In the growing social media family, LinkedIn is kind of like the bookish older sibling — it stays in to do homework while Facebook and Twitter are out having all the fun. The site’s professional nature makes it easy to forget that LinkedIn is, in fact, a social site. That’s largely by design: LinkedIn is strictly business. That means no baby pictures or status updates about your neighbor’s barking dog. The site is for professional networking, first and foremost; the personal stuff can (or should be) checked at the door.
Because of its relative niche, LinkedIn is sometimes overlooked by small businesses. Owners aren’t planning their next career move — they’re too busy planning the next decade (and beyond, we hope) for their business. So it came as something of an attention-grabber when news website Business Insider published a chart showing a massive spike in traffic sent its way by LinkedIn — or rather, not so much a spike as a straight line skyward in March and April. A LinkedIn exec told Business Insider that the increase is largely attributable to recent rollouts of a variety of news-related features.
Read more, including a mention of my April 12, 2011 article for the Intuit Small Business Blog for leveraging LinkedIn for your small business, which Kevin calls “recommended reading, particularly if your business has been more attuned to Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, or another branch of social media’s vast family tree.”