What is LinkedIn? Is LinkedIn a social network? Is LinkedIn a professional network? Is it a database, if so of what?
Why should this matter? If you are a professional or a freelancer in the b2b space, then LinkedIn can be beneficial to you. Still, fewer than 20% of LinkedIn users harness the platform for personal benefit in an effective way.
So what are your thoughts? Do you agree with Mikes thoughts? Add your comments below.
Hi everyone, Mike Morrison. I’ve had some interesting discussions over the last few days so I thought I’d explore with you just what is LinkedIn because if we don’t understand what it is, we’re not going to be able to use it properly.
How does LinkedIn work?
So, this short video is what is LinkedIn? and how does it work? So, how can you get the most out of it? Well, many of you would have already seen this recent video that I put together which is about how LinkedIn works by engagement and this is, I’ve been asked lots of different questions as a result of this so I’m building, really, on this. But also it’s about taking a back step.
If you are to search using your favourite search engine, what is LinkedIn, we’d get a whole bunch of things. So, LinkedIn itself says it’s the world’s largest professional network of hundreds of millions of members.
Woo! And it’s growing rapidly.
Mmm, okay. So that’s what LinkedIn says. So it’s a professional network. Okay, so, it’s Wikipedia page, which one would assume it has some influence over, says that it’s a business employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Hmm, so it’s a service. It’s mainly aimed for use of professionals and networking. These are all screen grabs that you can check for yourselves.
Different definitions of what LinkedIn is
I’ve looked at a number of other ones. So LinkedIn is a social network, specifically aimed at career and business professionals to connect. Okay. Definition from WhatIs, a social network designed specifically for the business community. Hmm, okay. Concordia University got an interesting one. Professional networking site that connects users with employers and fellow employees to exchange information, ideas and opportunities. Okay, so that’s getting a bit different but it’s still about this connecting thing.
What LinkedIn is and why should you join is an article and I’ve highlighted a section here. It says LinkedIn is a really huge database of professionals. Okay, so is it a social network or is it a database? Curious. Let’s go a stage further. If you’re a business professional looking to promote yourself in a business to a business environment, LinkedIn should be your social network of choice. So, it’s a social network and it’s about business to business. So is that sales? Maybe a lot of you LinkedIn users wouldn’t associate with that.
So, curiously, all of these things are great. It says what it does. It says that it’s a social network. It says that it’s a promotional channel. LinkedIn is now promoting themselves as a newsfeed. But that’s what it does. But what is it? What is LinkedIn? When you understand what LinkedIn really is, it will change the way that you interact with it and use it. And I spoke with a number of different people recently including a call this morning to a director of a well-known, high profile recruitment company in the UK and we talked this through and I asked her the question.
What is LinkedIn? And she’d come back with the same as these previous definitions. Well, folks, I want you to challenge that thinking.
LinkedIn a search engine
I want you to think of it differently. To me, it’s a search engine.
Nothing more, nothing less. It’s a search engine. Much like Google, Ask, DuckDuckGo, Bing, Search Medica, Alexa, whatever, Yahoo. There are lots of them. Think of this way, when you’re using LinkedIn, you’re either looking for work opportunities or you’re looking for other people to work with or you’re looking to employ people. From a business to business point of view, you’re searching for potential customers.
So it’s a search engine, therefore, we need to do everything in it in order to raise our profile, our ranking in their search results. All the other things, the posts, the articles, the comments, the groups, they’re basically there to help increase your status within the search results.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
It’s SEO. That’s all it is. So by pumping out lots of meaningless content that people don’t engage with, that doesn’t help your SEO rating within the LinkedIn search engine.
It’s about quality.
It is about time.
It’s about engagement.
Think about what’s happened with the Google search engine and what it takes to get a blog, a website or whatever up that list. It’s really hard. It’s sort of the same in LinkedIn, but of course, people don’t know what the secret sauce is.
If you look at some of my videos and some of my blogs, over the last couple of years, you’ll have seen that I’ve identified a lot of those and highlighted them and I’ll reiterate them again in some more videos. But I want you to ask yourself a question. Talk with your peers, talk with your friends, with your professionals. Comment below, even. Ask yourself the question, is LinkedIn really a search engine? And if it is, what do I need to do differently in order to make it work for me?
So the question is, if it is a search engine, are you lost or are you found? It is, folks, as simple as that. For people that LinkedIn doesn’t work for, guess what, it means you’re lost. It means you’re not doing enough to get yourself high up the search results when people are looking for somebody like you.
I want you to help me to help you. Please like or share or comment on this. I want to hear your views, whether you agree or disagree. I really don’t care.
By the way, the like button doesn’t just mean like, it means I’ve read it. It means I respect what you say. It means I hear what you say. It’s only one of three ways that LinkedIn have of engaging. You either like, you comment or you share. Please do one of the three.
Remember my earlier video that I highlighted at the beginning of this video? It showed an engagement with content to encourage others to create, helps to lift YOUR profile too. And it also shares the love. So thanks very much.
POST updated Jan 2020