Each social networking site has a specific purpose and can help you achieve your business goals. Although LinkedIn seems fairly limited in terms of functions, it can be used to enhance your Internet Marketing efforts if you approach it with the right mindset.
Initially set up for the business community to network, share contacts and recommend acquaintances for open job positions, it appears the site has been attempting to expand its scope.
It is a presence on the Internet though, with an Alexa rank of 149 and Google PageRank 7.
Some negative points against it include: Adding Google AdSense ad blocks detracts from its corporate image, as has some discussions in its questions and answers section which seems to have devolved into a discussion of network marketing opportunities and online scams.
Add to that the seemingly limited interaction and communication functions and you might have the receipe for a social network which could be a “killer app” for corporate headhunters, but something that merely stumbles along for the rest of us.
Admittedly, LinkedIn has helped me connect with a couple of university mates, but to squeeze some networking juice out of your profile requires some “out of the box” thinking.
Let’s look at your profile:
If you don’t already have a blog, submitted articles or press releases or have a Squidoo lens or Hubpage up, perhaps this will help you rank for your name.
Be sure to include your profile details, including specializations.
Instead of “content developer” or “writer”, here’s your chance to mention that you’re a “direct response copywriter” or “advertorial writer” or “technical writer”.
Besides making your profile more relevant to human readers, the keywords will help others searching for a specialist to find you more easily too.
So you might list your specialities and perhaps get a job offer direct from an employer. But more likely a headhunter will be farming LinkedIn’s userbase for specific profiles for their database, such as “Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) markeitng specialist”.
Where I think Internet Marketers will benefit more is to find joint venture partners or collaborators who might fill in the missing piece of the puzzle for a project they’re working on.
From the demographics I’ve seen, I’d expect that LinkedIn users would be pretty computer savvy, be technically competent and have a higher education.
To enhance your “findability”, include relevant keywords in your profile so you’ll be more easily found:
Load up on the “groups and associations” and you’ll find others in your community too.
As the profile has pretty limited virtual real estate, you’d probably gain the biggest benefit by adding in your blog and website (and be sure to have a “contact me” link on them).
In the social networking game, I think the adage, it’s not how many people you know, it’s WHO you know, still rings true.
Network long and prosper.