Linkedin claims 65m users worldwide and has become the business network of choice for the planet.
The utility of Linked-in is so immense that it figures in most forward thinking organisation’s marketing strategies: but its primary function is to empower individuals to look beyond the boundaries of their limited business circles and interact with disparate communities for profit and pleasure.
While Linkedin forges ahead with its corporate business strategy, its users are free to develop their business networks as suits them. I doubt whether many Linkedin users have got as far as formalizing a Linkedin strategy for themselves since the fluidity and novelty of social media puts spontaneity and not careful planning at a premium.
I have devoted sufficient time over the past two years to Linked-in to realise much value from my network and thought to share how this cam about and how I intend to go forward.
I joined Linkedin late in 2007 through a chance invitation. I quickly learned the basic navigational skills but it wasn’t until about a year in that I started exploring the Groups and Answers functionality.
Late in 2009 I established my own Group “Pension Playpen” which is open to people with an interest in pensions who wish to congregate and organise events both for business and social reasons,
My network has c900 members of whom c320 are in the Pension Playpen. I actively contribute to around ten groups and passively sit on a further forty groups. Linked in is a useful database for contacts, I regularly use the bulk e-mail facility and post articles from this blog both on my page and into groups.
My use of Linkedin has not always been positive, a previous employer considered it both a distraction and a potential source of risk both to myself and to the organisation. I am aware that my activities are regarded with suspicion by some who see my approach to knowledge-sharing as a negative. However, the positives have so outweighed the negatives that I intend to continue exploring Linkedin as a means of finding personal and business fulfillment.
My three strategies for Linkedin are
- To provide thought leadership in my areas of expertise with a view to enhancing my profile within the pensions industry
- To share opportunities that derive from my activity with others to develop business opportunities,
- To maximise the fun I can get from knowing such a smashing selection of people.
Tactically, I will continue to build my wider network both in terms of quantity and quality. I will continue to promote the Pension Playpen and create good reason for repeat usage through arranging and advertising social events that happen outside of hyperspace.
I am actively looking for partners who can help me maximise the value of my networks and would greatly appreciate any assistance from readers of this blog on steps I can take to achieve my goals.