E-Commerce with an emphasis on Social Technologies
Perhaps because I mention it a lot, several folks have asked me to comment on Linkedin. Why is it important? How do I use it? What’s all the fuss? First of all, here’s a link to my Linkedin profile. If you’re not familiar, perhaps click through and click around a bit, then come back.
I know I linked to the Linkedin Blog last week, but the current story is so perfect, I’m doing it again. (By the way, for those of you still on the sidelines of blogging (and I know who you are ;-)), you gotta appreciate what’s going on relative to blogging here as well. Notice my comment at the bottom of the story.)
How do I use it? First of all, when I started, my goal was to get to 100 connections. That was pretty easy the way Linkedin suggests connections based on your profile. Make sure you put as much detail in there as possible. It was tougher getting to 200. Getting to the mythical “500+” seems distant, but I’ll get there. Note that my philosophy is to have quality connections, not just anyone. Don’t want to be a “Linkedin S lut!”
The point is to have as wide a network as possible so that when I WANT to get connected to someone I DON’T know, I have as many possible 2nd-level connections as possible to use for introductions. If I have no 2nd-level’s, I will look at the third-level’s and pick up the phone. “Hey, I’m trying to find an introduction to so-and-so and I see in Linkedin that someone you are connected with is connected with them.” It’s tougher that way, but as my network expands… And, oh by the way, I get another touch point in my own network.
I also sometimes go straight to the person. The cool thing is that profiles are maintained by the person, so they are much more likely to be current. That means that when you send them a note, you can be fairly confident it will get to them. That’s exactly how I reached out to the keynote speaker at the upcoming PIMA MarkeTTech Symposium, Kristin Brewe with Esurance. And sure enough, she 1. got the email, and 2. responded to it as coming from a trusted, albeit unfamiliar source – a minor miracle in today’s business world, n’est ce pas?
I also really appreciate the Recommendations functionality. I think it’s really cool that people can look at what other people are saying about me right in my profile – and what I am saying about other people. I also change my picture on a regular basis because it notifies my network when I do – and thus perhaps keeps me top-of-mind just by changing a profile picture.
I’ve also had people ask me if I know anyone in such-and-such geography or this-and-that industry. It seemed to be helpful to those people. After all, we never know where solutions are going to happen.
Hope this helps.