Welcome to the most professional club on the Internet, LinkedIn. Of the major social media sites, LinkedIn does the best job of creating an atmosphere of professional online interaction and...preventing its members from making idiots of themselves.
Why will LinkedIn NOT allow you to cross the line from professionalism to hooliganism? Let’s just say it’s an understanding we LinkedIn users have and will always have.
Sure there are some slip-ups here and there, but very few compared to the faux pas that occur on, say, Facebook or Twitter (see 30 Ways to Lose a Job on Twitter). Why? Perhaps it has to do with the members who use LinkedIn…average age is around 43 with high salary earnings in the hundred thousands.
Developed in 2003, LinkedIn was used as a business networking application on which businesses could network to develop leads and increase business opportunities. Unfortunately unemployment became such a large business and caused increasingly more jobseekers to migrated to LinkedIn. Fortunately LinkedIn is the best networking application for jobseekers.
Here are what I consider to be LinkedIn’s greatest assets and what keeps it business as usual.
- Recruiter, Hiring Manager, HR approved. According to Jobvite.com, in 2011 89% of employers regularly use LinkedIn to cull talent, while only 24% use Facebook, 16% employ Twitter, and a mere 3% turn to blogs.
- The LinkedIn police will embarrass you if you slip up. You’ll find this to be the case especially on the Answers feature where any member can “Flagg” your answer or question. I've seen some obnoxious answers that were quickly flagged for good reasons. I was even flagged, albeit erroneously.
- Tweeting on LinkedIn is discouraged. You can link to Twitter and send updates as tweets but not the other way around. There was a time when your tweets would show up as updates, but LinkedIn users were tired of hearing about where you'll be eating in Manhattan and when you're picking up your daughter at summer camp.
- Members hang with their own. I’m on Twitter and some surfer dude is following me, which is cool; but I’m more selective when it comes to my contacts. This holds true for most LinkedIn members. Kitty Kat asked me to join her network on LinkedIn, but I simply ignored her. (Ignore is the proper way to decline an invite.)
- LinkedIn users are following suit. Photos were once considered taboo, particularly with the older jobseekers, but now almost everyone is donning a photo. It’s a rare occasion when a LinkedIn member does NOT have a photo. As a rule, I will not accept an invite from someone who doesn’t have a photo; and I certainly won’t invite a photo-less LinkedIn member. Too creepy.
- Like Pepsi, we don’t mind being #2. Facebook is the supreme ruler in terms of membership, but look at all the crap that surrounds the social media mega superstar. When was the last time you heard of some poor kid being cyber bullied on LinkedIn? Never. Let Facebook have their one billion (?) members; we’re happy with 175 million serious networkers.
- My mom doesn’t have an account. Sorry, Mom, but you’re retired and living by a lake enjoying the good life. LinkedIn is for people who have a reason for being on it. It would bore the hell out of you.
- All the major sports teams see no use for LinkedIn. My beloved Patriots don't ask their fans to follow them on LinkedIn, nor do entertainment icons and beer companies. Facebook and Twitter share that market, and they can have it.
- LinkedIn isn't sexy. Business Insider is unkind when it states: How Linkedin's Lousy Sex Appeal Could End Up Killing It. I know it's not sexy, far from it, but that's what makes it professional; so Business Insider phases me the least. I'm looking for substance over eye candy, as most serious networkers in the search for business or a job.
These are 9 reasons why LinkedIn is the most professional club on the Internet. Although 80% of what I’ve written can't be verified, it’s abundantly clear to me that LinkedIn is the best way for me to spend an average of two hours a day on the Internet…365 days a year. Go to LinkedIn's blogsite for some accurate information about LinkedIn. I'm sure you'll be totally impressed with how professional-minded and...bland LinkedIn is.