How Does LinkedIn Help Your Business? Read on!

October 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Posted in Social Media Internet Marketing Web Design | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

How Does LinkedIn Help Your Business?

Below is a copy of a conversation I had on Google+ last week (link to thread

An international group of individuals from the UK, Switzerland, Holland & Canada. I have never met any of these people & vaguely know one of them from Ecademy. It grew out of our desire to understand!

With an open mind, an open heart & capacity to share – this conversation shows I believe how you can develop your strategy for Linkedin & make it profitable!

If you find what is said challenging are your skill sets not suited to marketing? Ask yourself.

What are you challenged by? Do you understand and what does it mean for you?

I’ve chosen to share it because it challenges a number of views that I regularly come across that hinder the development & success of people & organisations – in my opinion…..

There are a few gaps in what is said as we are all coming from similar perspectives – happy to share answers to questions & queries where you’re not sure what is being said!

Lawrence

Is Linkedin in danger of becoming just another Social Networking Site?

Everyday I get people wanting to connect to me, but are they real?

Sometimes I wonder – they don’t say anything – don’t speak – and just say that they want to connect.

Who are they and what is a real connection, and what does it mean to be connected?

I’ve noticed lately that a lot of them have the same web site – some organisation in the States? Now why on earth would all the members of one tribe want to connect to me?

Now I have to remember that I am in Media, so what is the big ‘M’ all about? Is it connecting to anyone, or is it something else?

I guess on the tip of your tongues – you might be saying ‘what is he harping on about?

Ivor

If connecting is the start of your online relationship – with the ability to chat & chirp when you like – just having the ability is a step change from before when we were all unconnected – as much as I get much unsolicited stuff I also gets loads of useful stuff coming my way – if it’s true what the scientists say “our greatest pleasure is sharing” then we are at least beginning to feel better about ourselves…….. whilst learning ow to use our new connectivity – newspapers & libraries didn’t spring up day 2 after the printing press…….

Hans

A simple “hello” opens the door; like Ivor says: “with the ability to chat & chirp when you like”.

Right: I feel a trend from many isolated individuals growing to a cloud of (more or less) connected people…

The old adagio: “create power by defining a collective enemy” may change to: trying to understand each other.

Borders dissolve, doors are opened…

in the meantime: Numbers in my outer circle offer opportunities to build more quality in the inner circle

Ivor

Hans loving – Numbers in my outer circle offer opportunities to build more quality in the inner circle…….. Ivor

Gilles

More numbers, more potential exposure… Linkedin is not just about making contacts on a personal basis, it is about exposing your profile and your company, although too many people think that spam works in their favour, for me it tends to push me away, just like your typical commercial. Being smart and passive (my opinion) is a better approach. Put your news or product information into the “stream”, same as here on G+ and people will inquire or discover if they are interested rather than be violated (spammed).

Another note, a simple hello, great to meet you breaks the ice much better than a 5-page spam email that just gets deleted. Build a relationship see if there is potential, then go from there…

So I don’t think it is in danger of becoming just another social networking site, or at least in the same regard as facebook or G+, the focus is business social.

Ivor

My style too Gilles the long intros end up sounding like you’re being shouted at wedged in the corner of the room with nowhere to go! I wonder if the long intros is a generational thing – being of a certain age, over polite & formal instead of simply Hi! & Cool!…………Ivor

Gilles

Hi Ivor, I think generational and societal, most of our generation comes from a formal approach and to add traditional marketing in the bundle that “used” to work. As we become more connected and efficient, people shy away from getting too involved in long intros or product announcements.

The things that catch our attentions are headlines and short descriptions with the option to read more… People would prefer to engage at a simple level and our younger generations are demonstrating that. Society in the last 20 years has completely flipped, the keys to successful endeavours are convenience, simplicity and efficiency.

We are all busy people and much more so than 20 years ago when the computer and internet were accessories to work, now they are integral and will become even more so as we continue to grow into this electronic age.

Ivor

All agreed!

Short intros and headlines have always been the way – look at Tabloid newspapers – in the past the controllers gave us the choice – now we have the freedom to engage as we choose…….. unfortunately the masses seem to struggle with choice, changing the way they do things and generally trusting the internet

– I have built these skills out of necessity (establishing, managing & selling a wealth management practice that was effectively me – previously would have required 10 staff to achieve the same, being inquisitive, becoming expert at search – seeking info and establishing its authenticity.

I have gained valuable info, resource, suppliers & customers from my streams – all with my focus of sharing useful stuff & clicking through on others useful stuff……

It’s an interesting statement are we any more busy now than 20 years ago? a different busy yes – but more or less so – depends on your place in life & style surely?? Ivor

Lawrence

Thank you Giles and Ivor for your helpful thoughts.

I’ve approved 1) Q J the inspirationist® | Practical psychological techniques to get people spending more money with you. Oh, and I’m a bit nuts! ……..

after all he went to Kings School Canterbury who I run against in Moat Park……

2) Alyssa Cohen Director at The Princeton Review Greater Boston

3) Stephen Willis Consultant at Leadership Directories, Inc. Greater New York City Area Information Technology and Services

4) Mark Locklear Consultant at Leadership Strategies Greater New York City Area Management Consulting

5) Donna Anderson Director at Sales Intelligence Management, LLC Greater Boston Area Marketing and Advertising

7) William Davis Consultant at Leadership – institute for learning organization Greater New York City Area Management Consulting

8) George Freeman Consultant at Finance America

9) Mark Collins Executive Consultant at Finance & Insurance Greater New York City Area Insurance

Now the above are the networkers who asked me to add them on linkedin – what could they all want?

Influence, power or a media contact?

Ivor

Lawrence if they haven’t said what they are looking foir then who knows?! And possibly nothing in the short medium & long term. As an open networker on LinkedIn I get 80 to 100 connection requests a week – very few state exactly what they want…… A small percentage of them spam a bit – it is a low number but does occur – most send out info or requests when they are in need of support, guidance or simply outright pitching!

I am happy with all of this – some become clients, some I get satisfaction from helping, some end up helping me – it’s all about support I guess

So what do they want – Influence, power or a media contact? Maybe -perhaps they just want a larger network that they can tap into when the need arises – asking directly is quicker, easier and more efficient than playing Chinese whispers through layers

It is also more satisfying and in my humble opinion adds greater value – “our greatest pleasure is sharing”

Open Randon Supportive or Closed Selective Controlling – new world or old?

Hans

Ivor, Gilles; Lawrence,

In the “offline-world” we use to say hello from time to time,…

sometimes it’s a start,…

sometimes we remember quite some time later.

In the online world that might be a good practice either.

What’s frightening quite often: people expecting to do business when we hardly know each other,…

In the meantime I am just trying to find my way here and there.

Open, random, and supportive.

Ivor

Hans agreed!

The shocker for me is peoples high expectation of result from me when I don’t know them on any level at all – not even connected – tends to come from India & Pakistan so perhaps it’s cultural but I have requests made of me I would find difficulty in fulfilling for my best mates from the offline world!

The Know Like Trust remains critical to us all in the relationship building process especially if you ever expect others to do things for you – let alone open their wallet on your behalf in return for your time/intellect! Ivor

Gilles

I definitely agree, open networking allows us to ask direct questions, I would have to say that if you are looking for a certain type of professional, you will most likely contact those that have openly networked with you before seeking to make contact with someone outside of your network whom you will have to wait for approval of a new connection etc.

I guess it comes down to our own personal expectations of instant response and if someone does not respond within 24 hours we almost write them off.

Another advantage of open networking is that you get to see what these professionals are putting into the stream, it is a great indicator of whether you would want to engage with a particular person or go onto the next…

Ivor

The know like trust in action watching your stream & posts…..

Lucas

Dear Lawrence,

In a certain sense, LinkedIn switches from a close, selective and controlling private network, where only strong ties were admitted to an open, random and supportive social network that opens also to the strength of weak ties!

LinkedIn simply is discovering the four fundamental interactions of physics:

1. Newton’s gravitation that I attribute to our offline world,

2. Maxwell’s electromagnetism that I attribute to our online world,

3. Strong interactions in quantum mechanics that I attribute to our strong interactions in our personal networks and

4. Weak interactions in quantum mechanics that I attribute to our weak interactions in our social networks!

I consider LinkedIn’s step to integrate the fourth fundamental interaction of physics as an evolution to a social network that enlarges the previously available private network and makes it more complete, open, useful, random, supportive with better options, opportunities and more serendipity, short, a path in the right direction that makes LinkedIn a better place to work with, I think!

Have a great and prosperous time!

Best

Lucas

Ivor

Profoundly put Lucas – LinkedIn are still a little schizophrenic (I hope they remain so) as they discourage connecting with people you don’t know yet promote the open networker badge & functionality – without the open networkers their platform would fall over………. the open networkers provide the glue to link skeptics together…….. and provide the evidence that more open connectedness does work! Ivor

Gilles

Great conversation gentlemen, thanks for starting the thread Lawrence. Wonderful analogy Lucas and I totally agree with you Ivor that open networkers are the foundation upon which LinkedIn survives.

I believe that LinkedIn will eventually be conquered by other more innovative networks, just as Facebook will eventually be conquered by G+. Nothing is constant in this constantly evolving landscape of change, it is exciting and amazing how these giant companies exist by being innovative and then just stop or limit their level of innovation. Google is one of the companies that does not stop being innovative which is great, they realize that if they become stagnant they lose everything. We see that with brick and mortar companies, I think it is even more prevalent with net based companies.

Ivor

I’m unsure about the future of LinkedIn – they will eventually be conquered by other more innovative networks makes intuitive sense – now that the IPO is out the way they seem to be focusing on large orgs recruitment needs & delivering solutions – chasing large chunks of revenue……..

Where’s the innovation for the micros & small with their platform? If all I read is true this is where the real growth in the beleaguered western economies will come from – but LinkedIn are no longer small so I guess have lost this aspect of their psyche……

Google certainly remain innovative – the internet is littered with their failed projects! Long live failure!

For a while to come – few years at least – I think G+ will develop in tandem with Facebook – they look & feel different & so appeal to different mindsets – we still haven’t really begun in terms of what we can do with the internet to help, support & enhance lives so yes there is still much room for innovation…….. I’m still so excited 5 years on that my move from financial services into comms & marketing gets me out of bed in the morning excited leaving me fresh at the end of the day……………….!

Gilles

Well I do have to hand it to Google, they are not afraid of failure which is a good thing, because when they do hit on something they know how to ride it through. So many people and organizations are afraid of risk that they simply fail by not risking.

I have seen where Linkedin is going with recruitment (at least to a degree), but until they focus on revenues made from business rather than users and make real tools available for both groups, I don’t see them playing at the level of a Monster or Workopolis. I know their price structure on the recruitment side is much lower, but I guess we will just have to see where Linkedin goes. Perhaps they will surprise us which would be a great thing.

Ivor

Here is where I begin to agree with LinkedIn but not sure if their delivery is correct! As the world gets more social – even in the snooty blue chip world (after all it is still all about people!) a decent LinkedIn profile with video etc (3D CV) is much more powerful & insightful (in my opinion) than a 2D CV that can be simply word searched & scored……..

& you can directly contact someone to start the process using LinkedIn – still requires human contact – still requires humans(!) – of course this is a whole new way of doing things – I have been contacted this way a few times & very disappointed at their processes – in every instance poorly thought through & executed – no attempt at relationship building or getting to know me almost to the extreme of saying here’s a pay check do you want it!

In a similar vein I have sold a consultancy business for £1.5m for clients – my only prospecting for buyers was using Linkedin & a simple human email/phone process! My fees were a small fraction of traditional business sales agents & affordable on an ongoing basis until sold…..finding a company buyer is more difficult than finding an employee I would suggest……

As the internet connects us all more effectively many many fat business models are going to disappear or change forever – it’s simply about how we use these tools human to human! vested interests in large organisations will resist this change because they have so much invested in their existing process/technology/people/ideas……………… Ivor

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: