Users flow along the expanding continuum of social media channels. LinkedIn is now at that place on the line where business professionals should be.
When Mark Zuckerberg and partners developed Facebook in 2004, it was for Harvard students. Then the continuum slid along to students at other colleges and universities in the nation, on to their non-college friends and then – to their dismay – relatives.
I first discovered Facebook from the Creighton students I was teaching – primarily out of their complaints that people like me were on their channel and it was dragging them down. “I don’t want to be friends with my Mom!”
I like Facebook. I entered this social media space on the continuum with a vengeance. I connected with people I had not connected with for years and now I don’t send Christmas cards anymore. I have more than 1,000 friends, including my four teens, because I bought their computers and iPhones, and because I want to embarrass them.
But my teens have actually moved on to Instagram, SnapChat, Vine and more. They have moved onto a different plane in the continuum, and I feel the need – the necessity – to move over with a renewed vengeance to LinkedIn. There are a few reasons I recommend you do the same.
The first reason is it’s important as a business professional to separate your personal and business lives. Facebook can make that a little dicey.
The second reason is OPPORTUNITY. LinkedIn is now the world’s largest professional network. It limped along for a time, being one of the world’s “older” social networks, but they’ve cracked the code on changes in technology, target and services for professionals that make this the ideal place to connect.
With more than 225 million users in 200 countries, LinkedIn gives you access to 2.7 million business pages, 1.5 million groups, your share of 1 billion endorsements, and more. How you leverage all this is up to you. My advice: Spend more than the average 17 minutes per day on the site to get your profile up to speed. Follow industry leaders, post so you get followed, and enjoy the ride! Here are some specifics to do now:
-Download the LinkedIn App for your phone.
-Complete your profile. This helps LinkedIn connect you with people you used to work with, people in industries similar to yours, and more.
-Build your network inside LinkedIn. Import your contacts from all your other channels. Search around LinkedIn and invite people to connect with you. Add a personal note about who you are and why. It might go further than the typical template invitation and seed a bit of memorability about you.
-Seek out groups that interest you, that you’re marketing to, that may help you move your business – and join them.
-Consider forming a group. Lead the way and post, refer to articles.
-Build a Company Page – especially if you are an entrepreneur.
-Check the Channels – LinkedIn will make Channel recommendations to you, but you should check in regularly to follow Channels that help you be better at your job.