What is LinkedIn?

It only takes a couple of people asking this question to start a thought process. What is LinkedIn, and what purpose does it serve? And why should we use it?

The same question has been asked about Facebook. But I’ve worked out the answer to that one. Facebook is how you wish someone a happy birthday without actually calling them up. It’s how you tell people what’s going on in your life, without actually writing them a letter. It’s where Mums share approximately eleventy billion photos of their new babies, and newly married couples share even more photos of their wedding celebrations. Instagram is how you share an image of  the contents of your dinner plate with people who were lucky enough not to be at the same meal table, but now with sharing, all that gets posted to Facebook too.

But LinkedIn is a different type of social media to Facebook. It’s like Facebook for people with jobs. Or people with jobs, who want to get better jobs, by “connecting” with people who may be in a position to recommend them for a better job. There are even articles written on “How best to connect with someone you don’t know through LinkedIn”.  It talks about Open Networkers and Selective Connectors and Cyber Stalkers.

There is a whole vocabulary  that goes with this  social media forum that is primarily about ditching the job you currently have for one you would like to have

We know that some real estate agents use LinkedIn as a selling tool. Or perhaps that is better described as a tool to publicise their latest deals. There is even an article entitled  “ How to use LinkedIn for Real Estate: The Ultimate Guide for Realtors”. One of the critical parts of this article is advice on how to choose your photo for your profile page.

So we have  Googled LinkedIn and real estate. What it comes down to is “building your LinkedIn network”. Which is the very puzzling aspect of social media and networking. When people already have a physical network ( i.e. they know people ) , why don’t they utilize that network ? Instead of trying to build a cyber network with people they don’t even know?

Which brings us back to the start. We have worked out what Facebook is useful for. But we are struggling with a real use for LinkedIn. Particularly as we don’t want a new job.