Social networking sites have become very common on the World Wide Web today (Gowel, 2011). The users of these sites are able to create individual and corporate profiles in order to search for friends, colleagues and professional assistance.
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The users can be able to link up with other individuals from all walks of life within or outside their organizations. Users convey both public and private messages to many people and end up expanding their network while bringing on board a vast array of colleagues and individuals (Gowel, 2011).
Unlike social websites such as Face-book, Twitter and others, which are utilized by users of all ages for socialization or common interest, LinkedIn is quite a different site, because it is mainly used in professional networking (Gowel, 2011).
At the moment about forty five million individual professionals are using the site to share ideas, information, job opportunities and innovations (Gowel, 2011).
When a user creates an account with LinkedIn, they are able to search for contacts and link up to networks, such as the “I-O practitioners” and the “SIOP network” (Gowel, 2011).
LinkedIn which is a giant network has a specific objective of linking up professionals toward networking and provides options which allow them to add information to their individual and corporate profile.
The information added includes, work history, specific interest and references (Gowel, 2011). The network also allows the users to get in touch and get updated with any new interesting professional information (Gowel, 2011).
LinkedIn is years ahead of the other professional social networks which are being utilized by professionals who use it to achieve their goals (Muccio, Burns & Murrah, 2009).
Although LinkedIn’s most valuable technical features have not materially changed since it was officially launching in the year 2003, the tangible value that the platform now provides wasn’t accessible until recently.
This core, valuable functionality has the potential of changing the way organizations and individuals plan and manage their institutional and professional growth (Gowel, 2011).
The site for instance, can be used to grow an organization’s employees through direct consultation and training using its platform. LinkedIn can be used to enhance revenue generation, build market share, attract investor confidence and improve employee hiring process (Gowel, 2011).
Through the use of LinkedIn professionals can refine their expertise get informed on the best industrial practices in order to be empowered on how to take up bigger opportunities.
It can also be used to effectively train more people to assist them to comfortably take up new skilled jobs (Gowel, 2011). It can be used to amplify the actions which are being performed at an organization by instilling new ideas and information about the best practices of handling a given management & operational function of an organization (Gowel, 2011).
In comparison to other social networks, LinkedIn gives a vast array of products for free and it is the best way to generate ‘leads’ and gain key ‘introductions’ for most businesses (Gowel, 2011).
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LinkedIn allows an individual to enhance the value of his or her own relationship and work towards the growth of a personal brand (Gowel, 2011). It is a powerful platform for use by the hardworking, value-producing and ethical individuals who are not getting much out of their networks as they think they deserve to (Gowel, 2011).
Such an individual always thinks that, “If people knew me and the exceptional work I am doing, I would achieve my business goals much faster.” On the other hand, if your efforts or brands have not positively impacted anybody else, LinkedIn will make your market penetration to increase (Gowel, 2011).
Most features on LinkedIn are similar to those on other socials networks such as face-book. On LinkedIn, a user can list his events and invite ‘contacts’ to join the site. The site can calculate the number of people in a single individual’s profile, which then gives us an idea of how vast access LinkedIn exposes individual to (Gowel, 2011).
That is to imply that, when you add one person to your network, you are also connected to their network as well, which makes LinkedIn a very powerful networking platform (Port, 2010).
Another distinct feature of LinkedIn is that the site gives the user recommendations. A user is able to give and receive written recommendations from colleagues (Port, 2010).
For instance, a user may ask a former employer or co-worker to write a brief recommendation for him by sending him a link (Port, 2010). The site also allows the user to create a separate profile for their company or business, which can help to market its brands (Port, 2010).
LinkedIn offers a unique feature called ‘the degree of connection’ which enables users to have ‘added individuals’ to be listed either as first, second, or third degree (Port, 2010).
LinkedIn applications functions just like on face-book. You can link to your blog and import your blog postings (Port, 2010). You can also link your twitter account so that your information shows up on LinkedIn profile (Port, 2010).
When doing a search for individuals and companies on the site you can import your contacts from popular emails programs and link them to LinkedIn (Port, 2010). You can also create groups in LinkedIn focused on a hobby, or more likely, a topic to your business (Port, 2010).
In conclusion it can be noted that, LinkedIn is a networking media for business professionals. It is a tool to use in a business, career management, education, social endeavors and probably a whole lot more functions.
When you are in business, you can turn the ‘contacts’ on LinkedIn to clients. This therefore indicates that, LinkedIn is a modern information communication technology platform which can be harnessed by businesses to drive the global economy to greater heights.
Gowel, D. (2011). The Power in a link: open doors, close deals, and change the way you do business using LinkedIn. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Muccio, C., Burns, D. and Murrah, P. (2009). 42 rules for 24-hour success on LinkedIn. Cupertino, California: Superstar Press.
Port, M. (2010). Book Yourself Solid: the Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.