Learning from Linkedin

20 April 2010 By Northern Lights

Learning from Linkedin image

LinkedIn_logoA lot of our clients don’t ‘get’ Linkedin.  They are great networkers, have a far larger contact book than they will ever put onto Linkedin and are regularly in touch with their contacts.

What could they get from Linkedin?

One of the answers is interesting research.  Let’s look at two examples

  1. Joining Linkedin groups

For me, Linkedin started to come to life when I joined a number of groups.  At the moment I belong to

These have been chosen for a variety of reasons:  professional interests; supporting our clients; markets we want to be known and established in; and responding to invitations from contacts.

Different groups have different levels of debate and activity.  Those inMedia have a number of interesting discussions running at the moment.  Scanning down the most recent list, there are a few I have been learning a lot from

  • Is social media all hype? 200 comments
  • Are the good old days at Linkedin over? 25 comments
  • Cloud computing – what’s your take on it? 18 comments

Of the 200 comments in the social media question, the contributions are far and wide.  An MBA from Boston University; director of marketing in a New York life insurance company; a web developer; a social media specialist in Nevada; ceo in San Diego; and a software developer.

OK, a lot from the States – in fact, it might all be from the States! – but the UK is probably a few years behind America in adopting social media, so this makes the comments all the more thought provoking.

In this case, I am just watching the debate – occasionally I offer comment but mostly I am learning.

But you can also post your own questions, as in the next case

2.  Online market research

A client of ours, Arena group, is developing services for the legal sector.  On the one hand it should be a no-brainer that law firms bring in electronic document management systems.  They are paying a fortune in archive storage (one law firm said their storage bill is 7% of their annual operating costs).  But the reality is they are very reluctant.

So they posted a question on EDM group – what are lawyers’ biggest concerns?  They had 15 really top quality replies.  A number from the States and Canada, several from the UK and also a few from the Far East.  This was clearly an international problem.

The comments came from EDM consultants, people working in law firms and those who had left the profession – giving a wide range of perspectives.

What Arena got from this was an understanding of the issues as law firms see them, the realities of what is happening and insights into the areas that law firms want to address, but are not doing – and those they are unlikely to tackle in the near future.

Arena may one day get business from this, but it is unlikely.  What they have got is a quick and inexpensive way to understand a market.

Our own view is that Linkedin has considerable mileage for most clients and is worth exploring.

What’s your best experience of using Linkedin?

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Written by Northern Lights

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