In a world filled with social media sites, LinkedIn stands apart. Using Linked In for social networking opens up an entire world of contacts that can be used for both personal and business reasons. Like some other sites, this one allows individuals to connect with friends. It also allows one to see the contact lists of all those with whom a connection has been made.

The best part is that one can search for specific individuals or people in certain occupations. Once a name comes up, you can see just how closely connected you are by degrees. A first degree connection is one where you know the contact personally. A second degree connection means that you know someone who knows the person. Third degree equates to friend of a friend of a friend. And the connections continue in an ever widening circle.

This has many advantages when one wants to make a connection with someone in particular for whatever reason. It is especially useful when for businesses who want to connect with other businesses to make a sales pitch or to look into purchasing a product.

The reason for this is that cold calling is one of the worst ways to connect with someone. On the other hand, using one’s network of connections on LinkedIn, it becomes possible to contact someone you know and ask them to pass a message along the chain to the person you are trying to reach. In many ways, this is similar to the way kids pass notes in school.
The person you are trying to reach is much more likely to be receptive to your message if you are introduced by someone he/she knows and trusts than if you simply call or write them out of the blue.

This site also makes it possible to contact other individuals with whom you share common interests or goals. The principle is the same as making business contacts. These people are much more likely to be receptive to your attempts at making contact if you are introduced by one of their contacts. After a connection is made, you can gain access to that person’s network of connections.

In terms of social media, LinkedIn is probably one of the least known sites. However, its value as a means of social networking may actually surpass that of other sites, such as Facebook or Twitter. This is because one can use its search function to locate virtually anyone who has a profile page created and reach them through direct or indirect means. This is the purest form of networking and it brings together people to work on assorted projects who might otherwise never even hear of one another.

Using LinkedIn for social networking can benefit anyone in his/her personal, career, educational, and/or business goals. The key lies in making connections with others of similar mind set or who share some of these goals. Once connections are made, it becomes possible to reach an ever expanding circle through the different layers of contact.

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