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MarketingProfs Video: Are You LinkedIn?

by Matt Dickman  |  
November 14, 2007

One of the social networks that I frequent most often is LinkedIn. I've been a member of the service for years, but until recently they've not had the critical mass necessary to get traction. Over the last 6 months, however, I've seen a flood of people using the service to connect on a professional basis.

LinkedIn is a focused, professional networking site. It doesn't pretend to be MySpace or Facebook. The design is clean, but a little stark and it could use a little more personality in order to make it more engaging. In this video tour, I focus on what LinkedIn does well within their network and how you can apply the same logic and to your own community.

What LinkedIn does well:

  • Security. Friendships are made and links shared only with permission.
  • Focus. The site is professional and keeps social elements out.
  • Communication. Alerts are stored in your inbox and messaging is clear and simple.
  • Answers. The answers area is a great resource for anybody looking for advice from peers.
  • Rewards. LinkedIn offers virtual rewards for engaging (profile completeness, etc.).
  • Community. It's all about community and LinkedIn has found great ways of showing you what's happening in your personal network as well as your extended network.
  • Trust. The site is completely built on trust. You connect with trusted people and so do they. When a message/answer/job comes through the service you know it's for real.

What LinkedIn needs to work on:

  • I still think they should offer a resume generator that compiles your data and exports it with some editing on your part.
  • Would be nice to hook up to more social media to profiles (blogs, photos, videos, etc.)

If you don't use the service I encourage you to check it out. The more complete your profile is the more beneficial the system will be as it will find colleagues, classmates, etc.
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Matt is Vice President of Digital Marketing at Fleishman-Hillard in Cleveland, Ohio. He has over 11 years of experience in helping clients use new media and technology to reach their marketing objectives.

In Matt's present role he keeps pulse of an ever evolving industry to help clients stay competitive. On top of being a thought leader for Fleishman-Hillard's client roster, Matt blogs at Techno//Marketer where he uses video, audio and text to help demystify technology for marketers around the world. On the blog Matt primarily covers the ways in which new technology, and even old technology, impacts the field of marketing.

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  • by Tangerine Toad Wed Nov 14, 2007 via blog

    I really like LinkedIn too, Matt. For all the reasons you mentioned. It's a great place to keep track of all the people I really don't have any sort of social relationship with. And is invaluable when I'm called on to interview someone - I can immediately figure out who we know in common and possibly call them up to get more information. One troubling trend: People have been attempting to use LinkedIn to network with people they've never met. And are pissed off when they're invitations to Link are turned down because the other person has no idea who they are. I wrote about this last month: The "Answers" thing is sort of pointless too- very little of value in there, mostly written by random people who may or may not know what they're talking about. People seem to resist many of their features. They added profile pictures a while ago and I'd say maybe 20% of my contacts actually added them.

  • by Elaine Fogel Wed Nov 14, 2007 via blog

    I've met interesting people locally via LinkedIn. But, I was surprised recently when I scored a national client through a LinkedIn connection. Very impressive results.

  • by Matt Dickman Wed Nov 14, 2007 via blog

    TT -- Thanks for the comment. I've seen a lot of that happening as well where people add friends they don't know, but I think it's up to the individuals. I, for one, treat the system like a networking event where I trade business cards and less like my personal business address book. It's a personal decision on how you use it. Hopefully, when they open their API a little, developers will build on the platform and make it easier to engage and add value. Elaine -- Your story is one that I'm hearing more and more. Very impressive indeed.

  • by Mario Vellandi Wed Nov 14, 2007 via blog

    I think it would be great to 'tag' contacts by what 'you' remember them for, not by the industry they're in, etc. That'd be a usability enhancement. Secondly, it'd be great to allow individuals to embed contacts and selected info, into web pages/elsewhere. I can see a small consultant have a webpage on his site for "Associates" that shows selected contacts, some info, and link to their public profile on LI.

  • by Adam Cohen Wed Nov 14, 2007 via blog

    I have been a LinkedIn user for close to 2 years. In the last 6 months I have seen a huge influx of people jumping into it and my network has exploded. I do keep 99% of my contacts restricted to who I know, but I've also seen referrals to mutual contacts take off. About a year ago I landed my new job through an initial contact of LinkedIn. I'm looking forward to seeing how this will evolve with OpenSocial.

  • by Matt Dickman Wed Nov 14, 2007 via blog

    Mario -- Great points! I'd love to see those too. I like to write notes about people I add to my address book so I can remember where I met them and any personal details. Adam -- Recruiters and HR departments are absolutely out in front on LinkedIn. Also, very interesting point on OpenSocial. Will be interesting to see where that goes.

  • by Sean Carlos Mon Nov 19, 2007 via blog

    In Europe, there is a strong need for face to face contact to occur before serious business can begin. In Milan we have solved this by creating an offline networking companion to LinkedIn. LinkedIn members in the greater Milan area can meet weekly, using a format which includes both open networking time and a member spotlight (see for details). Another aspect in Europe is the language barrier. Local business oriented networking sites are giving LinkedIn a run for its money - I've outlined the players and their countries in a look at this market last May:

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