Social Media – Task 1: Social Media Platforms

Using Linkedin

For this task, I have signed up to the social media platform Linkedin to learn and understand it’s features, advantages, disadvantages and what it offers to both a user and an organisation. When signing up to the platform, I gave some of my personal details away for my profile such as full name, current town, current employer and previous education. This information made up my profile on Linkedin.

The features

Linkedin allows its users to create a profile that replicates their CV, giving them the opportunity to show off their skills, past experience, knowledge and their work to recruiters, their current employers, people they work with or anyone who may visit their profile. On your profile, the platform allows users to upload a photo, add previous and current employers, add education, interests, skills or any accomplishments. The platform encourages you to make connections with colleagues, or people you know to build a network. The idea of this is the more contacts you have, the opportunities you are likely to get. These connections are like friends on facebook. Recommendations for connections are based on colleagues of past and current employers. Profiles on Linkedin will look very professional and some can be very detailed in content.

Another feature on Linkedin is messaging. Social media platforms always allow interaction between its users and in Linkedin this is no exception. There is a messaging tab on the interface and this allows users to interact with individuals or multiple users. Notifications occur when other users have visited your profile or have endorsed another user. The ‘jobs’ tab shows a list of jobs that the user may be interested in. These are related to their interests, skills and current residence. The ‘My Network’ tab shows all the connections and a list of people the user may know. The home page contains all articles posted from people, groups or organisations that the user has shown an interest in. It also shows recommended jobs.

Pros & Cons

The social media platform allows employees and professionals to build a network with existing, former or potential co-workers and create new business opportunities including employment and recruitment.

There are several advantages to using Linkedin. It is quick and easy to create a professional profile that can be used for the same purpose as a CV. It is essentially a digital CV. However, this is accessible to all of your connections that you have added or accepted (similar to Facebook friend system). There are also recommendations to strengthen your profile such as adding employment history if a user has not already done so. The platform provides a new channel for both employers looking to fill a job and people looking for employment. Networks including multiple connections promotes opportunities for employees and employers including new projects, events and business-to-business services. Looking through users on the platform, there are not many unprofessional or fake profiles and this helps users looking for something specific which  makes it easier and quicker for them.

There are also many disadvantages to using Linkedin. One of the first things that comes to mind is the look and overall feel to the platform. It instantly reminds us of Facebook -another social media platform. Similar features include a profile unique to the user, features such as messaging and notifications and a home page with a news feed containing all posts from a user’s connections or interest pages they have liked. Another disadvantage is that Linkedin users get a notification whenever another user views their profile. This may be a good thing in some cases, however it restricts what you can find out on Linkedin such as information about employers or potential employees. It is restricted in a way that users may not want the other user to find out that they have visited their profile. There is no anonymous way to use the social media platform.

What the service offers to a user and an organisation

As a user, the platform offers them a chance to increase their contacts and grow a professional network that increases their chance for career growth and opens doors to new opportunities. It enables users to showcase their skills, knowledge and experience and a chance for them to make themselves known to potential employers or other professionals. It allows users to find out new information within their interests or subjects related to their employment while also allowing them to contact anyone whenever they may need.

For an organisation, Linkedin offers them to group their network of existing employees and attach them to their organisation. They can ‘show off’ their employees and the skills and talents that they possess. Organisations can also look to recruit through Linkedin and get in contact with a professional Linkedin user they may feel is suitable for the job they are looking to fill. For a marketer, Linkedin offers the chance for marketing campaigns, projects and events to be planned and take place with the chance to offer other users/professionals to get involved. There is a marketing solutions service at business.linkedin.com. This service offers marketers to create an advertisement, build their brand, raise awareness and generate leads using Linkedin.

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