LinkedIn: The Most Social “Not-Social” Network

It’s time to dive into LinkedIn. A social network that claims it is not a social network at all.

So, what is LinkedIn?

Basically, LinkedIn was designed to be a professional platform with a mission to: “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”. According to the company, LinkedIn is “the world’s largest professional network with more than 562 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide”.

Since the company’s inception in 2002 in co-founder Reid Hoffman’s living room, and the official launch of the company in 2003, a LOT has changed for the platform.

Although the company may have began with hopes of being solely a professional network – the way users share information and use the platform is not always in a professional capacity.

Depending how large your LinkedIn network is, there is a good chance that you have come across content that is not related to business. LinkedIn is basically the Facebook of the professional world – allowing you to add professionals that you meet in person and through the platform to your network.

Still don’t think LinkedIn is a social network? Try this: Ask any woman with an attractive (professional) profile picture if they have been messaged on LinkedIn regarding their looks, or something totally irrelevant to their professional profile. In the world of social media, outreaches like this are very common – but in a professional capacity, this is not appropriate.

Paying to be a professional:

According to LinkedIn,

“LinkedIn leads a diversified business with revenues from membership subscriptions, advertising sales and recruitment solutions. In December 2016, Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn, bringing together the world’s leading professional cloud and the world’s leading professional network”.

The options:  LinkedIn offers two levels of Premium account memberships: Business Plus and Executive.

The paid perks:

See who checked you out: see a list of details about who has checked out your profile and how they found you.

Your resume will shine: If you are on the job hunt, you can learn how you stack up against the others, and your application will appear more prominently than free members.

Say Hey: You are given between 15-30 InMails to reach out to anyone on LinkedIn.

Lynda.com: Paid subscribers have free access to Lynda.com – a site where you can literally learn about everything and boost your professional development.

Support Group (for job seekers): chat with others and share tips about navigating the world of job-seeking.

In my opinion – some of these features go against the whole purpose of the platform. If LinkedIn is designed to be a professional network, to connect people with opportunities that are a great fit for their skills and experience – why have the option to pay to stand out?

Also, like many social networks – there is a status that comes with having a large amount of follower/ friends – “connections” for LinkedIn. If LinkedIn was truly only meant to be a professional channel– and not a social network – things like having 500+ connections wouldn’t matter.

With this being said, does any of this take away the use of this channel? Not really. There is still very much a place for LinkedIn, especially in the business world.

My frustration comes from the lack of agreement that the platform is, in fact, a social network. It may be the most professional social network out there – but it is still a social network.

LinkedIn is a platform that can be used to highlight your authority in a business sector. It is an important network to have if you are in the market for a new job, but also to have if you are a business professional looking to connect with other professionals or hire new talent.

Overall, LinkedIn is a powerful SOCIAL NETWORK that shouldn’t be avoided. If you need some help making the most out of your business or personal profile – reach out to us!

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