Twitter has been called a “community.” It’s an appropriate designation for this open-ended platform that asks, “What are you doing and thinking?” Twitter is a place where people go to talk, offer advice, ask questions; but mainly talk–and all within 140 characters, including spaces.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, isn’t heralded as a “community” as much as a professional network, where people connect for business and job search possibilities. But a community?
Although LinkedIn doesn’t promote itself as a community of followers who want to know what you’re doing, LinkedIn is a strong community from which my close connections and I derive many benefits. Here are 11 reasons why LinkedIn is a strong community.
- We help each other. Whether its posting an article that points out important information on the job search or answering a question from a connection or providing advice on professional branding or generating sales leads; LinkedIn is about making people better.
- We celebrate each others’ successes. Nothing satisfies me more than to see someone land a job or announce a speaking engagement or gain some business. A community celebrates the successes of its members.
- We don’t disappear. My reliable connections will rarely drop off the face of the earth, not to be heard from for months. If they take a reprieve, I’ll write, “Great to see you again on LinkedIn” upon their return. Occasionally people need a break.
- We join and participate in groups. At the moment, for example, I’m engaged in a group discussion which has been going for approximately two weeks. There are 40 responses multiple “Likes” to the discussion I started. It’s a nice conversation that’s taken a life of its own. Being a member of groups is truly a feeling of community.
- We are professionals. “Fun” is a word associated with Twitter. But LinkedIn? I love LinkedIn for its professional business approach to online networking which is devoid of conversations you’d find on Twitter. To me, LinkedIn’s approach to professional networking is fun.
- We enjoy LinkedIn’s reputation. In almost every article you read, LinkedIn is lauded for its use by recruiters and hiring managers to find talent, not to mention its use for relationship-building in business. No foul language or inappropriate conversation allowed.
- We display professional photos. The majority of the members in my community understand the importance of a professional photo. I will not accept in invite from LinkedIn users who don’t have a photo; it’s pet peeve of mine.
- We keep no secrets. Honesty is my policy when it comes to visiting someone’s profile. In my community most people feel the same. For those who don’t, I ask why? I don’t bite.
- We blog. Many members in my LinkedIn community blog and eagerly share our posts with each other. We find this a great way to demonstrate our expertise. I enjoy reading the works of my community and commenting on their opinions.
- We update on a regular basis, as well as communicate in other ways, such as “Liking” and commenting on updates. People in my community know I’ll thank them for visiting my profile (related to #7) by simply writing, “Thanks for stopping by.”
- We reach out to each other. My connections in my community are bona fide ones, because we reach out to each other via phone, if long distance, or in person. Twitterers converse online without the pretense of networking face-to-face.
These are but 11 reasons why LinkedIn is a community. When I think of it as a community, I think of my connections who appear on my homepage on a regular basis, reminding me of the impact they have on my LinkedIn involvement. Thanks I say to those who contribute to my community.