Everyone’s on LinkedIn. Like Facebook, LinkedIn has solidified its value as the social network of choice when seeking to network with other professionals. However, like Facebook, there are alternatives to LinkedIn that exist and are missed opportunities for those who aren’t taking advantage of them.
Advantages of Professional Promotion
Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace… these are today what networking groups were 20 years ago. If you aren’t representing yourself on one (or all) of these websites you are missing out on the networking opportunities that exist. Just like the purpose of advertising is to keep your brand or business top of mind, promoting yourself via professional networks ensures that when someone is shopping around for a potential new recruit that you’re there to be found.
Even if you aren’t shopping for a new job or career, being represented on professional networks ensures that you remain visible among your colleagues and are easily able to manage your online reputation.
Essential Places to Represent Yourself
With the hundreds of such websites on the internet it can be hard to determine which are worth your time. Here’s a list of a few that you should seriously consider being on:
- LinkedIn - Like Facebook, LinkedIn is synonymous with business networking. A basic profile on LinkedIn is free, so make sure that you’re there. Naturally, it’s vital that all major areas of your profile are complete.
- HR.com – Involved in human resources? HR.com is where you need to be! HR.com features tons of unique content, thousands of human resource professional profiles, and more.
- Focus.com - Are you in the business to business market? Focus.com is a great website with a B2B specialization. There are thousands of profiles on Focus.com- become the next one!
- SkillPages.com - Designed with collaboration in mind, SkillPages is unique in that you can search for people based on their skills. It’s almost a hybrid between elance and Facebook!
I’m Already on LinkedIn, Isn’t LinkedIn Enough?
LinkedIn is the de-facto standard for business social networking, and being on LinkedIn is important. However, other social networking websites that are more specialized (such as SkillPages.com) offer a completely different experience for its members. While it may not be vital to be on them there is still a great deal of value to be had by being there.
The way that people communicate is changing. Social media isn’t a fad- it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.