’s another way to stay in touch.

Unknown said...

As a recent college graduate and new into the "real world" work force, this is one tool that I'd like to explore a little more. I have a LinkedIn account, but was never sure as to the whole point of having one. This blog post really gives great insight as why it's so important to continue building your professional network. After reading this, I'm more eager than ever to get going and use my profile the best way I can!

Anonymous said...

I have a LinkedIn account and have used it to make connections with other professionals. It is a great tool for that and can also be a great resource to get opinions and add to disucssions.

An added bonus for me has been making connections with friends I have not talked to in years!

Anonymous said...

LinkedIn is a great way to interact and network with colleagues. I just wish it was as user friendly as Facebook.