Rethinking LinkedIn: A Look at 5 Common Misconceptions

As a professional, you know your social media— Facebook, Twitter – you’ve got it covered. But aren’t you forgetting LinkedIn? Or are you like many other businesses and professionals: unsure how to use LinkedIn, unable to build your presence to its full potential – and perhaps subscribing to common misconceptions surrounding the site? To truly be social-media savvy, each platform requires personal exploration to determine how best to apply it to your own situation. Fallacies amass around any and every type of social media out there. Let’s take a hard look at some similar misconceptions about LinkedIn: with a little reconsideration, you might be surprised at what LinkedIn can do for you.

1. LinkedIn: Only a Job-Seeking Site

A widespread belief about LinkedIn is that it belongs to the “job-seeking” category of websites. This is not entirely untrue, as there are jobseekers out there and business to be found. To see it only as job-searching site, however, is to misread the concept behind the site– LinkedIn began as, and remains, a professional networking site. By virtue of this networking, this communication, business relationships and offers are forged. If you see LinkedIn as a site only for job-seekers, you’ll miss out on valuable conversation, and consequently, business.

2. It’s Intimidating!

In comparison to Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn’s environment can seem “stuffy” and less dynamic: it does not have a Facebook-like chat function, nor will other users respond to you with the quickness of Twitter. Even more off-putting to some is the large professional demographic on LinkedIn; initiating or even participating in a discussion can, understandably, be daunting. But LinkedIn, though its interface might be less casual than Facebook or Twitter, attracts many of the same users – if you can engage them on Facebook or Twitter, you can surely engage them here.

3. Email Overload!

Like all other social media sites, LinkedIn sends a barrage of emails when you first sign up. But YOU can take control! By going to Settings – Email notifications – Receiving Notifications, you can easily determine what email s and notifications you receive. As an example, check out these default settings below.

 

A helpful tip about Groups: if daily digests seem irrelevant to you, move on to weekly digests or disable the function altogether. Whether you receive digests or not, the Groups will always be there, full of discussions for you to partake in!

4. So I Signed Up and…Nothing Happened

Fundamentally, LinkedIn just is a huge database of profiles with some additional functionality and applications; the real bonus is that key decision makers from any industry or company are on it. Just as at networking events you can’t be a wallflower, the same is true of LinkedIn – you must go out and engage with other professionals. Not sure where to begin? Try joining relevant Groups and participating in discussions that interest you or that you would like to contribute to. Having trouble finding appropriate groups? For some tips, check out my post: Which LinkedIn Groups Are Right For You?

 

5. Social Media Marketing: Facebook Only

For the B2B company in particular, LinkedIn can be a much more useful tool for social media marketing than Facebook or even Twitter. Moreover, even if you are a B2C company, your company has B2B components (distributors, vendors, etc.) that would be best marketed on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

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