After a bunch of conversations with a few friends, I realized that everybody seems to be logging onto Facebook on a daily basis. For a few it could be on an hourly basis. But LinkedIn as a platform is not being regularly visited by the masses, inspite of having a mobile application. The power of LinkedIn is something that each one of us could tap into, especially if you are in a sales and marketing role.
LinkedIn is the ideal platform that is recommended by professionals universally to build your network. This is an exceptional professional networking tool in numerous ways. As a user, you get business partnership pitches, job offers and network inquiries weekly. This tool really gives you an idea of hire-able you are. LinkedIn offers an upscale social networking experience, which a Facebook might not be able to offer. The analogy in this case would be to think of LinkedIn as a classy fine dining experience and Facebook as a visit to McDonalds!
Bumping into friends
LinkedIn is useful to be able to search for people (and be searched for) in a rather strong professional database. It is also useful to be able to ask questions to other professionals in your relevant industry. The tools LinkedIn provides are useful enough, but what it makes it endlessly compelling is the fact that you virtually “bump into” people you know. This is why it helps actually build relationships, rather than just being something mechanical and impersonal. It is that bumping into people virtually during the course of doing something useful for your business. When you see those names of people you know, take a minute or two to view their profile and see what’s new with them and drop them a note. It’s a great way to strengthen the relationships you already have without a lot of effort.
Most sales guys would vouch that LinkedIn is the best business development tool available on the Internet today. With a sizable network there aren’t many companies that one can’t find a connection in – even if its 3rd degree, you can use Inmail and get a response. You can also take advantage of the ‘wisdom of crowds” by using features such as Q&A. When it comes to “networking for life” it is always true that you “give to get” and the private messaging capabilities is turning into a wonderful way to make virtual introductions.
Steve Jobs spoke about famously “connecting the dots”. LinkedIn is one such platform that allows you to do so. You can develop a better understanding of industries, markets and people through the platform. You actually develop a better understanding of who you know out there, what they are up to and how you are intertwined. Spending time nurturing your network and joining various LinkedIn groups can only help you grow.
LinkedIn rocks since it does not spam. For those of us trained in old-school marketing this is counter-intuitive. Traditionally, we want to hit as many prospective buyers with our message. What that mindset misses is the astonishing power of leverage. Although it has millions of members, LinkedIn isn’t the place to blast a mass audience with spam mail. It is the place to find the one networking connection that will transform your business. Most people would rather spend a lot of money on an ad to get a thousand leads than cultivating a relationship that might net them a million $ deal.
The power of networking
LinkedIn is a living reminder of the power of network marketing. Log onto LinkedIn and start linking to leverage your contacts! Finding connections on the Internet has always been somewhat of a hit or miss process. LinkedIn provides the tools necessary to professionally reconnect with colleagues and friends you’ve known over the years. More importantly, you can now gain access to their network and their network’s network.
Many people I know log on to Facebook on a daily basis since it has the “stickiness factor” which makes people addicted to it. LinkedIn too is bringing in that factor with the amazing blogs that you get to see these days on the platform written business thought leaders. To conclude, I’d like to state that the LinkedIn platform has matured enough to be on par with Facebook and maybe you should consider logging onto the platform every morning!
Rajiv Mathew is the Head of Marketing at Compassites. He is a hands-on technology marketing & communications professional with proven expertise in multiple facets of the marketing spectrum. He is specialized in creating brand value by being a business driver, digital catalyst & legacy builder. Prior to joining Compassites he worked at ThoughtWorks Inc and Oracle. His passions include public speaking, writing and filmmaking. He holds an MBA degree from Christ College Institute of Management, Bangalore.