Why LinkedIn is Different

LinkedIn-Logo-02For the past month we’ve been talking about socializing your blog. One of the first places lawyers and professionals think to share their expertise is on LinkedIn. There’s a lot of value in that, but the value is far different than on Facebook, Twitter, or even Google+. The reason: LinkedIn is connected to you, the professional, not your business.

LinkedIn was founded in 2003. (Check out their History of LinkedIn page. It’s beautiful.) It allows professionals and job seekers to upload resumes and enter details about their professional experiences. You can also get recommendations and endorsements from business connections, coworkers, and clients.

But all of this is connected to the individual. You can create a company page but the focus of LinkedIn on each user’s web of connections. Because of this, the reason you share your content marketing needs is different.

LinkedIn is less likely to generate hits from potential 1st tier consumer clients (though it can be useful for business to business marketing). What it does instead is educate your connections. As you share valuable tips and tricks for your industry you will become an expert in their eyes. Then when somebody comes to them looking for what you do, they will be more likely to refer to you.

In that sense LinkedIn is less about advertising and more about educating. It is also a great resource to network with other professionals in your own field. You can join groups that are targeted at your industry. These provide great sounding boards for unique ideas and a quick place to find the answers to tricky problems.

If your marketing strategy contains a heavy dose of face-to-face networking (such as chamber of commerce memberships), then LinkedIn is a great way to follow up on the connections you make. But it is not social media for the masses the same way Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are. It can be a great way to drive readers to your blog, but it may be harder to measure your return on investment.

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