I've been using LinkedIn and I'm curious to hear about other experiences. For those not familiar with LinkedIn, it is a social networking site for business which allows individuals to setup Professional Profiles. After you signup for a free account and create your professional profile, you can then make 'connections' with others. As you develop these connections, you then have a network of contacts. The site allows you to make and receive recommendations along with a new Q&A area.
A couple thoughts, while a lot of the buzz on social networking sites is with digg and delicious, this site is more about networking by maintaining current and creating new contacts. While this is good, I think the majority of the activity I see is more related to reinforcing current contacts versus getting new contacts. Is this the same experience others have, or what do you do to meet new contacts with LinkedIn?
A few things that I've noticed that can help a business promote themselves.
1) When setting up your profile you can add up to 3 links to your website(s). Most select default options provided for the link text such as "My Company", "My Website", etc. If you select the option "Other" ... you can then enter your own link text such as "Widgets, Inc".
2) Your profile is provided a default url at LinkedIn. You can change the url to customize it. Add your name or company to make your LinkedIn personalized to you. Additionally, the amount of info published is based on the options you select. By default they published a limited view of your profile. You can select to show expanded information and your links are published publically on your personal LinkedIn url. I'm still researching this, but the best I can tell so far these are search engine friendly links to your site - although doing a site search in google shows only 160 of these LinkedIn profiles incuded within google's index (which seems limited/low to me ... so still investigating this)
3) Receive recommendations from others for the services you provide and you can be listed within their services directory.
4) Explore the new Answers section. Find the category that is most specific to your business and review the questions there. Can you contribute answers to these questions and establish yourselves as an authority within their Q&A area? By answering questions you can receive more exposure by interacting with others, and the Q&A responses you provide become part of your profile which helps enhance your presence when people view it.
5) LinkedIn Groups - If you have an existing group - leverage it! This
provides a way for you to integrate an existing group you have established within the LinkedIn network.
I'd love to hear from others if they have had success using LinkedIn and any tips they can share.
If you would like to setup a connection, say so here and drop those interested a PM with your email where they can send the request. I'd like to make connections with anyone here who would be interested.
Perhaps if we could get enough here connected, we could create our own group so our services could be referenced better?