When I consult with folks and we go down “their list” of where they want to be in the social world, LinkedIn never seems to be on their list. When I mention it, they kind of squint their eyes, curl their mouths and think, “Why would we want to be there, that’s for finding a job, right?” Well, yes and no. While Facebook may be in the forefront of everyone’s mind because it seems to be exploding (and it’s most recent ridiculous valuation of $50B), less everyone forget that LinkedIn was one of the first social networks (Friendster launched in 2002, LinkedIn in 2003, Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006) to be launched.
LinkedIn is absolutely used for networking for a job. But LinkedIn also has over 80M users (as of Nov 2, 2010) in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. In fact, according to Wikipedia “LinkedIn membership grows by a new member approximately every second.” (That’s 86,400 new users a day for all of you math whiz kids). That’s not too shabby in terms of customer or constituent reach.
Here’s what I tell my clients first and foremost:
- If your company doesn’t have a profile set up on LinkedIn, set one up. Takes 3 minutes.
- Let employees know you have a profile so that they can list you as their employer and your website.
- Chances are your industry has a group already on LinkedIn, so no need to start one, but do join at least one group and participate in the conversation. Let people know you are a “go-to” person in your industry.
- Status Updates – believe it or not, people read them. It’s a great way to promote your new product, service and business as a whole.
So, while LinkedIn is not currently a site where you hang out for hours like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or StumbleUpon, it has been growing steadily for years. In fact, it was given a $2Billion valuation by Tiger Global Management LLC this past July. And, in August it acquired Mspoke, which has high hopes for helping LinkedIn users do more than just find a job but be more socially interactive. Remember that Bugs Bunny episode with the tortoise? Slow and steady always wins the race. LinkedIn is not a social site to be overlooked.
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