Five Foolish Reasons To Ignore LinkedIn

(MSL Group) Today, forward-thinking companies are building programs to fully engage their people in social media, and most of them start with LinkedIn. But that was LinkedIn 1.0. These people say, “Maybe LinkedIn is valuable, but I just don't know where to start.” Or “I don’t have the time or energy to figure out how to use LinkedIn.” If you haven’t spent much time with LinkedIn, it can feel overwhelming. These folks say, “I don't want to waste company time on LinkedIn.” Or “If I’m on LinkedIn, people in my organization will think I am looking for another job or goofing off.” This old mindset persists. Today, professionals are starting to realize how much value they can contribute to their employer via LinkedIn. That has value for your employer and your career. These people say, “Maybe LinkedIn is valuable, but I just don't know where to start.” Or “I don’t have the time or energy to figure out how to use LinkedIn.” If you haven’t spent much time with LinkedIn, it can feel overwhelming. These folks say, “I don't want to waste company time on LinkedIn.” Or “If I’m on LinkedIn, people in my organization will think I am looking for another job or goofing off.” This old mindset persists. Today, professionals are starting to realize how much value they can contribute to their employer via LinkedIn. That has value for your employer and your career.

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A few years ago, I started building talent development programs for major corporations to help their people maximize LinkedIn and other social media. It was a major transformation because just a few years earlier, companies were entirely barring access to social media sites in the office. They thought employees would waste company time and be tempted to look for a job online.

Now, most major corporations get it. They are aware of these facts:

  • Only 33% of buyers trust the brand while 90% of customers trust product or service recommendations from people they know. (Neilsen)
  • Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs. the same messages shared via official brand social channels. (MSL Group)
  • Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees vs. by the brand. (MSL Group)

Today, forward-thinking companies are building programs to fully engage their people in social media, and most of them start with LinkedIn. Ironically, despite their companies’ encouragement, there are still employees who are skeptical about the value of LinkedIn. Their reluctance is usually based on one of five off-base mindsets:

1. I’m not looking for a job.

These folks say things like, “LinkedIn is the place where you publish the online version of your resume.” And “LinkedIn has value when you’re looking for a job; otherwise it’s just a time-waster.”

Sure, when LinkedIn launched, it was primarily an online resume and e-networking site, and its functionality was geared toward job search. But that was LinkedIn 1.0. Today, with features like Groups, Influencers, and Blogging – and dozens of other career-boosting enhancements – LinkedIn is the place to manage and advance your career.

2. It’s not right for me.

Those in this camp usually say things like, “My career has been successful without LinkedIn; I can’t imagine how it will help me.” Or “I know everyone I need to know and they know me. My community is small and cohesive. LinkedIn is for others.”

These folks don’t realize the opportunities they are missing out on. They also don’t realize that people are checking them out online and forming first impressions about them. Some of LinkedIn’s value comes just from the fact that it gives you the power to influence those who are researching you online, if you build a strong profile. People with the “it’s not for me” mindset are also unaware of the value of connecting outside your area of expertise. This Entrepreneur article explains the importance of having a diverse network.

3. It’s confusing and complicated.

These people say, “Maybe LinkedIn is valuable, but I just don’t know where to start.” Or “I don’t have the time or energy to figure out how to use LinkedIn.”

If you haven’t spent much time with LinkedIn, it can feel overwhelming. I work with LinkedIn every day, and I have a hard time staying on top of all the features and the processes for doing things. But if you take it one step at a time and spend just 9 minutes a day…

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