I have always been interested in social media, and how it can be used to spread awareness of different public health initiatives. So when my company was looking for a person to head their social media efforts, I quickly jumped at the opportunity. The idea was to create a company blog that will feature information regarding key public health initiatives, the company’s contribution to them, and links to any additional information that could be useful to the reader. We started out with a few blogs per month, but quickly found that we have enough information to blog multiple times per week. However, the problem that we were running into was that we didn’t have a lot of blog followers, and thus our message wasn’t getting across in a way that we had hoped. Majority of our followers were already aware of the issues that were blogged about; however, the goal for our blog was to reach “newer” audiences, who may not be aware of the issues. After brainstorming several ideas, we decided to post a link to our blog on the company’s LinkedIn page, as well as begin posting links on our personal LinkedIn pages. BOOM! Within a few days, we noticed an increase in number of followers, our blog was starting to get more traction, and eventually we started reaching our target audience.
LinkedIn is widely used by professionals everywhere to make important connections in their professional and academic careers. According to Forbes, if one was to invest in only one personal branding tool, then LinkedIn is the way to go (http://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2014/06/10/why-linkedin-is-the-only-personal-branding-resource-you-need/). It can help you build your personal portfolio, connect with colleagues, view information regarding potential employers, and join professional networking and educational groups. Furthermore, unlike many other social networking sites, LinkedIn provides the user with more control over who his/hers connections are and what type of information can be publicly accessible. Since LinkedIn is not the place to post pictures from your friend’s Bachelor party, there is a bit more comfort in knowing that your potential employer will only see the information that you want to share.
The key feature that I found to be useful when using LinkedIn is the ability to connect with relevant groups and trade association. For example, a lot of our blogs are focused on health and safety, so joining the Health and Safety group on LinkedIn has proven to be very valuable. We were able to share our work with professionals in the field and get very useful and important feedback. We were also able to recruit young professionals who saw our blogs and became interested in the work that our company does.
In conclusion, I learned that LinkedIn is not only useful in bringing much needed attention to a blog, but is also important for recruiting and personal career growth. In my opinion, the key to its success is the user’s ability to control the audience and strategically expand his/hers connections.