Social Media for Networking with Other Professionals

In the list of top social media sites by number of visits, LinkedIn comes 5th, behind Facebook, MySpace,Twitter and Flixster (a movie sharing site) with 42.7 million visits per month.

LinkedIn is quite different from the sites we’ve discussed in this blog so far.  Although they all have the idea of meeting and sharing, LinkedIn is work focused.

From the LinkedIn website, here are the latest linkedin facts.

  1. LinkedIn has over 44 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world.
  2. A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of our members are outside the U.S.
  3. Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members

On LinkedIn you can meet other professionals, build a network of useful contacts and learn about industry news. Again, from the LinkedIn website, there are the things you can do on the site:

  1. Manage the information that’s publicly available about you as professional
  2. Find and be introduced to potential clients, service providers, and subject experts who come recommended
  3. Create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files and solve problems
  4. Be found for business opportunities and find potential partners
  5. Gain new insights from discussions with likeminded professionals in private group settings
  6. Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
  7. Post and distribute job listings to find the best talent for your company

In the 80′s and 90′s we all met people at conferences, on airplanes, during Happy Hour, at the local Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce meeting. Of course, we still do those things. However, LinkedIn and other sites like it allow us to partially replace or expand those networking activities online. Like any networking activity, it takes time and energy to create your profile and develop your network. Whether or not you choose to do it depends on your professional goals.

Check out LinkedIn to see if it might be useful to you.

Tomorrow I”ll talk a bit more about social networks for specific industries and professions.

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