I recently started to get more involved with LinkedIn and as a result have been asking myself what is the difference between LinkedIn and Customer Connection? The answer is a lot and both are extremely valuable if leveraged.
Based on my experiences, here are the main differences between LinkedIn and Customer Connection:
LinkedIn is about tracking interactions
With LinkedIn, people connect to each other based on interactions they've had in their professional careers. In contrast, members of Customer Connection connect to each other for purposes of creating new interactions.
Customer Connection is focused on a single topic
Within Customer Connection our discussions and interactions are solely focused on driving business performance through improved customer experiences. Walker qualifies each member to ensure the dialogue is relevant to this single topic. LinkedIn allows individuals to network and interact with each other across topic areas, which is a great way to seek input on other professional challenges.
People have different intentions when using LinkedIn. At least once a week I encounter people trying to sell their products and services to their network. In fact, LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for sales professionals if used appropriately. Within Customer Connection, we're focused on solving problems, not selling products.
While LinkedIn and Customer Connection serve two different purposes, they both provide tremendous value if leveraged. For me, participation has been the key to leveraging any type of social network service. I find myself commenting on questions and asking questions regularly in LinkedIn. While I personally haven't done much with the recommendations within LinkedIn, I know people who have received a lot of value from this feature.
While participation is a key to getting value, I also believe that you shouldn't have to spend hours at a time participating. Based on my experiences, I think 10-20 minutes per week participating can provide tremendous value and insight.
What do you think?
Note: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 11/20/2008.