LinkedIn is a great tool for networking. Every day, I use it to identify talent when I am recruiting. Frequently, I use it to generate business leads (i.e. individuals who can introduce me to companies where I would like to do business; or individuals who are connected to people at those companies).
LinkedIn also helps me keep up on trends that interest me in HR, employment, hiring, the law, etc. and it gives me a way to remind my network that these are areas of expertise for me.
While LinkedIn should not be a substitute for live networking and phone calls, it is an important way that a professional can stay visible within their professional networks. It is an effective way to reinforce your reputation in a particular field.
When it comes to the personal or political, Facebook is usually my “go to” platform. Conventional wisdom suggests that LinkedIn is more of a forum for the exchange of professional ideas.
But this morning, a General Counsel in my network posted an article on food allergies and it reminded me that sometimes, sharing more personal content on LinkedIn is a nice way to go. The article she linked to was about food allergies and the struggles that she and her husband have had in dealing with two daughters who have had these issues. Aside from being interested in the subject, I was happy to click on the link and get more insight into the life of someone in my network (and what they may be dealing with outside of the workplace.)