Last week, I blogged about LinkedIn and it’s appropriateness for business networking. In this entry, I will explore the question, why is LinkedIn useful?
The LinkedIn user pool -- 53 million members as of January 2010 -- is uniquely qualified for event and business marketing. Users of LinkedIn are active and upwardly mobile professionals, eager to expand their professional reach and abilities. Unlinke Facebook, the chances that your great aunt Sally will become your organization’s biggest fan are slim.
LinkedIn also allows professional group pages, such as alumni organizations, companies, and professional groups. Group pages serve as a central gathering spot for persons of similar interest as well as a resource for expert advice or help. Group discussion pages provide a safe space for peers to share information and converse about current issues in their field. Participating in group discussions gives users visibility and allows you to build credibility as an expert in your field.
LinkedIn groups are designed to have longevity – so while you may not want to create one for a one-time event, LinkedIn is an appropriate place to nurture an online community around your organization, topic, or issue. Once your community begins to grow, you can then tap that community for ideas and participation in your meetings and events.