LinkedIn mentions: business networking just got a whole lot more sociable
Facebook and Twitter users will have enjoyed the benefits of ‘mentioning’ people, places or businesses in their posts for quite some time, and now LinkedIn are weighing in on the act with their own version of this kind of interaction.
How does it work?
The function itself works in a very similar way to the way it works on Facebook. When you’re writing a status or a comment on LinkedIn, start typing the name of the person or company that you want to mention. As you type, a drop down box should appear and show you your list of connections. Choose the correct name from the list and then complete your comment or status. The company or person that you’ve mentioned will then receive a notification to say that you have mentioned them.
Why should I use it?
Well, as intimated in the title, it enables LinkedIn users to become a whole lot more social. LinkedIn is very much set apart from Facebook and Twitter as the ‘business’ social network, but any successful networker (whether online or in the flesh) will tell you that social interaction and affability goes a long way when it comes to the business world. Mentioning business associates, customers and clients helps you to build a rapport with them and hopefully maintain that business.
You can target people or companies
LinkedIn has become a key way for businesses and individuals to share content; and as we all know, content is becoming more and more important for marketing purposes. What can be more difficult than creating content is ensuring that the correct people see it – this new feature has made that process a whole lot easier. For example, if one of your connections is a lawyer specialising in shipping law and you’ve found an article related to that precise subject, you could mention him or her at the same time as sharing the article; ensuring that they read it. This will certainly help a great deal in terms of marketing.
LinkedIn has been steadily increasing in popularity and this latest addition is likely to go down well with eager networkers. However, the danger for LinkedIn is that this feature could encourage social rather than business conversation and there’s certainly a risk that it could dilute this successful business network. Time, as always, will tell.