2014: Get on Board with LinkedIn
I’m sure you know the importance of social media. Today everything we do, other than sleeping, is connected to social media, from school, to work, and to our thoughts and opinions-everything is shared on social media. It seems that the most popular networks are Facebook and Twitter, with Pinterest and LinkedIn not far behind. I say that due to the amount of blog posts that each of these networks garner, with FB, and Twitter leading the way. With that in mind, what do you think of that last social network-LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations. Via this social network users can create profiles highlighting current/prior work experience. You can upload resumes, connect with colleagues and classmates and build a network that can help you advance in your career.
Currently LinkedIn has in excess of 259 million users across the world, and users share insights in more than 2.1 million groups. In addition, more than 3 million companies have LinkedIn pages, with 91 of the 100 Fortune 100 companies using the network’s talent solutions.
SEE ALSO: 17 LinkedIn Profile Must-Haves
Can anyone use LinkedIn? Of course! Yes the “definition” for LinkedIn above does mention and look to create for its users a “career-option” network, but that does not mean that you have got to be an entrepreneur or a 20 year veteran in your field.
Getting started: It does not matter who you are, there is one tip that is universal, and that is put the spotlight on your strengths. There are many various subjects that one can “market” on themselves on their page. If you have more experience volunteering than working, then stress that to your colleagues. If you are student, no problem! There is a spot to fill out all the necessary information regarding where you study and what it is you study. Once you have set up your account (do try to use a professional image), then it is time to get to work (metaphorically speaking).
It’s the same idea as any Facebook group, only that in LinkedIn I notice that there are more discussions and fewer people spamming or just going after self-promotions (although still relevant). One up-side is the “contributor level” that each group member receives, which may be one the reasons that self-promotions are not as common. If readers are going to click on your links via one of these groups, the chances of that happening are much higher if you are a key influencer in your group. Not only does it imply that you have knowledge but also that you take the time to interact with others. It seems that like in many things, the success of a LinkedIn group, in relation to other groups on the web, is based somewhat of its makeup and by the subject of the group. There are subjects that will always lead to conversation or the opposite, and groups that tend to have lots of spam (not matter if it’s on Facebook or LinkedIn), so don’t just expect automatically that LinkedIn is 100x better than other social networks.
Another incentive to participating in group discussion is the chance to grow your network, and more importantly (in my opinion) get endorsed for those skills that you want to be known for.
Make sure you stay active in your groups, even during the holiday season, because if you don’t, your “contribution” level will fall, and you won’t be known to the many new users that join LinkedIn and your group every day.
So, yes LinkedIn is much less popular and cool than Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, but that is due in part to the nature of the social network. It is less social, and more a professional outreach network.
Will you be joining LinkedIn?
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