Awhile ago, I committed to one post each month about social media/networking in Human Resources. This is that post.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking website. It “links” you with people in your organization and people you’ve worked with in the past. It links you to vendors and service providers that you do or have done business with. It also recommends links based on links you have in common that would indicate you either know or should know each other. And LinkedIn has interactive groups for asking questions and sharing answers about job-related stuff. Plus, there’s a lot of article sharing about business-related topics.
I’ve always called it “the Facebook for work-friends.” I’ve also likened it to the rolodex or business card portfolio books that we used to have before everything went digital and had an app for that (Yes. I had both. Still do. Don’t judge me). LinkedIn is the place to keep social connections that you want to be able to contact from time-to-time and/or when necessary — but don’t necessarily want to connect on a personal level. Because everyone you work or do business with doesn’t have to become your BFF just to stay in touch.
There are 3 things I really love about LinkedIn:
- Appropriate Sharing. Unlike other social media sites where people are posting about everything from what they ate to what their watching on TV to political rantings to how often their kids go potty, LinkedIn is all business. The status updates, messages, group discussions and information shared all have to do with work-related items. So if you are looking to strengthen your professional network, LinkedIn is definitely the place to be.
- Recommendations and Endorsements. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, reference checking sucks. The LinkedIn recommendation and endorsement lets clients and co-workers publicly post about the knowledge, skills and abilities you possess so reference-checking isn’t as challending, time-consuming or fruitless. These options are a great way to utilize your professional connections to show off what you know, what you’ve done and bottle your brand of professional awesomesauce.
- The “Who Viewed Your Profile” Option. LinkedIn is the only social media site that tells you who looks at your profile. That’s my favorite thing about LinkedIn and the place where it “beats” its competitors. LinkedIn lets you know if a potential employer is getting to know more about you. It also let’s you know if an old flame is checking you out or if your college nemesis is checking up on you. There’s no way around that on LinkedIn. So if you don’t want someone to know that you’re all up in thier profile — don’t look at it.
LinkedIn isn’t as exciting or fun as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or Pinterest. It probably never will be. And that’s ok. It’s about work-related stuff so it doesn’t necessarily have to be. But it is worthwhile and useful … Now if it only allowed you to block people … Hmmm …