Recently I have started to use LinkedIn more frequently, but I seem to see so many posts about what LinkedIn shouldn’t be used for or how people do the wrong thing. I understand how it works for recruiters and people looking for jobs but for the rest of us, what is the point?

I often see posts of non business content; I agree with those that have said unprofessional posts are not appropriate for LinkedIn. Cute cat memes and political views are more suited for Facebook. However I think personal achievements or big events (running a marathon, child being born etc) are perfectly acceptable; one of the most important things in business it to be able to build rapport and connect with others. Unless you are Facebook friends with a business contact you are unlikely to be able to get this information about a contact that can lead to great conversations.

One of the main complaints I see is regarding contact from sales professionals. So, if you can’t network and contact potential clients to introduce your products and services, we have returned to the original question, what is the point of LinkedIn? I work in business development and LinkedIn could further accelerate the death of cold calling. However for sales to happen initial contact needs to be made somehow. If a professional social networking platform like LinkedIn isn’t suitable for this, then what is it suitable for?

My opinion is LinkedIn should be used to build business relationships for mutual benefit. Many people out there work for great companies and have great products; when used effectively LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for making initial contact and learning more about your clients, and they can get to know more about you and your business in return. If someone isn’t interested, they don’t need to accept an invite to connect or can delete a connection. I am trying to use LinkedIn more and more in this ‘social media’ world. How do you use LinkedIn? And how do you think it should be used?