Can Social Networks Really Help You Build
Your Business or Career?

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Guest Article By Pamela Grover of Design Tech

Have you ever received an email with the subject line of “Join my network on LinkedIn”? Have you ever wondered what LinkedIn is and how it could help you?

If you haven’t heard about LinkedIn and have a professional work life, I encourage you to read on.

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What is LinkedIn?

As stated on their Web site at, “LinkedIn is an online network of more than 19 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.” It’s built on social-networking concepts and principles but it is a professional-networking site.

You create a profile which is like an online resume and you’re encouraged to invite trusted professionals to join your network. Through your network, LinkedIn states that you can:

• Find potential clients, service providers, subject experts, and partners who come recommended

• Be found for business opportunities

• Search for great jobs

• Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals

• Post and distribute job listings

• Find high-quality passive candidates

• Get introduced to other professionals through the people you know

LinkedIn is free to join. They also offer a premium service that starts at $19.95 per month.

So what about FaceBook, the second largest social networking service next to MySpace? It's totally conceivable for people to have profiles on both LinkedIn and Facebook, but they are using them for very different purposes.

According to the CEO of LinkedIn, Dan Nye, the average age of LinkedIn users is 41 and they have an income of over $100,000. LinkedIn is clearly trying to connect with people on a professional level.

So what other features does LinkedIn provide? Here are just a few:

• InMail
InMail is a brokered communication channel through which you can send business and career opportunities to LinkedIn users. You can contact users directly, but you will not see the name or contact information of recipients who are not in your network until they reply and approve your InMails.

• Introductions
Introductions let you contact users in your network, through the people you know. If you want to contact a LinkedIn user who is two or three degrees away from you, you can request an introduction through one of your connections.

• Questions
Grouped in various categories, members can ask questions and/or answer questions.

• Recommendations
You can request, receive and review others’ recommendations.

• Jobs
You can easily receive or send job opportunities. A while section is dedicated to a job search and posting jobs. Recruiters would find this feature valuable, at a price.

• Groups
Create and/or join a Group based on your interests. This is another way that LinkedIn is trying to connect business people.

So how can LinkedIn make you more effective?

If you need to make connections and don’t know anyone, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to browse others’ trusted connections. I’m not convinced that LinkedIn can replace old fashion networking. We still work with people we like – and that’s the bottom line. How LinkedIn will give us that feeling remains to be seen.

For a list of other social networking websites, follow this link:

Social Networking and Social Media Web Sites

Established in 1996, Design Tech Consulting, Inc. continues to successfully develop custom programs in Microsoft Access and SQL Server. They develop in ASP.NET 2, HTML, and PHP on the Web to create effective solutions that often are dynamically-driven with databases.

In addition to this, they provide email marketing and streaming video solutions to small and medium size companies. For additional information, please call us at (800) 941-6099 or email us or visit us online at Design Tech.

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