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There is today a rapidly expanding Internet-based community, made up of professionals of all levels of our industry, using a social media model for business. I am talking about LinkedIn.
Last October, I invited all of my readers to connect with me on LinkedIn. Four months ago I had about 600 connections; today, I counted over 2,000, and I keep adding new ones each day. Rapidly expanding, indeed.
So, do you need to be on LinkedIn?
My answer is yes.
LinkedIn is like a global ongoing exhibition, like EuroTier or VIV. You can visit with colleagues and talk about your business or solicit new business. I can attest to the fact this is working. There are forums to ask questions (or find a distributor for your products or a supplier for a need) and, of course, many companies have their quick-to-go website where they post news about themselves and their products. LinkedIn begun its "career" as a platform for job headhunters, but it is transforming itself to something else, something more valuable to us.
Such business platform is a plus to our industry, and it will not replace other dedicated websites, digital magazines, journals and blogs, as no exhibition ever replaced any of these. They are all needed, but they need to be interconnected for maximal efficiency. Such virtual connectivity cannot even replace the big exhibitions, if only because at the end of the day, people sell to people. But, for the time being, LinkedIn can be considered as one more tool to keep us informed and connected.