I've read several explanations of Linked In, they always go;
If Facebook is you at a crazy party, and Twitter is you running around in the street in your pants shouting through a Megaphone, then LinkedIn is you, at your day job, behind a desk, with a tie and sock braces on... Personally I like to think that if Facebook is you at a crazy party, and Twitter is you running around in the street in your pants shouting through a Megaphone, then LinkedIn is you, at your day job, behind a desk, with a tie and sock braces on.
LinkedIn For Professionals
LinkedIn I suppose is a professional network, what really started as an online CV and resumé has now become a professional networking group, linking you with people you've worked with, for and arranging potential contacts through shared industries and colleagues.
With a potential pool of 100Million contacts, LinkedIn is like being at the world's worst, or best Morning Coffee Networking group, depending on how you like those thing. Personally I've never gone to one as the idea of a room full of strangers dressed in suits scares me, I'd rather die than stand in a room with 100 Million of them. So that's the great thing about LinkedIn, from the comfort of your desk, you can reach out, and discover new like minded professional for a chat or second opinion, or hit up new contacts and point them to your LinkedIn Company page.
LinkedIn is a little more complicated than Facebook and Twitter but it's relatively easy to set up a profile and get your experience and company details on there. The basic account is free and this will give you more than enough usability to start with, upgrading gives you access to directly contacting contacts, but really it's something you don't need when you first set up.
Like Facebook and Twitter, it's not going to work for you if you just use it as a noticeboard, you need to make everything engaging, from your profile to your status updates, you need to supply your profile with real and meaningful content, join groups based on your profession, and contribute insightful and helpful information to these. It's the same old story, be interesting, clever and helpful and you'll build a nice group of valuable contacts. Be a boring arsehole, and you'll probably end up with a contact list of boring arseholes.
Unlike Facebook, you can see the people who have been looking at your profile, which is interesting, for example I can see that you've looked at my profile everyday for the last 6 weeks, no wait that's a just a bit weird.
QUICK TIP: This might not work forever, so get in there quickly, but if you download the app for iPhone, go to the 'People You May Know' tab, and you can quickly invite anyone in that list to become a Contact. This seems to negate the need to have some connection with them you need to link on the main site.
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