Monday, December 22, 2008

Top 6 Reasons To Join LinkedIn

My last post I talked about the reasons why I joined LinkedIn and how from being a Spectator now my goal is to be a Connector.

Personal contacts will continue to play a crucial role in building professional relations however everyday we see a rapidly growing trend towards the use of online social professional networks to establish the first contact or to disseminate product information. Recruiting and staffing firms were definitely the early adopters and today they are the leaders in the space.

Last week, I attended an event on the topic “Is Technology Facing Another Nuclear Winter?” hosted by NCTA WISE. It just took few seconds after people were shaking hands to ask the now so familiar question: “Are You in LinkedIn? Let’s connect there”. Less than an hour after I left the event my mailbox began receiving invitations from new contacts. One recruiter suggested that people should consider adding their LinkedIn profile information to their business card. I would say that is a pretty good advice.

Back to the title of this blog: Why People Have Joined LinkedIn? After I posted my previous blog I decided to find out the reasons why other people are joining this professional social network and to gather this information I posted a simple question to three of the groups where I have membership.

So far I have received 26 responses across the three groups.

Most of the responders indicated that they originally joined LinkedIn to stay in touch with old colleagues who have moved to other organizations. However, everyone recognizes that the real value of the social networks comes later when the user becomes familiar with the different features of the networking community and primarily the discussion groups. While staying in touch with people that you already know still very important, now there is a shift from connecting with old colleagues to building new relationships and getting business advice for new ventures.

The following list represents the top reasons why people have joined LinkedIn:

1) Establish new contacts from related industries or new industries.
2) Access to industry practitioners and experts.
3) Participation in global dialogues.
4) Create the opportunity to introduce a product line to different groups.
5) Create new business development opportunities.
6) Find professional talent.

Even some people have been able to generate savings by cutting off on their travel expenses because now they have direct access to perspective clients and partners.

What is your social networking personality behavior? Do you hide your network if you are a member? Are you just a Spectator? Or do you fall into Malcolm Gladwell's categories? Are you a Connector with million of connections in your network? Are you the knowledgeable Maven who provides helpful insights but doesn't really spend much time connecting, or the Salesman with the perfect profile and persuasive recommendations?

If you are already there don’t forget to send me an invitation to be a part your network!

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