Linkedin. How Does It Work? You Can Kinda Find Out Here
Let’s start with the name – LinkedIn. Presumptuous, no? LinkedIn to what? Is it me, or is LinkedIn just a place to pop your resume and awkwardly exploit tenuous business contacts (at best) in the desperate hopes of landing that sale/job/recommendation? LinkedIn is the snooty, party-pooping, somber social network where OMGs are about as welcome as staples in a cover letter.
Alright, it’s not that bad. But, seriously, what is LinkedIn? And, more importantly, how does LinkedIn work?
Before we get to that, I just want to give a shout to the FTC – Yo, federal gov’t, good lookin’ out on keeping tabs on the seedy underbelly of review blogs. Let us all work to end the free-wheeling ways of an Internet left to the people (I wish they made a font called “sarcastic”). Just so we’re clear – I have in no way received any type of compensation for this review of LinkedIn. In fact, they might want to consider paying me to stop writing.
Just Stop Babbling and Tell Me, “What Is Linkedin?”
Like Facebook, Linkedin is a personal profile-based service where most of your social movement and action happens on that personal level, rather than with your company profile page. In other words, you can’t do much with a company profile page. It responds largely to the actions of its members (employees of the company).
Where Does Linkedin Get It’s Info?
The information on a LinkedIn.com business page is the product of whatever short bit of info the creator of the page enters, combined with peripheral info that LinkedIn.com mines from data that exists on employee’s LinkedInprofiles (company size, median employee age, male/female ratio, etc.). Basically, it’s a very slim profile of the company with links to individual employees – past and present.
Of Course, LinkedIn Offers a Paid Option, Which Leads to the Question, “How Does LinkedIn Work?
The answer is…it doesn’t. Or not yet, anyway.
LinkedIn.com does offer custom company profiles for a price. I would have known that price, but the LinkedIn rep called me right as I knocked my phone off the desk and I was on hands and knees collecting the parts. I told him I was in a meeting and to call back tomorrow. He never did.
So, the price doesn’t really matter at this point because these custom profiles suck. I don’t usually use such vulgarities, but I can’t contain it anymore (sarcastic font, where are you?) This crappiness spawns from the “custom” nature of the profile – basically, it’s an extra tab called “Careers” that acts almost exclusively as a recruitment tool. Here’s what it looks like:
You could, of course, just create a custom profile and use it to put whatever content you want up there, but I’m not sure if the return would be worth it.
If people expect to see recruitment content on there and, instead, you throw something else up there, it could work against your brand. This lady seems to think that these custom profiles are just fantastically bees knees-ish. She might want to run her review past the FTC, though. It smells funny. (Ed. note – perhaps this bloggers blindingly bright review of LinkedIn custom biz profiles should be qualified with the fact that she has currently either gone crazy or joined the military.)
The best way to figure out what LinkedIn is good for is to hang tight and hope they parse through the bluster and BS
I think that the best you can do is continue to join and participate in LinkedIn groups; keep your profile updated; and keep on top of impending LinkedIn.com changes. Again, like other social networks, how your employees participate on LinkedIn.com determines how visible your brand is. In other words, the more they update their stats; post new updates; and keep things fresh, the more their connections will see them and exposure is gained all around.
I do think that LinkedIn.com will continue to offer more useful features as more people sign-up and wonder WTF they are supposed to do with a LinkedIn.com profile. I would recommend subscribing to LinkedIn’s blog and keep yourself and your company updated on any awesome stuff they do.
In the meantime, while I feverishly work to definitively answer the questions, “What is LinkedIn?” and “How does LinkedIn work?,” check out this link for ways to get the most out of your existing LinkedIn profile.