How I use LinkedIn – Social Media Autobiography (Part 1)

LinkedIn-Home

Origins of this series

Today, I’m starting a ten-part series (I can hear you groaning now, lol) on the story of how I got involved with social media, what impacted me, how I use it today, and why I’m enthusiastic about it.  Elaine Morris-Roberts did a good story on social media in Springfield, and this snapshot of where I am today was the material i prepared for her.  You can read the story here – ttp://bit.ly/179Yg4.

LinkedIn – Has it been four years already?

My four-year anniversary is coming up on October 26.  No, not the one to my wife, the anniversary celebrating my participation in the Web 2.0, aka social media.  It was the date I joined LinkedIn, and I was one of the early adopters of that professional version of MySpace that was launched on Cinco de Mayo, 2003 and now has over 50 million users in over 200 countries.  My network (the number of connections) has grown to 492, with over 33,300 people two degrees of separation away from me and over 2.2 million people at three degrees of separation.   Just picking a company at random, say IBM, yields over 400 people in my immediate network (2nd connections or in the same groups), including the Communications Manager, the Director of Citizenship & Technology, a Principal at IBM Global Services, a Global HR Business Development officer, and the Worldwide Program Director for InfoSphere Data Warehousing in Dayton.

Some ways I’ve used it

Personally, I have used it in a variety of ways.  Primarily, I use it as a professional networking tool and relationship manager.  I taught a course on it for Rise Above, and one of the students created a profile, networked with Speedway and obtained a job.  Through LinkedIn, I became aware that a tax consultant working with alternative energy companies felt Ohio could improve on some issues.  I was able to ask which and send that information to the Ohio Dept. of Development (ODOD).  I have received recommendations from a number of people, one of whom, for example, is now the Director of ODOD.  I have had people set up business meetings with me using the LinkedIn messaging system; others have contacted me based on status updates or just to ask questions.  Colleagues from my past have kept in touch with me through the system, including a former ODOD Director and European Office manager.  I have used status updates to talk about the project and marketing successes we have had, and people from around the state have congratulated us (which indicates increased awareness.) 

A new Greater Springfield Chamber group

Secondarily, I established a Greater Springfield Chamber group this July 17 and started sharing news, blog post and other information two months ago, with new content being posted daily.  This is a Chamber members-only area, has 31 members, and will begin to be promoted in the coming weeks.  The idea is to provide a way for Chamber members to collaborate, show the group membership as a badge (in the same way that a plaque goes on the wall at the place of business), as well as a place to share information.  Members can post news, discussion items, open positions, as well as connect with other members through the group. 

Tomorrow and…how do use LinkedIn?

One of the great things about social media is that one learns something new almost every day.  I would love to hear how you use LinkedIn and if it has been helpful (or not) for you.  Tomorrow’s topic will be blogging, Twitter, and WordPress.

 >> LinkedIn homepage

>> My LinkedIn page

>> Chamber LinkedIn group

>> Springfield News-Sun article on social media

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