This is Not Your Kid’s Social Network: Leveraging LinkedIn

The worlds of social networking and search are beginning to blur more and more. And the number of influencers that are networking is higher than you might think. It’s not all about MySpace, but in many cases, contact networks like LinkedIn. New research from KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann shows these seemingly contradictory findings:

“Seventy seven percent of B2B technology buyers have little to no familiarity with social networking online. Of the 24% who are very accustomed to social networks, a large majority of the respondents visit these sites at least once a month.

70% of B2B technology buyers use social networking sites for business networking and/or development, though 59% admit to also using these sites for personal reasons.”

So if 77% don’t know what social networking is, but 70% use them, what’s going on? I think it comes from many people not knowing that having a LinkedIn or Plaxo network actually counts as social networking. They’re participating, but they don’t know it. When they think social networking, they’re thinking about teenagers spending hours on MySpace or Second Life.

And at 70% usage, it’s a channel worth paying some attention to. Luckily, Guy Kawasaki recently engaged Kay Luo and Mike Lin at LinkedIn to brush up his profile. Check out the results of Guy’s Profile “Extreme Makeover”.

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