As the world and the workplace become larger and more competitive, the internet and technology can help shrink the chasm between us and new opportunities. That’s where social media comes in. As a part of “Web 2.0“, social media sites such as LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook and Twitter allow us to expand our sphere of influence and network in the virtual world.
So the question of the week is, are you LinkedIn? LinkedIn is one of the most popular networking sites for professionals. And “Over 40 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities.”
So why join LinkedIn? Not only is it a place to connect with your colleagues from current or past jobs or careers, it’s an opportunity to meet prospective employees or employers. You can also stay informed about your clients, contacts and developments in your industry.
If you are new to LinkedIn, it’s easy to get started. Just sign up and create your profile which summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can select the free account, or from several paid options, depending on how you want to connect with your network. Then, get connected with people you already know, see who they know, and ask for introductions to the movers and shakers you would like to add to your network.
Got a question? You can pose a question to your network, and get answers and recommendations to boost your knowledge and career. Starting a conversation is one of the most effective tools in social media.
What else can you do? How about reading articles by industry specialists. Or tell your network what you are doing. Invite people to your seminar or to read your blog. Ask for recommendations from past clients or give recommendations to members of your network.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for building your business or career, but it’s not for everyone. It may not be right for your business, you may choose to network the old fashioned way or perhaps a social network like Facebook may be a better option for you. Either way, I wanted you to have this information. Feel free to share this with your friends if you think it would benefit them.
If you would like to be a member of my network, you can join me at http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancybenvenuto