There’s no funny cat shots, no informative Minecraft tutorials, no videos of drinking games, and fewer pointless status updates (there’s always a handful, regardless of the site in question) and LinkedIn may be less popular than the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but that’s because it is more professional and takes itself more seriously.
Facebook used to be where the cool kids hang out, and Twitter is perfect for a generation that would struggle to compose anything more meaningful than a sentence laced with acronyms and Rihanna-style selfies.
With that said, LinkedIn does still pull the numbers with nearly 300m users worldwide, and 15m users in the UK. The numbers are even more impressive when you consider that there were only 10m UK users in 2012 and just 2m in 2010.
LinkedIn isn’t really like Facebook at all, and nor does it profess to be. It is a social network for professionals, and for professional networking. Recruiters and job candidates, businesses and entrepreneurs all have accounts and all are looking for connections to one another. With Facebook this means sending a friend request, and typically being accepted within a few days, but LinkedIn users must be a little more discerning over who they send requests to. Sending requests to anybody and everybody can lead to a serious community backlash.
Students are another popular demographic of LinkedIn user. They typically register while still at college or university and then attempt to make connections with those that are most likely to offer them employment in the future. And LinkedIn has just launched a new dedicated hub specifically for students. In the past year alone, the number of students on the site has doubled, so it is obvious why LinkedIn has made the move.
A survey of students undertaken by LinkedIn shows that nearly two thirds feel they are not prepared for the world of work, and a similar number say that they have put plans for their dream job on hold because of the economic downturn.
Marketers and website owners shouldn’t approach LinkedIn in the same way they would Facebook or Twitter, because it is very different and it requires a very different approach. It is not a retail site, and will not help sell your ecommerce goods. It is also not a site for sharing photos of last night’s tea or hilarious videos of cats. It may not be as exciting, but it is an opportunity for a prospective employee, student, or service provider to put their best foot forward. It is also the ideal opportunity for recruiters, businesses, and professionals to make long-lasting and beneficial connections.
- Are you on LinkedIn?
- Do you post pictures of every meal you eat?