CGM blog: Why I love LinkedIn

I love LinkedIn.

That’s why I am so pleased it has been voted for as the theme of our next Birmingham Business Media Club meeting on February 17.

Yes, there’s Twitter for immediacy, Facebook for visibility and YouTube for video – but, for me, LinkedIn is the superior business social media platform out there.

Not only is it a great portal to keep in constant touch with business friends and colleagues, it’s also ideal for making new ones and rediscovering older acquaintances.

In fact, communicating convivially, whether via personal messaging or the many and varied groups you can join, is the true beauty of LinkedIn.

If you view it solely as a sales tool you’re likely to be disappointed. That’s where some shouty business coaches and ill-informed social media gurus get it wrong. LinkedIn isn’t a space to cold call or bombard people with online junk mail. It is more subtle than that.

Here are ten reasons why I like LinkedIn:

Focus

LinkedIn focuses on business professionals so it is ideal for research. That’s why updating your own profile is important. The more people who know about you (and your company) the better informed they are. My tip here – make sure your contact details are up to date. Too many folks leave the original email address they used to sign up to LinkedIn (usually a personal one created donkeys years ago).

Personality

A bit like they used to say about the 1960s, if you can remember it you weren’t really there. If you don’t do LinkedIn maybe you aren’t a clued-up communicator. Should you be bothered? Yes, it is a value judgement people may make. Adding up-to-date photos, videos and testimonials will provide colour too.

Personal messaging

LinkedIn is a great place to hang out and engage in conversations via personal messaging with the option to develop longer conversations other social media platforms discourage. I have made many business friends this way and sometime keep a dialogue going throughout the day. It is easy to do and not time-consuming – sometimes you can just get to know people that bit better. 

Time saving

LinkedIn saves research time and can be the source of quality lead generation as you can glean so much information about businesses and their people – and can easily fine-tune your search. You may wish to opt for an upgrade to a paid-for version to gain the full benefit.

Friendship

LinkedIn is a wonderful shared space to renew old friendships and check out what people are up to. And here’s the rub – most of us probably know the contacts we need to regenerate our business and attract new clients, we’re just very poor at asking for help. LinkedIn offers that opportunity via contacts we possibly even forgot we knew.

Pulse

Chances are you’ll also spot this blog on Pulse. It is one of the top blog spots out there and perfect to achieve a wider reach. It is visually pleasing and you can keep the pot boiling by liking and commenting on blogs (your own or others). LinkedIn blogs are entertaining and enlightening too.

News groups

Join them and contribute and communicate with like-minded folks or start your own if you feel so inclined, then invite your contacts.

Company pages

Okay, LinkedIn in chops and changes the company information you can provide and it is notoriously difficult to get lots of folks to ‘follow’ your business… but at least the option exists and it can be done. Slideshare, Showcase, Insight pages help – and there are decent analytics too.

Jobs

Small wonder LinkedIn is loved by recruiters, not only to post jobs but as a source of potential new clients. If you’re on the lookout for a new job, you could do worse than keep your eyes on LinkedIn.

Introductions

LinkedIn’s conviviality is key. If you want to be personally introduced to someone, why not ask a colleague to help you to connect? It’s what you’d do in a crowded room at a networking event, so why not make the most of this purpose-built LinkedIn option?

There are many other benefits and features of LinkedIn of course – we’ll be examining How to Make the Most of LinkedIn at our next Birmingham Business Media Club meeting on February 17 at Longbridge Innovation Centre.

Visit Business Media Clubs, or call 01905 453908 or email info@chrisgreenmedia.co.uk for further details.

Chris Green is an award-winning author and broadcaster and managing partner of Chris Green Media – our aim is to inspire business people to communicate better.