Why You Should Use LinkedIn More Than Facebook or Twitter

This guest post was written by my friend, Steven Chappell. Steven is the student media specialist at Simpson College and an active member of College Media Association, where we met. You can find Steven on LinkedIn and Twitter. I also encourage you to follow his media internship feed on Twitter, @comminternships. You can find even more of Steven on his blog, The Grammar Nazi.

 

One of the most misunderstood and underused social media networks today is LinkedIn. I consider myself something of a social media early adopter. I’ve had a Facebook account since its first year. I was on Twitter before anyone knew what a tweet was. And I’ve had a LinkedIn account for more than five years. However, I will be the first to admit I check LinkedIn and am active on Linked far less often than I am on Facebook or Twitter, when in reality, the opposite should be true.

LinkedIn LogoMost people think I’m pulling numbers out of my, well, other end when I tell them LinkedIn is older than Facebook. However, it is. LinkedIn will be 9 years old May 5. By comparison, Facebook just turned 7 (and has only been open to everyone for five). Twitter will turn 6 in March.

When it comes to users, Facebook, of course, leaves everyone in the dust. Facebook claims 750 million active users. Twitter claims 100 million active users as of September, while LinkedIn hasn’t been so keen to publicly declare its membership. However, as of August, the site stated it had 116 million members. You will note the absence of the word “active” in that claim. While there may be 116 million or more LinkedIn accounts, site statistics, anecdotes and word of mouth indicate the number of active users is probably closer to 60 million. So, while it may be the oldest of the three, it’s by far the least used. Or is it?

In terms of raw numbers and daily traffic, yes, LinkedIn trails far behind Facebook and Twitter. And when you read stories about job seekers needing to clean up their social media feeds, LinkedIn is never mentioned, while discussion of horror stories about incriminating and damaging posts on Twitter and Facebook torpedoing a job candidate’s search abound, you never read any such stories about LinkedIn. And that’s primarily because it’s not really a social media tool at all. It’s a professional media tool set in a social media format, and that makes a good deal of difference.

While I am on Twitter an unhealthy several hours a day (partly to manage my professional feed @comminternships), and probably spend one or two hours a day connecting with Facebook in one way or another, I tend to spend only one or two hours a week total on LinkedIn. Yet, I find that my time on LinkedIn is far more gratifying — and educational — than my time on Facebook or Twitter. I find this to be true for multiple reasons.

The first is the quality of content is stronger and more dynamic than that of Facebook or Twitter. Rarely do I see users on LinkedIn posting what they just ate or drank, or how much they hate their professor who is lecturing right now (note: I follow you on Twitter and see that post after class). Instead, I typically find news and information of note in the topics to which I’ve subscribed. I follow groups that include professionals who are passionate about journalism, internships, careers and higher education, and I find those discussions to be more robust and contain greater depth than conversations on other social media accounts. (Quora also has good discussions, but service is another feed for another day).

The second are the people with whom I am connected. My LinkedIn contacts, while many do overlap with my Twitter and Facebook followers and friends, serve an entirely different purpose. These are professionals with whom I expect to develop a professional relationship, both for present needs, but also for future needs. If I need a reference, an expert recommendation, or job leads, I expect to find myself positioned through my contacts and my involvement in LinkedIn groups to get solid recommendations when needed. Yes, as a journalist I can send out a tweet and ask for recommendations on a topic, but LinkedIn’s nature pretty much ensures you not only know who gave you the advice, but gives you access to their resume, background and other recommendations by their own connections so you have some quality and accuracy check available at your fingertips.

The third is simply professional development. My LinkedIn contacts are frequently posting information about tools I can use to improve my knowledge in my field, nearby conferences I can attend to improve my knowledge (and where I can network with these users face-to-face, something even more valuable than my virtual networking) and access to webinars, databases and other forums of note.

It was just a year ago that Forbes reported that LinkedIn and other social media sites would eventually replace the traditional resume. And in January of this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that for some firms, the traditional resume was dead, and that LinkedIn was becoming the go-to source for those companies. It’s not too late to get on board and build a virtual resume, or, as one firm put it in the WSJ article, a “Web presence resume” that demonstrates your knowledge, abilities and life.

Norah Carroll, the social media specialist for @LavaRow, a Des Moines-based social media firm, recently spoke to a room full of college student journalists at the Iowa College Media Convention. She gave many of the tips we’ve all heard before about social media, many of which are listed in some form or another above. However, one she said that stuck out was to not sterilize your social media presence. Your future employers need to know that there is a person with a personality out there. They just don’t need to know — nor does anyone else — that a degenerate might be lurking in there somewhere. Keep your social media presence clean, but not so clean you look perfect. After all, the company wants to hire the human behind the web presence, not the web presence.

26 comments
mcahalane
mcahalane

@FundraiseHumber @linkedin thanks for mentioning me!

mcahalane
mcahalane

@GFundraising @linkedin thanks for the mention!

mcahalane
mcahalane

@UinvitedU @linkedin thanks Paul!

JohnsonTC
JohnsonTC

@InternetVIZ @profkrg Thanks. I know of one for technical products just starting up. http://t.co/EHpzcCXn Do you know of others?

JohnsonTC
JohnsonTC

The thing that's missing, from a *business* side of things out of all popular social media sites is the lack of ability to do business.  LinkedIn serves the 'maintaining connections, professional development and job search' component but not much beyond that.  And that is its biggest problem.  Not much else to keep me coming back regularly during the day.  Facebook is great for my personal life and is an excellent channel for B2C but is not the channel for B2B.  And, really, how meaningful of a conversation (customer to business, business partner to business partner, etc.) can you really have on Twitter?

 

Add a marketplace where vendors can find sales people willing and able to sell their stuff and salespeople can find vendors whose products they want to and can sell, then you've got something for B2B to use the power of social.

TheTweetSquad
TheTweetSquad

@dbvickery @profkrg great insight to LinkedIn - definitely didn't realize it was older than Facebook!

pehlavoon
pehlavoon

@jkcallas I've now seen the power and potential of #linkedin. All professionals must be on it in order to tap into the market.

CelindaAppleby
CelindaAppleby

@HPExpertONE Thanks for the RT! Looking forward to reading your tweet!

carge77
carge77

@MeghanMBiro @profkrg Alt Title? "Why LinkedIn needs to make using its services more interesting & enjoyable and easy through better UX."

ChrisFerdinandi
ChrisFerdinandi

@ChareeKlimek @meghanmbiro @profkrg long story short, I find little value in LinkedIn, no matter how hard I try.

ChrisFerdinandi
ChrisFerdinandi

@ChareeKlimek @meghanmbiro @profkrg I'd written a lengthy comment, but ran into some issues posting on my phone.

StevenChappell
StevenChappell

 @JohnsonTC B2B is certainly something that social media, including LinkedIn, have yet to figure out. I'm expecting eventually something new to arise in that arena, but as of right now, I have no idea what it will be. Perhaps some kind of hybrid system that combines the best of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and eBay?

dbvickery
dbvickery

@thetweetsquad @profkrg #LinkedIn is definitely social network that flies under radar - mainly because it appeals 100% to pro audience

comminternships
comminternships

@carge77 True. The UX could use some work. But I still find great value in the site.

TheTweetSquad
TheTweetSquad

@dbvickery @profkrg yes. also, I'm surprised at how many people link their Twitter accnts on LinkedIn and... shouldn't.

comminternships
comminternships

.@dbvickery @thetweetsquad @profkrg Absolutely. The worst thing you can do is link all of your social media together through an autofeed.

dbvickery
dbvickery

@thetweetsquad Awesome - glad to help (w/a sports twist, of course)

TheTweetSquad
TheTweetSquad

@dbvickery we do subscribe! great tips and suggestions. we're always up for that!

dbvickery
dbvickery

@thetweetsquad If you are reading my #SocialMedia #Fitness series, I give you a good idea of all of the tools I favor...

TheTweetSquad
TheTweetSquad

@dbvickery @profkrg we're actually auditioning #HootSuite right now. We also sorta like Tweetdeck / closely watching the Posterous buyout 2.

flower_CindiSta
flower_CindiSta

@dbvickery Hey check out @MyiPadGiveaway they're giving away the new iPad! :)

dbvickery
dbvickery

@thetweetsquad @profkrg agree - get a tool like HootSuite to allow you to cross post, and never auto-feed between Twitter/FB/LinkedIn

Trackbacks

  1. […] Chappell, S., & Griffith, K. (2012). Why you should used LinkedIn more than Facebook or Twitter . In Prof Krg. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from http://www.profkrg.com/why-you-should-use-linkedin-more-than-facebook-or-twitter […]

  2. […] at the ProfKRG blog Kenna Griffin is asking if we should be using Linked In more than Facebook or Twitter?  […]

http://college-hero.com writes 100% plagiarism free paper checked by plagiarism detection software