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Why you should set an hour aside to get LinkedIn

Despite the ubiquity of “social media”, from Digg to Facebook to Twitter, I don’t encourage our clients to spend a lot of time on it. That’s not because these various interactive web services aren’t of any use in the business world; far from it. However, there are more fundamental things to concentrate on for most companies before you get into the intricacies of using these services and sites to your advantage.

However, one social media site which I’ll make an exception for is LinkedIn, because it can be useful from both a company and a personal point of view. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you should take a few minutes to create one.

For those of you who have never seen it, LinkedIn is a professional networking system, and it long ago reached critical mass, so that you begin to expect to see people on it. I’ve been amazed at how many long-lost (and potentially useful) business contacts have reconnected with me through LinkedIn, and I’m also impressed with the amount of web traffic it sends to my websites. What’s more, there’s evidence that people are using LinkedIn to find suppliers, by looking up those which their own contacts use and trust. Finally, if you ever represent your company, there’s a chance that the people you’re meeting will look you up beforehand on LinkedIn, so it’s good to be there and to show your experience and trustworthiness.

Still not convinced? You might be the top result for your name in the Google results here in the UK. I am. But you probably won’t be in another country, such as the USA. Never mind: your LinkedIn profile might be.

Anyway, there are plenty of articles around the web talking about the benefits of having a LinkedIn profile and even how to set up your LinkedIn profile. But for those of you already on LinkedIn, the article which inspired this one was Connecting on LinkedIn: Quality or quantity? from Marketing Experiments, which has some interesting observations.

Now get networking! If you’ve joined, go to the group I’ve set up for readers of this blog and join us. Then visit my profile, and “add Chris to your network”. If we haven’t “done business together”, as they say, then choose “Groups & Associations” and choose “Article a Day” readers. I promise to link in with you!

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