I hear this question all the time from people who have heard the “buzz” about social media, sense that they should be “in the game,” but don’t know really know the rules or even the objective.
But let me offer just one example of what you can do with your Linked-In account once you have completed a profile and built out a network.
This example came to me today when I saw in my in-box a daily mailing from Linked-In, informing me of “Jobs You May Be Interested In.” One such job, which I would decline for geographic reasons, would otherwise be very attractive to me, despite my having a successful independent practice.
For grins, I hit the “view job” button to read more about it, and then I hit the hyperlink for “see who you know at [company X].” Sure enough, there were two strong links to that company.
One was a member of the board of directors who was not in my network, but who I learned to be a close friend of one of my best friends in the same industry. Another was an executive of the company in question who happened to be a former partner with yet another of my close friends.
I would never have known of these “2d degree” connections but for the Linked-In alerts, and if I had wanted to pursue this job, I certainly could have.
Similarly, a Linked-In member can use the search features of Linked-In to find various degrees of connection to board members, officers or other people associated with key prospects or clients. This illustrates just one way that Linked-In can be used for business purposes.