Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How LinkedIn Became my Favorite Social Networking Site in 2011

LinkedIn Connections (photo credit)
I don't remember how I came upon Linkedin in 2011 but it has proven to be one of my most fruitful discoveries. 

While LinkedIn doesn't boast the vast number of users that Facebook does, with close to 800,000,000, nor is it accumulating near as many new users as Twitter does, at an astounding 500,000 per day, LinkedIn has seen exponential growth in its own right and proves to be the professional's top choice in social networking. 

Take into consideration the following statistics:
  • LinkedIn saw a 136% growth in number of users in just one year; from 50 million in 2010 to 119 million in 2011.
  • 50% of LinkedIn users have administrative titles: manager, principal, CEO, business owner (just to name a few).
  • LinkedIn was among the top 5 U.S. Social Networking sites in 2011.
As a professional, wanting to make more meaningful connections with other professionals, I have found myself spending an ever-increasing amount of time on LinkedIn.  I still post and Tweet on a daily basis (let's face it, Facebook and Twitter are fun) but, when it comes time to nurture relationships that hold more value from my writing business standpoint, I cultivate those connections I have made on LinkedIn. 

Choosing carefully, I connect with other like-minded professionals.  While many of my connections are within my own industry, freelance copywriting, I have branched out and connected with those that complement my niche, such as individuals in the wine industry, education, and marketing.  These complementary connections help me reach out to potential clients.

One of my favorite aspects of LinkedIn is the caliber of interaction available.  Through LinkedIn's Answers function, I can engage in meaningful conversations with other LinkedIn members.  Rather than mindlessly stumbling through an entire thread of dialogue, LinkedIn's Answers funtion allows you to browse discussions by category; two of my favorite categories to contribute to are Using LinkedIn and Work-life Balance.  Here, I can learn from my peers as well as share my expertise and knowledge.

While this post provides a mere nibble of what Linkedin has to offer, and why it became my favorite social networking site in 2011, there are many Linkedin courses and side-dishes yet to sample. 

Still working my way through its intricacies, and delicacies, I can't wait to see what 2012 holds for me on Linkedin!

Are you on Linkedin?  If so, share your favorite morsels with us.

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