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Social Network Closeup: LinkedIn - from "Social Networks: The New Reality"
By C.J. Mittica
October, 2009


How Best To Use It: LinkedIn

Number Of Users: Around 40 million

What It Is: Considered the professional alternative to Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to create a profile, update it with your business accomplishments and events and network with like-minded businesspeople.

How Best To Use It:
1. Stay in touch. John Calardo, president of Proforma Grafix (asi/300094), uses LinkedIn to know what’s happening with his contacts in their professional lives. "It’s a great way to get updates immediately, as soon as they change their posting, to find out what exactly they’re up to," he says.
2. Strengthen your profile. Your profile promotes your job, your company and your brand. Omitting key information does a disservice to yourself and your network. "If I go to your profile and there’s hardly anything there, it doesn’t help me at all, and I see that so often," says Jason Alba, author of I’m On Linked In – Now What???
3. More than an address book. ""I don’t think we use it as an offensive tool," says Bobby Lehew, director of operations for Robyn Promotions (asi/309656). Added functions to make LinkedIn more like Facebook allow distributors to actively prospect and target key personnel within companies – like a director of marketing, for example.
4. Its own reference. LinkedIn allows for other successful people to act as a reference or recommend you. And your profile can do the same if updated with accurate information. "Without asking questions, without talking to me in person, users can see where I come from, what my background is, and hopefully achieve a comfort level," says Calardo.

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