As many of you will know, I am an avid user of social media. I’ve found social media a great way to connect and exchange ideas with people that I never would have met otherwise, and one platform I’ve found particularly useful is LinkedIN. As you’re probably aware, LinkedIN has always marketed itself as a professional networking community. It’s a place to meet others in and beyond your own industry, and maybe even schmooze with clients, suppliers, or maybe even your next boss! As such, the posts tend to be more professional in tone than other networks. Well, most of the time, anyway.
If you’re a LinkedIN user you may have noticed a trend recently of some folks posting ‘motivational quotes’ or pictures of their holiday snaps. Next time you see something like this, scroll down and read the comments—sooner or later, someone will have angrily written “This is LinkedIN, not Facebook, this is no place for a post like this!”. I’ve seen a few comments like this, and it opens up interesting questions of purpose and perspective. Or put another way: What is LinkedIN for?
One Platform Multiple Purposes
The answer to this question is almost certainly ‘it depends who you ask’. There are some people who use LinkedIN purely to search for jobs. Other use it to advertise jobs. Some use it to make sales or search for leads. Others use it to learn, network and engage. Which of those is the ‘right’ purpose?
An often overlooked technique, that can be very useful in situations like this is the ‘PQR’ formula for giving shape to a root definition (this forms part of Checkland’s Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), which I’d highly recommend reading up on, although it should be noted I’m using it outside of the context of SSM). The PQR formula answers the key questions of what, how and why. Elaborated it is: