I was briskly walking down a long corridor next to a coworker at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center as we were making our way to the taxi queue to return to the hotel. He asked for my attendance and help during a trade-show, held in early November 2013. The first day of the show was a success.
After he told me I was doing a great job I started asking him if he would post his kind words as a recommendation on my LinkedIn profile, a profile I made a month earlier. He said he didn’t have a LinkedIn profile and has never heard a good reason to make one. With my profile barely a month old, who was I to argue with one of the best marketing professionals at a $40 billion company?
Discussing this conversation with another associate, it happened. This person said “LinkedIn is for Losers!” Did I just join a group of over 200 million losers?
“Why do you feel LinkedIn is for losers?” I asked. I got an earful. At the core, this person said LinkedIn is for people who can’t get a job, or self-promoters, or self-claimed LinkedIn experts. But LinkedIn is not for employees of a business to grow their employers business. I replied with a question. “What would it take to convince you LinkedIn works for business to business?” He said if I can consistently connect with people on LinkedIn then meet them in the real world he would concede LinkedIn can work for business networking.
I must admit I have found some of his claims to be correct. What’s worse is after asking one social media management firm for ROI (return on investment) statistics I was given a link to a report that tracked clicks, likes, followers, tweets, and retweets.
I’m not a hip, all things internet expert, but I know the difference between a tweet and a twirk. I asked the social media management company for sales leads, or at least a list of connections that were made via social media that resulted in real world face to face meetings. Unfortunately, this information was either not available or if it was available, it was so abysmal they would not share it.
Does LinkedIn really work for business networking?
I’m going to find out! In 2014 I am going to meet 50 people who I never knew before we connected on LinkedIn.
If I can succeed at growing my real world network by 50 people in one year by using LinkedIn then LinkedIn is not for losers.
I’m not doing this because of that person who said LinkedIn is for Losers however he did help put this idea in my head. I’m doing this to convince myself that social media, specifically LinkedIn can be used for business networking.
Please bookmark 50 people and follow along as the year and the 50 people project progresses.
Would you like to be one of the 50 people?
To learn more or to book me to speak to you, your firm, group, or organization, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 920-841-0935.
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