There are lots of things to like, and even love about LinkedIn. Here are three:
1. It's alive!
Over the years I've attended networking functions or events where I meet a few people, get some business cards and then either file them (remember the Rolodex?) or put them into some kind of database or CRM for business development purposes. The only trouble was, even if you were diligent and did this (or were lucky enough to have a diligent assistant do it for you), those static details on a card, entered into a computer were likely to change sooner or later.
The great thing about LinkedIn is that everyone maintains their own details, so when they move companies your contact list is updated automatically and you may even notice an update heralding their new appointment (a good opportunity to connect and congratulate). Many recruiters I know live on LinkedIn, it is their lifeblood, and the growing pool of candidates and clients means that they can keep up with people's movements.
2. You can seek, and get found.
As a career coach helping people position themselves, transition and find new roles, LinkedIn is a fantastic way for people to "get out there", connect and be found. Not used in isolation, but a powerful tool nonetheless. Ive gained consulting work directly from being on LinkedIn. I've also met people in development roles (ie their job revolves around connecting people with their organisation) who aren't on LinkedIn. What!?? If I was hiring, they wouldn't get the gig on that omission alone.
3. It's about your audience. (And, it's business.)
For those of us who are conscious about our work and careers, growing a charity, looking for our next role, or developing our businesses, LinkedIn serves this purpose beautifully. This doesn't mean there is no room for fun and frivolity at times, but just like a real workplace it does have boundaries which provide people with a level of comfort. They know how to act.
Like many others, I've gone off Facebook - when I recently visited, I was met with an enlarged picture of someone's passenger car seat, where their toddler had "lost his lunch". Thanks for sharing! On LinkedIn, you share your good news, you might shout out if you need a recommendation for a hard to find service, you may share great articles - and things relevant and of interest to your target audience. On LinkedIn, you are saved from viewing someone's recent bathroom renovation and can get on with solving the problems of the world.
Embrace LinkedIn. Update your profile. Connect!
There are lots of other things I love about LI, but I promised only three. What do you love...?
PS. Did you know you can "follow" Career Wisdom on LinkedIn to get this blog in your LI newsfeed? I look forward to seeing you.