Information as of September 2009
(words to be hyperlinked are in plum and the links are in parentheses next to those words – all yellow highlighted text to be deleted before going live online)
LinkedIn.com (link: www.linkedin.com)
(Franji, when you lay this out online, put the following “at a glance” in a sidebar and knowing that you would fix spacing issues as you laid it out, we left it less than perfect, also proof one more time as you lay it out)
At a glance…
LinkedIn is a social network link to glossary aimed at professionals.
One-time set-up is quick and easy, taking less than 30 minutes.
Messages from your profile may be forwarded to another email address outside of LinkedIn.
Updates—once a month is adequate.
47+ million users in 200 countries
51% are male
45% are between the ages of 35-49
35% are 50 and older
85% are Caucasian
67% report an income of $60k and above
80% have a college or graduate degree
78% report no children between the ages of 0-17
What is it?
LinkedIn is an online social network (link to glossary.doc) geared toward professionals. It electronically connects over 47 million users in 200 countries with colleagues, associates, classmates and others.
Although a much smaller network than Facebook (http://www.facebook.com) or MySpace (http://www.myspace.com), membership continues to grow and the value of the connections made on LinkedIn is higher in a business sense.
LinkedIn is free to use, but also offers enhanced features (link to premium services section below) that cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year to access. Although these features are geared toward the business user, they are available to anyone.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/Six_degrees_of_separation.png this link is here in case we want to get the photo from the source and do something with it. It’s free for us to use unconditionally
Have you ever played Six Degrees of Separation? The theory is that each one of us can be connected to any other person on earth by using six connections (or links). It’s a fun game and going from A to B is possible more often than one would think.
LinkedIn works from the same idea. Through the user profiles, we connect or link to the people we know, and through our links with them, we’re linked to the people they know, and so on. LinkedIn not only allows us to see the people we are connected to, it allows for communication among linked parties.
Basic Elements of LinkedIn
Individual and Business Profiles – Your profile is your main presence on this network. If you choose to make it public, it can be viewed by anyone on LinkedIn, and you can view any other public profile.
Links – Links are connections you make with people you know. You can define whether others can see who your connections are, or you can choose to show the number of links, but keep their names private. Other’s settings define what information you will be able to see.
Security/Privacy Settings – These control who can see your profile, which elements people connected to you can see, and which elements strangers can see, among other things. Other’s settings define what you can see of their profile. LinkedIn recommends making your entire profile public, but each user has the ability to control each element of their profile.
Contact Settings - Defines how others contact you and whether all messages forward to your primary email address. Other’s settings define how you can contact them.
LinkedIn is all about how connected we are to others through our colleagues and contacts, and how we can use this connectedness to meet our professional needs.
For instance, it’s a great referral system. Say you need a part-time fundraiser. You first alert the people you personally know on LinkedIn. Bob, one of your friends, doesn’t know anyone, but he can easily pass on the request to several of his connections who may know someone who fits the bill. Or, if his privacy settings allow, you may be able to view Bob’s connections and see that he knows Jane, who is currently unemployed and has fundraising experience. You can directly access Jane’s profile (if her privacy settings allow) and request an introduction because she is linked to you through Bob.
In either case, it’s a personal referral. This process holds true whether you’re looking for volunteers, speakers, or even donors. You may request an introduction – up to 5 per month for free – to any of Bob’s connections (2nd degree), and any of the connections of those people (3rd degree). If you wish to contact someone you do not know and with whom you have no connections, you must first send a request to add them to your network, and that person must accept your request.
As a social network, LinkedIn’s primary purpose is to show and facilitate connections between users. It does serve other purposes as well:
Because individuals manage their own profiles, the information provided in that profile is generally up-to-date. Being connected to so many people through LinkedIn is incentive enough to make sure your own information is current.
A search (Groups in the right column) in English for health/non-profit group turned up 769 choices, while a more global search of all categories in English for the word vaccine turned up 20 results.
In addition to joining existing groups, users have the ability to create their own groups. This is ideal for creating a forum for others to follow and participate in your organization’s activities, or perhaps hold a work group discussion, or for seminar participants to meet up.
Participating in groups led by others gives you the opportunity to provide a positive face for yourself and your organization and is another opportunity to extend your network.
LinkedIn’s email works in the usual way. You may privately email any of your contacts, invite new contacts to join, and so on. The responses will appear in your LinkedIn inbox, and also will forward to your primary email address so that, even if you don’t check LinkedIn, no messages will be missed.
More Fun Features
The toolbar allows you to build your network around email tasks you perform every day. LinkedIn will suggest contacts based on the people you email most often, update your outlook contacts list with LinkedIn profile information, and allow for one-click access to other services.
Whether you use Internet Explorer or Firefox link to glossary, you can look up contacts instantly from any website. One click lets you access LinkedIn services and see connections at any hiring company while viewing job postings. If you are pressed for time, you can save favorite searches and profiles of interest for later viewing.
If you have a phone capable of web browsing, LinkedIn Mobile allows you to update your status, view updates, look at profiles and exchange messages with contacts on the go.
LinkedIn offers only 10 applications at this time.
With the WordPress (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=2200) or Bloglink (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=1500) applications you can link your blog to your profile, and in doing so, promote your blog to anyone who views your LinkedIn profile.
Huddle Workspaces (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=1600) offers a private and secure place to conduct group work online.
Slideshare (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=1200) and Google Presentations (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=1400) allow you to share PowerPoint documents.
LinkedIn Polls (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=1900 ) allows you to create a poll to add to your profile.
Company Buzz (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=1000) shows Twitter activity about your company
Amazon.com (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=1700) has an app that lets you share your reading list
MyTravel (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=1800) allows you to see where your contacts are traveling and where your travels overlap
Box.net Files (http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_ch_panel_id=1&_applicationId=1300) is a file management and file-sharing program.
Premium Services (fees associated) (link: http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=business_info_more&trk=acct_set_compare)
Although there are a number of additional services and benefits with the premium packages, two are of particular interest to the nonprofit.
InMail - users have the opportunity to communicate with any other LinkedIn user, whether connected to them or not. The messages sent through InMail to those outside the user’s network do not disclose email addresses until and unless the message has been accepted. Receipt of these messages is free to all users. You can send from 3-50 per month, depending on your subscription. As a nonprofit, you may want this feature to reach potential donors, speakers, or other influential contacts. Contacting them through LinkedIn ensures that your message is highlighted and not part of their general email traffic flow—and therefore more easily missed or ignored.
Requests for introductions are limited to five per month as part of the free service. With premium services, the number rises to between 15 and 40. This is yet another way to increase your ability to connect with others.
Following are the steps you take to set up and maintain an account:
Open an account on LinkedIn.com
Build your network by importing existing contacts (create your links).
Develop an individual and/or organization profile, including
Post your resume.
Link to your website and/or blog.
Customize your LinkedIn URL and public profile.
Add a picture.
Ask others for a recommendation.
Customize your security settings
Expand your network
Search for others you know.
Join or create a group.
Ask for introductions.
Invite people to LinkedIn
Invite people to join your group
Login periodically to
Post personal and/or organizational updates.
Check other updates.
Check your stats to see if LinkedIn is working for you.
The profile page is the first impression you’ll make on LinkedIn visitors, so take the time to make sure it reflects you in a favorable light. If LinkedIn is the yellow pages, a user’s profile is his display advertisement.
An individual can quickly create a profile by uploading his resume and verifying some basic demographic information. For a business or organization, the process is a little more labor intensive, but still quite simple.
A profile page for an individual includes a short resume and is a quick way for others to message or connect with the user. (Since this user’s employer has a LinkedIn profile, her page also provides a pop-out box that provides information about them.)
Because of the nature of the information on most profile pages, it’s fairly static and, once created, doesn’t require much additional time investment. Plan on spending 10 to 30 minutes creating your user profile, and adjusting your security settings.
A LinkedIn profile can easily be updated on a monthly basis. While activity, connections, and groups, which appear on the bottom, right hand column of a profile page, are automatically updated based on the user’s activities within LinkedIn, it’s a good practice to verify the information presented there. You may also wish to update or search for new contacts. Of course, if your phone number changes, you get a promotion, or anything else in your status changes, you should update your profile immediately.
Business or Organization Profiles
A profile page for an organization offers different information which, once created, also is relatively static, with the exception of the updates generated by other users’ activity on LinkedIn.
The profile page for an organization showcases the entire organization rather than an individual. LinkedIn allows you to list the name, email, domain, and a limited description of the organization. You may also list specialties, identify your industry, and the number of employees, among other information. The amount of time spent developing this profile is relatively short. However, key statistics, current and former employees, and promotion information is generated by LinkedIn based on its database of profile updates.
How Your Network is Created
Using this profile as an example, the user is connected to 26 other LinkedIn users; people known to her through employment, college, or other venues—they’re one link away.
Each of those 26 people has their own connections, and together they total more than 900 people who are two links away from the original user. These are 900 people that the user does not know, in a variety of industries and locations across the world, but to which someone she does know can easily provide a personal introduction.
As you see, that number quickly multiplies itself to nearly 69,000 people when you get to three links away, any of whom might help with a problem, offer advice, volunteer with the user’s agency, donate to a cause she endorses, speak at an engagement she is coordinating, help her fill a vacant position and so on.
Further, LinkedIn profiles rank high on search engines. Anyone searching for an individual or organization is likely to be directed here first. A profile on LinkedIn is an opportunity to frame your on-line presence and influence how peers, associates, donors and others perceive you and your organization. It’s a professional-looking venue, uncluttered with games and quizzes that distract from your message or cause.
Contacts and Connections
LinkedIn is all about connecting to others. Upload your contacts from an email or other electronic address book and LinkedIn will sift through your uploaded contacts, show you those who already have a LinkedIn profile and prompt you to connect with them. It will also give you an opportunity to invite those of your contacts without a profile to join. LinkedIn provides you with a generic request for both of these situations, and you can and should customize the text for each person—especially if they may not recognize you right away just by your name.
LinkedIn, like other social networks, suggests new contacts for you to add based upon the information you provide, including similar employment history and the amount of common friends between you and another user. These suggestions are automatically displayed after logging in to your LinkedIn account.
It’s easy to search for others—either by email, name, school affiliation, or by current or former employers. And each time you log in to your home page, LinkedIn will prompt you to search for new contacts.
Once a request has been accepted, you are LinkedIn to that person, and through her, to everyone she is LinkedIn with, and so on down the line.
Users always have the option to decline an invitation to connect. As connections on LinkedIn give an implied endorsement (I know her, she’s OK), you may wish to use discretion when accepting connections and asking for them.
You can measure how successfully you are using LinkedIn by looking at how your network is expanding. Network statistics are available to you from your LinkedIn homepage.
Other ways to measure might include:
Reviewing the number of visitors referred to your website or blog from LinkedIn through an audit of your website traffic data. This should be available from your organization’s webmaster.
Evaluating the number and content of messages or comments you receive on LinkedIn. If your desire is to expand your network, are your requests for introductions being accepted? If you have asked a question, are you getting helpful responses? If you’re trying to fill an open position, is LinkedIn attracting more and more qualified applicants?
Please see the LinkedIn video tutorial link to tutorial for detailed information on how to use this social media tool.