Chris: Welcome! But that brings up up the question… .
What’s Important About LinkedIn?
Chris: Is the database the most important part of LinkedIn, and if so by how much? How big a role do groups play?
As an example, there are some very busy event-related professional groups, but how useful are they?
Justin: I find it’s a de facto yellow pages for individuals. The book/ author groups are just people selling stuff, in my experience.
Tom: The database is primary building block of LinkedIn from which Groups, Events, Answers, your new Company Page, etc. leverage.
Chris: So with no database, there’s nothing. But are other features important? Or is it best as a de facto phone book?
Reference or Marketing Channel?
Chris: Another way to look at it — as an organization — is LinkedIn a reference or a useful marketing channel?
Tom: No, LinkedIn is definitely a marketing channel in itself. The #database is core, but what’s built on it is worthy on its own.
Chris: How do people use the channel to get messages out? Ad buys? Selling on groups? Letting people find them via search?
Tom: Despite my enthusiasm for LinkedIn, our social ad buys tend to be more successful on Facebook. LinkedIn is to develop relationships. Consider that conversations on LinkedIn can’t happen in same way on other channels because other channels don’t provide the same context.
Chris: More one-to-one interaction than one-to-many?
Tom: Yes. LinkedIn suports one-to-one based on context — location, vertical, title, need. LinkedIn’s one-to-many functions like Events are less developed.
Chris: Makes sense. And as far as development goes…
What has LinkedIn become?
Chris: LinkedIn started as a job site, a place to post your resume. Has it developed beyond that now into other businesses?
Tom: I think it’s definitely involved into a channel. Unlike other channels, it more fully utilizes profile information, so LinkedIn profiles are almost as important as the message interaction, which is not case on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Chris: Good point. As a journalist, I use LinkedIn a lot to find sources for interviews. I’ll read a profile and catch myself hitting my desk, shouting “That’s it! This is who I need to talk to!”
And I think that’s all we have time for today! Thanks for joining us, and we’ll be back next week for another chat!