After joining a social network, the question becomes “now what?” This is especially the case if you’re not very familiar with the network and do not have the time to engage in those networks. LinkedIn was one of the first social networks I joined and my initial reaction was exactly that. Now what. The problem at the time was that as a relatively early adopter not many of my friends and contacts were on LinkedIn. So, things were pretty quiet in the neighborhood.
However, as my contacts and friends started to join, things started get interesting, especially on LinkedIn. I began to see who was connected to who and despite living in Phoenix (one of the largest metro areas in the US), I started to see that the community was indeed not as big – as least the one I was most interested in interacting with. I was able to ask for introductions for certain professions from within my contact list and also learn about some of the people I wanted to network with. Additionally, I found that a good follow up with a professional after a networking meeting was to invite them to join my network.
As LinkedIn grew they began to add more features and participants became more active. As the job search function was added, members began to post jobs openings. With a new answers section professionals began a dialogue acroudn common topics. And of course as status update section akin to Facebooks feature called, “What are you working on?” only made the interaction more real-time.
Of course one of the more powerful features on LinkedIn is the “endorsement” section – whereby past co-workers can review your work on your profile. For those in the hunt for new jobs or just plain wanting to promote their services this is a great vehicle for gaining trust in the community and potentially adding to the bottom line.
Now that you know the benefits of LinkedIn, watch a video from Common Crafts explaining how you can benefit from this professional social networking service.