Let me first start by saying Linked In is a great networking resource and can really assist people expand their associations, facilitate great discussions and help small businesses in a variety of ways.The issue that I have with some of the groups I have joined is some people are using it as a advertising channel. That is not why I joined the website or any of the groups. In fact, it really makes me think poorly of people that are placing their own advertisements in the group discussion forums. LinkedIn was created to help people “link” to other like minded business professionals. People are making the experience cheap by following this strategy.I see this over and over in all aspects of life. People do not want to work for anything. They want to take the easy way out and hope to get results from it. All they are doing is hurting their reputation and, in some small business cases, their brand.
I do not trust a LinkedIn advertiser who is using a medium not mean for that purpose. This also goes along with other social networking etiquette such as a blog. In both instances, you must be upfront and truthful about what you are attempting to do. A blog (like LinkedIn) should not be a veiled sales pitch. Be open and start providing real and useful content to your network. This will place you and your brand as the authority on your subject and instill confidence and reliability, which will earn you a reputation as someone to count on. All that will help you get and retain clients, increase sales and boost profit. That is a good thing!