By Vladimir Ninov
I would argue that you are closer professionally to your LinkedIn connection than you are to your Facebook friend. You may be closer to your Facebook friends in other ways. Communication with your LinkedIn connections can operate on a number of different levels. This may be stating the obvious because LinkedIn is a business platform but it is very important when allocating time to develop a connection base. Other reasons include:
The LinkedIn connection search system is more sophisticated than the Facebook friend search. LinkedIn’s is superior because it allows you to find potential new connections based on more sophisticated criteria, which include: the proximity of relationships to other connections; geographic; occupation; and keywords in profile.
The reason behind the LinkedIn request. People will connect with you on LinkedIn for a number of reasons. They probably saw you on the ‘People You May Know’ section. LinkedIn displays and prioritizes possible connections on the ‘People You May Know’ in the following ways: in relation to your existing connections; and according to your stated occupation. Facebook, conversely, only gives you the option to “follow” people based on your current friends.
LinkedIn allows you to organize (tag) your connections. Organizing your connections allows you to send them individual messages or invite them to read something. “Tagging” in LinkedIn allows you to do this by groups that you have previously organized. This is (potentially) a powerful tool that LinkedIn has developed but Facebook has in more basic form.
More ‘relevant’ connections and recommendations. Current LinkedIn connections will recommend you to other connections on LinkedIn. This is not the function of Facebook and not something that Facebook actively does. Your existing connections can also endorse you.
There is no doubt that Facebook is potentially of use to businesses. Facebook is also more “fun.” It is both highly effective and necessary when it comes to broadcasting your message. However, as with Twitter, when it comes to building a connection base, LinkedIn should take priority in terms of time and other resources.
Vladimir Ninov is an authority branding and LinkedIn positioning strategist, digital marketing executive, marketing agency owner and author.