20 November 2012
LinkedIn is a 'chamber of commerce' meeting, says consultant
TORONTO—If using different social networks is like attending different types of functions, LinkedIn is "like a chamber of commerce meeting," while Twitter is a cocktail party and Facebook is a large community gathering, said Robert Burns, founder of Tourmalet Advisory Services. 

"Where are your clients? Where are their prospects? That's where you have to be," he said about choosing between platforms. Speaking at Print World yesterday on how to use social media for business, Burns focused on LinkedIn.

He advised laying low when creating a profile. "Write it first in a Word document and turn off your activity updates in your privacy settings," he said, that way your network isn't alerted every time you tinker with your page.

He said to connect only with people you trust, but didn't limit that to only those you've met and worked with. He recommended joining or starting LinkedIn groups to connect with like-minded strangers. If attending an event, he suggested using LinkedIn Events to scope out who's going and connecting with them online beforehand to meet there.

As for sharing content and links, Burns warned to keep posts relevant and trustworthy, and to leave the sales pitches for official company pages. "If you come across as too sales-y, people are not going to listen to you. Or worse, they're going to disconnect from you," he said.

The personal touch is still important, Burns said, reminding to eventually send an invite to meet for coffee and limiting social media networking to 30 minutes a day. "At the end of the day it should be monetizing," leading to sales leads and business relationships, he said.
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