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Why your company shouldn't use LinkedIn

If you work for a company that is large enough to have a group session on whether you should use LinkedIn, but too small to have a dedicated marketing person, you should not use LinkedIn. If your company is just one person (like mine), by all means use it. The reason has to do with what marketing is all about. Please let me explain.

Marketing encompasses all of the things that a company does to attract and hold business. Its range has always been very wide, from advertising in the Yellow Pages, to submitting public relations stories to local newspapers. I've worked with, and known, real marketing people, and believe me, they keep busy! Even before the internet there were thousands of ways to market companies. And yes, it includes having that guy standing on the corner twirling a sign. It all comes under what is called "The Marketing Mix".

Of course, some companies, and some people, don't need to market at all. I have a friend who owns an engineering company that is so busy, he turns away work all of the time. He has no website, no blog, nothing. The most he has is some cheesy business cards. And that's all he needs.

So look at your company. If you are discussing using LinkedIn, or Facebook, or anything like that, and people are looking around at each other wondering who will be in charge of it, stop. Unless you have a dedicated marketing person, all that posting on LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Google+ will do is to tarnish your image. And if your company has a good image, that's enough.

And that's what it's all about - image. As Abe Lincoln once said, "It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt." A clumsy posting in LinkedIn, that no one ever goes back to update, even to fix misspelled words, just makes your company look foolish. And if the last blog post that your company posted is their first, then it's just as foolish. So this is what you do - either take marketing for your company seriously, and invest in it, or stay away.