LinkedIn is my social business time. It’s a great tool for anyone in business that wants to connect with like minded folk.
Recently, I had my first experience of bumping into someone who said “I believe we are Linkedin, but great to finally meet you in person”. This got me thinking, how are we rewiring business relationships and behaviours with social media and what impact will this have in the future of business connections?
Personally, I don’t reckon social media tools for business will negatively change too much in the way of business interactions. Most business people looking to grow their brands look for connections and build trust based on these connections. Social media powered business tools may actually accelerate these trust connections and allow you to verify a potential contact first, before engaging with them for business. This certainly works when you are looking to hire someone.
Gen X’s like me need to adjust how LinkedIn is changing the way we do business as it’s much more direct these days. My co-director Craig can link in with someone from London and be doing business with them in the time it takes for him to fly over there. It’s all about how you connect with people and the messages you say when aligning yourself with LinkedIn connections that is the key, rather whether you have or haven’t met someone as yet.
Content on LinkedIn shows you a lot about someone you may not have met too. From my experience, 90% of the articles posted onto my LinkedIn wall are definitely of better “business” quality when compared to Facebook or Twitter content/links. This is the success of LinkedIn, it’s a great B2B tool for not only articles but for finding like minded connections and contacts that post great stuff up there. Many of my Facebook mates don’t care a hoot about the latest on Google Adwords or SEO, but a huge portion of my LinkedIn clan do.
Finally, I don’t think LinkedIn is a business stalking tool like Facebook is for personal contacts, as you can see who and when someone has viewed your LinkedIn profile. And this helps to see the personality of the contacts that are checking you out (e.g. is it a CEO looking to poach you for example?). And you may be able to turn this around and approach them to see if they want to do some business!