While Twitter is training us to think shorter, less complex thoughts and Facebook is attempting to become our conduit to our friends and all of the content on the internet; LinkedIn has carved its little niche out in the universe of Social Media as well.

In the universe of Social Media, LinkedIn is the Tinder of business and professional networks, without the walk of shame the next morning.  Its all about creating professional connections.  Meaningful or meaningless is really up to the user.

Some people farm LinkedIn for business leads, attempting to connect to anybody and everybody they believe that they could sell something.  Other cultivate a more selective garden.  Creating more personal and mutually beneficial relationships. In this LinkedIn is no different than any other Social Media site.

LinkedIn is a great way to connect with industry professionals and reconnect with past colleagues alike.

The site is also becoming well utilized cog in the job search process.  Especially for professional and managerial positions.  Giving job seekers the opportunity to create relationships with employees at the company and learn more about the company before applying or interviewing.

For most retail businesses looking at Social Media, LinkedIn really doesn’t offer much on the retail side of the business.  There are definitely ways to utilize the social network to learn about prospective vendors and brands.  But there are other ways to do this.  It holds value in the human resources aspects of most businesses.

However commercial, industrial, and most service industries can really benefit from the relationships, idea sharing, and networking opportunities that exist within its virtual walls.

Build a personal profile and a page for your business.  At the very least its another way for potential customers to find you and your business.  Even if this is’t the avenue most customers will take to find you, it can’t hurt if they do find you.

If you are going to actively participate, then look at it as a professional exercise.  Build your reputation as an expert in your field.  Share knowledge on your profile and your Company’s page.  Participate in groups and create a following.  Whether you are just lurking or actively participating, there are most likely groups that will be relevant to your business.

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Matt Swanson is  the Owner and a Technology Specialist for MS Digital solutions.  For more information on social networks and digital marketing, contact Matt at 260-223-9202 or email matt [@] msdigitalsolutions.com.

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