LinkedIn has always been one of those social media platforms I have often wafted over to, but put very little effort into. I had always thought of it as clunky, hard to understand, it didn’t flow well and at first glance it looked like the interaction and conversation within the window and door industry on there was rather sparce. So, nothing to make me want to get involved properly. But if I wanted to expand DGB’s reach and make more industry connection, I knew I was going to have to spend a few minutes really trying to understand it – and I was so glad I did!

Nearly 800 connections

The nice thing with Twitter is that there is a growing bunch of companies on there and the industry conversation is growing. You can also have laid back conversations about things other than windows and doors, with food and football being the most popular non-industry subjects! One thing you will notice though is that the number of MDs, CEOs and Directors is few and far between. So if you’re looking to network with the industry on there in the hope of new business, then Twitter isn’t the best place for it.

After putting some proper effort into growing my LinkedIn connections after Christmas, I’m rather chuffed that nearly 800 people have agreed to connect with me on there. And when I look at some of the people I am connected to on LinkedIn, many are in fact CEOs, Directors, MDs and managers. The sorts of people that have the power to make decisions and control the purse strings of the businesses. Now that’s not what I’m on there for, as I have nothing to sell. I’m on LinkedIn to show off DGB to people in our industry who may not have seen it before, increase readership and carry on industry debate on another platform.

However, if you’re in the trade sector of our industry and are trying to make new connections with the view to gaining new business, then LinkedIn might be the ideal place. Now, I’m not saying that you should go on there straight away, make a ton of new connections and spam the crap out of them with offers to look at new products. You’ll get ignored or the community will let you know that you’re doing something to annoy them. However, building debate around a particular subject to get your point across might just do the trick.

If you’re online and want to connect with the industry with the purpose of talking about pure industry, LinkedIn is the place to be. It’s really worth having a bash at.

Sharing is caring

The ability to share things like blog posts and news items is another big reason why LinkedIn has impressed me so much.

Take for example my first major post of this year: 5 Companies To Look Out For In 2015.  This post has been shared on LinkedIn a massive 102 times alone so far. That means 102 people sharing this post with all their connections, spreading that post far and wide. If we’re using LinkedIn as a way to share content and interesting industry related news and opinion, then I guess this is proof that it works.

Google+ update

As for progress on Google+, it’s not as spectacular as I hoped it would be. I have made a big effort to connect with as many industry accounts as possible on there, but because most of those who are on Google+ probably went on there out of curiosity, many haven’t been on the platform for quite a while. It means industry activity on there is very low compared to LinkedIn and Twitter. There is a coincidentally named group on there called Double Glazing Bloggers, but the community isn’t massive.

I’ll continue to persevere with it, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Your thoughts on this are welcome. Are you on LinkedIn? Have you found it useful for whatever reason you are on there for? All comments welcome in the section below.

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