When you think of social networks, LinkedIn is probably on your list, but I would bet that it’s not at the top. Even though some consider LinkedIn “the ‘grandfather of social networks'” (Appleby, 2012, pg. 79). Now, I’m not sure if I agree with that statement, but I do believe that we should take LinkedIn more seriously than other social networks. LinkedIn has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to maintaining our professional network.
With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, who has time for LinkedIn, right? I say we make time. We can’t forget about our professional network. Chapter 9 in Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals gives a solid argument for how we can benefit from expanding our professional network. “LinkedIn is a vital tool in ensuring we communicate the professional side of our identity as part of our wider online personality and profile” (Appleby, 2012, pg. 82).
But how do we “manage a personal professional brand online” (Appleby, 2012, pg. 82)? Kristin Piombino suggests “17 must-have features on your LinkedIn profile” to help you do just that. According to Matt Ray’s chart (http://www.business2community.com/linkedin/17-steps-perfect-linkedin-profile-infographic-0777280) only “50.5% of users profiles are 100% complete” and only “42% of users update their information regularly” (Piombino, February 13, 2013). Where do you fall? I’ll just say, I need to do some updating…
LinkedIn isn’t only for individuals looking to expand their professional network, it can also be utilized by businesses and organizations to communicate with their audience. There are several new features highlighted in Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals, including Company Pages and The Groups network that can help build the mutually beneficial relationship with the audience. LinkedIn states that it allows businesses and organizations to “present an opportunity to reveal the human side of a company, to see the individual behind the brand and highlight how people use its products” (Appleby, 2012, pg. 84).
It’s time that we take advantage of everything LinkedIn has to offer. “There is a valuable role for us to play in supporting strategic engagement through LinkedIn, both at the corporate and individual level” (Appleby, 2012, pg. 85).
CIPR. (2012). Share this: the social media handbook for PR professionals. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Kristin, P. (2014, February 21). 17 must-have features on your LinkedIn profile. Ragan’s PR Daily. Retrieved from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/16148.aspx
Matt, R. (2014, February 13). 17 steps to a perfect LinkedIn Profile (infographic). Business 2 Community. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/linkedin/17-steps-perfect-linkedin-profile-infographic-0777280