LinkedIn – New Media for Business

March 2, 2008

LinkedIn is in the news and whichever agency is employed to position the online start up as a innovative business networking exchange are doing their jobs. Coupled with the launch of a ‘Facebook style status’ comes the launch of a new interface and homepage.

The PR and Comms Network disagree about LinkedIn.

Alex hates LinkedIn and thinks it’s pointless.

I love LinkedIn and have integrated it into everything I do.

I am currently designing a LinkedIn strategy for my company and a visit to our blog will reveal that all of our staff has a LinkedIn page, directly linked from our homepage. Recently we’ve even been winning new business through LinkedIn. So to the doubter out there (yes, you Alex), that’s significant ROI for £0 spent.

LinkedIn in my opinions serves three purposes that other social networks don’t offer.

<!1. The advent of the ‘virtual C.V.’ has meant that no one can lie about their past work experiences, like they can do on a job application. We all know someone who has landed that ‘fantastic’ job by bending the truth a little on their own C.V. and although massively unfair, fraudulent and downright stupid, unless you are willing to shop that person they disappear off into the sunset with that massive pay rise and a new car! LinkedIn immediately removes this issue. If you lie about your work experience online, you really are stupid.

<!2. We’ve all been at that ‘important’ client meeting where you realise you’ve forgotten your business cards. This normally happens when that ‘must win’ client hands you theirs and looks at you expectantly. Rapidly searching your wallet, you find only loose change and an embarrassed grin! LinkedIn is a cutting edge way of getting out of this situation. “oh we don’t have business cards, we just use LinkedIn, don’t you?”

<!3. New Business. This is less relevant for PR and of far more use for sales teams but using LinkedIn to win new business does work. That contact that you met at the bar at the last trade conference who lost your card because he’d had 13pints, can still find you as long as he can remember your name. Similarly, if you know your business is the perfect match for another enterprise and you just need to get past the sales rep who doesn’t understand what you do, you simply look up their boss and shoot off an email. Also, by using the contacts function effectively you can get someone you know who also knows your sales target to ‘introduce you’.

Yes it’s annoyingly American, yes some features you have to pay for which is a big no no in this newly empowered internet world we live in and yes the status update is a bit stupid. BUT – Bear with it – LinkedIn is one of the most useful free business tools available.

This is my profile – http://www.linkedin.com/in/alaindesmier – feel free to connect with me

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8 Responses to “LinkedIn – New Media for Business”

  1. alaindesmier Says:

    ahhh thanks for that, very interesting…

  2. Erik Curtis Says:

    Not quite sure why one would thing of Linkedin as “Stupid”. The basic service is cost free. So if you get nothing out of it, you’ve lost nothing. BUT if you manage to get a client, contact, job or anything else productive then the ROI is huge. I very much agree with the statement “LinkedIn is one of the most useful free business tools available.”
    Public Profile http://www.linkedin.com/pub/3/60b/9b0

  3. alaindesmier Says:

    to be fair to Alex, he doesn’t think it’s stupid, just can’t see the use for his sphere of PR, which is fair enough, neither can I! Glad you like it too…. Al


  4. Be interested to hear from anyone working in PR who does think it’s useful- especially if you find to can actually do anything more than replicate your facebook contacts. With the exception of Alan [who to be fair works with both Americans and sales guys regularly], I haven’t come across anyone who actually finds it a big plus, over and above their blog and/or Facebook.

    And the status update really is naff. Get with Twitter gang.


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