Is LinkedIn the new Social Media Frontier?

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Is LinkedIn the new Social Media Frontier or Tuna Sandwiches

In 2004, when I was Brenda Dumont, I signed into LinkedIn.  A very special website developer, Paul Miniato, who did a spectacular job of making my national retail job board –  www.canadianretail.com –  operate beautifully said I should sign up for LinkedIn.

I went to the url and the whole concept seemed so foreign I remember telling Paul I couldn’t see how that it would work or for what specific purpose.

Of course, we all felt a little adrift as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and so many more eventually came on stream and we began to understand the value of communicating on a relationship basis instead of a one way sales blast.  It’s been a long and very, very interesting journey.

To mimic that old phrase about everything old is new again, I believe that LinkedIn has done such a great job of morphing itself into the business social media platform of choice, that perhaps there is room to say that LinkedIn may be BETTER than Facebook for small business.

Oh, the horror! How can LinkedIn, with a mere 2.8 million users consider competing with Facebook’s 1.6 B users.  Please see Latest LinkedIn statistics
This is a comprehensive overview of just who uses LinkedIn, where, when, why, etc. but even if you skim it you will see…..again….this is a platform all about business.

The difference is numbers is obviously because Facebook walks an interesting tightrope between strictly personal users, strictly business users, and a huge greyish area in between.  LinkedIn is strictly business.  Could I say that one more time?

This blog isn’t a comparison between Facebook and LinkedIn.  It’s a gentle, but hopefully pervasive suggestion that maybe more time spent on LinkedIn for small business will produce as good or perhaps better results FOR THE TIME SPENT than time spent on Facebook.  They are truly different platforms, with different utilities, features, and results.  But, I strongly think its time to consider adding LinkedIn to your small business digital profile.

The approach is much more person-centric than Company Centric, and the Company Profiles introduced last year are just now starting to really be utilized.

NO ONE has ever posted on a LinkedIn update that he/she had a tuna fish sandwich for lunch. Never.  The ‘social’ part of becoming part of a tribe on twitter, or a group on Facebook, or a Facebook Page Administrator that shares a little of the personal side of the business. (if I had a tuna sandwich for everyone who has used that tuna sandwich example to me when concerned about moving into social media, I would be awash in tuna! Perhaps the worldwide shortage could be reduced!)

Those of you reading this are dying to tell me that LinkedIn is really only good for those recruiting or those looking to be recruited.  I would agree it is a platform that is second to none for recruiting.  During all my earlier headhunting days for the Retail industry in Canada, if there had been such a thing as LinkedIn, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.  I use LinkedIn extensively for the Retail recruitment projects I still undertake.

But it’s nothing to do with a tuna sandwich, nor strictly a recruiting tool.  I urge you to consider, LinkedIn is so much more!

  Filed under: LinkedIn
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