LinkedIn – Not Designed For Business Networking As Such…

Argh…  This is a comment from one of my book readers, “Ted”, and I had to transfer it here to talk about.

Sure, Ted finds the site good for those looking for work, but fails to see how it can help with business.

It looks like I’ve got to compile an index of sorts…

The full comment

As a regular part of teaching people how to use LinkedIn, I check back several weeks later and ask for comments about LinkedIn and the training I provide through the book and web site.  Ted’s full comment was;

“Linkedin is obviously for people who are searching for a job.. seeking employment
etc.  Not designed for business networking as such. I find twitter better.”

And if you’ve been reading the material on this site for a while, you know that gets to me almost as much as the people that only decide to begin networking after they’ve lost a job…

Obviously is overrated

LinkedIn is absolutely a good thing for those looking for work.  I’ve written on it quite a few times, and the jobs category in the right column lists 12 articles on how to use LinkedIn when searching for a job.

Usually you don’t have to tell people obvious things, so it must not be an obvious statement yet – because I still find people that don’t quite get that LinkedIn needs to be a top tool in their job search.

Not good for business networking?

Maybe LinkedIn wouldn’t be good for other business networking activity if it didn’t give so many results when searching, provide mechanisms for contacting people, and offering group forums

The “Ways to Use LinkedIn” tag at the right has 40 different articles.  It happens to be what I write about most often…

The ability to find people and ask for an introduction – is unequaled.

I’m not sure what motivates Ted’s comments, so I will be following up…

Mass communications

I will agree with one aspect – Linkedin is not the best platform for communication to a large population – advertising…

But it wasn’t designed for that!

You’ll find me saying that all over the place – “LinkedIn isn’t the greatest for broadcasting”.  And then either I’ll suggest that people find other tools for that need, or show some ways that you can still get a message across even with the LinkedIn limitations!

Twitter holds a different place in the toolbox

Ted mentions using twitter – and that’s fine.

As a new user of twitter myself, I can see some potential in the sorts of things twitter allows.  But it is not the same relationship tool that LinkedIn is.

Comments please!

Can you take a moment and leave a comment on just one way you use LinkedIn for “business networking”?

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock


  1. I think you put it well when describing both LinkedIn and Twitter as tools in the toolbox. A screwdriver isn’t superior to a hammer, just more appropriate for driving screws.

    You’re a new Twitter user, I gather, so you make the common mistake of thinking it’s a broadcast medium. A great deal takes place in the DM realm and through sites that build community using Twitter (StockTwits is my favorite example).

    Twitter is more difficult to learn to use than LinkedIn and most people give up before they “get it.”

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Tamela,

    Thanks for the comment – definitely beginning my use of Twitter.

    While twitter may have the ability to send a direct message, it’s not IM, and is definitely a broadcast media…

    Checking on the app you mentioned, they are still public in the sense that the conversation is generally open for all to see.

    If I’ve missed that aspect, please help me understand how.


  3. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for asking me to clarify. When you labeled Twitter “broadcast” I wasn’t focusing on the technicality of it being a broadcast medium (which of course it is). I took your point to reflect what other new users or non users perceive: that Twitter is just a place to “broadcast” and not a place to create more intimate/meaningful relationships.

    By itself, Twitter is simply a tool like a putty knife. In the hands of a skilled user it is a powerful one — like a Swiss Army knife.

    As for StockTwits, those guys have created a set of services and network of blogs to extend the relationships initially found via Twitter.

    Hope that answers your question.


    PS you might also enjoy this link to a post I wrote about content between blog>newsletter>LIn>Twitter>RSS as it will make the point about one of Twitter’s useful roles in the cast of communications players.

  4. Tamela,

    I see your point more clearly now – and I was being literal about broadcast vs point-to-point.

    Catching the right level between intimacy and publicity would be the thing that separates the fun-to-follow from the quick-to-unfollow now isn’t it?-)

    We’ll see how that goes.

    Again, my thanks,

  5. Hi Steve,

    You asked for comments on how one would use LinkedIn for business networking. Below is an example, but may be a different type of business networking than you are referring to.

    When I was asked to research a topic for my employer, I used the search feature of LinkedIn to find people at similar companies performing the same type of work. I would connect with them, or ask for an introduction and finally meet them via phone for the discussion.

    When a LinkedIn connection is made, it becomes much easier, in most cases, to write to contacts. I find it critical to keep my network active by periodically showing interest in my connections. This builds the relationship between people (within companies).

    An alternative to searching through my network could have been to ask a question of my network.

    As a newbie to Twitter myself, I am unclear how to get the same thing accomplished given the small number of followers that I have unless I send a tweet to my followers and ask everyone to retweet (I have seen this done).

    There are many companies now on Twitter, but unless they follow you, I am not sure the companies will see your messages (tweets). If they do, will the right person get the message?

    Thanks for starting this discussion. I look forward to following it.

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