David Suntin of Trending Today.
Social media is ever evolving. The three principle platforms for sharing text and images are dominated by three providers: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The three are fundamentally different in their use but provide the same free-flow of information. Facebook and Twitter are largely considered social media but have integrated business applications. For instance, you can purchase advertising on Facebook. While companies seeking to fill positions now send out a “tweet”, directing potential applicants to another site.
LinkedIn differs from Facebook and Twitter because it targets business professionals as opposed to social networking. LinkedIn is more of a seminar or networking event, while Facebook is a family and
friend reunion site. Twitter allows everyday people to more directly connect with people of fame and/or influence.
The advantage LinkedIn is its catering to groups. These groups are created by like-minded professionals seeking similar goals and venturing on a common endeavor. LinkedIn groups also allow members access to information not included in the public domain. This feature allows for industry specific education which is undiluted with tangents and ancillary information.
Groups provide business professionals with the ability to narrow down to topics related to a particular industry. This also includes a search which filters content by date or by its popularity among other professionals. What this means is the ability to access information most beneficial to your field and discipline without having to wade through mountains of irrelevant posts, images and status updates.
Though LinkedIn is a business oriented platform, it incorporates the basics other social media provide. These features include not only creating groups, but sending and receiving private messages, accepting or rejecting connection requests and joining specific groups.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn allows you to post your resume and engage in activity which substantiates your professional credentials. The increasing popularity of LinkedIn among professionals is because those professionals can connect to industry insiders, newcomers and even to those in similar careers. This fosters an environment where businesses and individuals can meet, collaborate and expand their network. Take Daniel Zwirn for instance – His live public profile shows exactly the type of audience he’s seeking and what he wishes people to contact him for. Zwirn is a great example of somebody in a position to connect. His years of expertise as a financial advisor for multiple LLCs are not portrayed here. There’s plenty of opportunity for him to further engage with past and present partners with a few simple edits.
What is more, LinkedIn provides both employers and employees with the ability to improve their Google page ranking, determine the health of a company, vet a potential employee, increase their overall visibility, reconnect with old friends and schoolmates, find startup companies and ask other professionals for advice.
Another advantage of using LinkedIn to create a group is you largely control the information as well as its members. The controls the LinkedIn platform gives its users is generally more user friendly that those on Facebook and Twitter.
While professionals can still find good use in both Facebook and Twitter for integrating their professional and private life, LinkedIn is the only platform which relies on your business peers to vote your contributions up or down. Professionals should take the time to understand the basic differences between the three networking sites and choose which will best aggregate the information a user provides. Business insiders will likely find that LinkedIn often serves their career better than either Twitter or Facebook.
This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 4, 2011