networkingI am HUGE proponent of LinkedIn. My opinion is ANY business person (tech guy, sales guy, magazine editors, IHs, Sr. Execs) is crazy to not be using LinkedIn. I am not so sure about the impact of Facebook on safety and health brands yet — I’m playing with that now.

LinkedIn lets one really build his personal brand. I use LinkedIn as an online enhanced resume. Instead of me telling you "I am really in the loop at Grainger," if we are connected you can scroll through my connections and see all the sr. execs I am connected with on LinkedIn.

If you want to see what I have written, there is a link to my blog and to other articles.

If anyone wants to enhance their career — or for that matter even stay where they are  — they need to be using social media. If you aren't, well, someone who is just might be coming after your job. Journalist Thomas Friedman says the world is flat. I say it is also nearly transparent and becoming more transparent every day.  

Below is what I do; I’m not sure if it is the best way but it seems to work OK for me.

FACEBOOK- family, friends, kids, church, high school & college friends but completely personal.  

Saturday night I posted a pix of the heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes and herbs I had picked from my garden for our dinner. Not anything of value to the brand of Kevin Brown. Wouldn’t bother tweeting that but my sister two hours away got to see how my garden is going.

I have a small handful of biz associates on Facebook, but they are people I have known for years and have a personal relationship as well. 

TWITTER- I tweet about 2-3x per day on average. Mostly to stay active in the Twitter world as I have some interesting people following me (Peter Gruber - Hollywood Producer, Golden State Warrior Owner and Venture Capitalist, some girl from Dancing with the Stars-my wife knows who she is, etc).

I have twitter feeds going straight to my LinkedIn profile, which keeps my LinkedIn profile fresh and active.

I use an iphone/ipad/online tool called HootSuite to manage twitter. HootSuite lets me schedule my tweets. That way I am not typically interrupting my day to tweet but can do it early morning and late evening, with the tweets actually sent throughout the day.

LinkedIn - I described mostly above- it is ALL biz for me. I try and minimize who I am connected with that is not in a sphere of influence to help me move my personal brand forward or who I cannot help do the same.

The handyman that I know from church I HOPE doesn't want to connect with me, but I connect with nearly all requests. I started a consulting project last week with a company in San Diego. The new president of the company is a guy I met through LinkedIn. LinkedIn had recommended him a number of times as a connection as we share a bunch of HD Supply and Grainger connections. I reached out to him. Ten miutes later I had an email from him that LinkedIn had been recommending me to him as well. We spoke a few times, did a few lunches and now he is PAYING ME for some advice. Pretty great tool! 

I think from lower to senior management LinkedIn is a WONDERFUL tool when used right. My mantra here is bring more value than you take.