Are you leveraging LinkedIn?

Jeff Weiner’s got a lot to be proud about.  Besides rocking the stubble-beard, he hit 100 million users back in March, connecting B2B people from all over the globe (generating some interesting cross-border commerce along the way) and there are a lot of good reasons why:

  • It’s B2B, and strictly on-task in terms of design, UX and tooling; it’s obviously not a “social” social site, and hasn’t allowed that kind of message to creep in and dilute the brand.
  • Its B2B connection tools are very well thought out, and intuitively easy to use.
  • There’s game psyche at work here for all the Type A users — who wants to be a key influencer this week?  How big is my network?

So is your brand or company using LinkedIn assertively to grow its business?  There are obviously scads and scads of tips and hints on how to put it to work to recruit talent, network leads, publicize your wares or services…but like any social media marketing effort, it’s got to start with commitment.

But commitment to what? In our mind, it’s quality, not just quantity.  Yeah, it’s that old saw about social media marketing, but we’ll beat the drum for it here, too: on LinkedIn, it’s important just to aggregate a huge number of connections, but it’s how they perceive what you’re doing there.  It’s a community, first and foremost, and by contributing concretely to it, by not simply spamming up the channel but by offering honest-to-God constructive dialogue and resources, you’ll be better regarded by that community.

That’s simple common sense in all manner of relationships, but especially in networking, prospecting or selling across a social network.  In the long run, that’ll be what earns you real traction and profit from participation.

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