LinkedIn is a social media platform that is primarily targeted to the professional business market industry. With over 5,600 followers, the Texas Tech LinkedIn site (http://www.linkedin.com/company/texas-tech-university) is a great way to stay in touch with fellow university employees and stay up to date on the most recent company news updates. LinkedIn is the most widely used social media network for business professionals to communicate and stay connected in any business industry.
One of the main reasons why LinkedIn is so popular among business professionals is because the social network provides its users and members with a number of helpful features and resources for job-related networking opportunities. Furthermore, LinkedIn recently launched and updated their social media applications for the iPad, iPhone, and Andriod mobile devices, which led and continues to lead to increased membership growth. Not only does LinkedIn give members the ability to join professional work-related groups and follow companies and businesses within their preferred job industry, but it also allows job seekers to search for jobs, enter their personal skills and expertise on their LinkedIn profiles, upload professional résumés to their individual user profiles, and even submit job applications to various employee seeking companies. Moreover, LinkedIn gives companies the ability to post job openings and search for LinkedIn users with specific talents, skills, and expertise.
Although LinkedIn users have the ability to “like” news and updates posted by the university, I do not see a lot of potential for promoting interaction, involvement, participation, and engagement in dialogue. Additionally, seeing that the LinkedIn social media network is primarily centered on the professional business industry, from a public relations industry perspective LinkedIn does not provide effective resources for engaging in conversations with other key customers and stakeholders. While LinkedIn is effective in allowing institutions of higher education to connect with potential and current internal customers (university employees), there is little room for institutions to receive feedback from the primary target publics (students). Then again, are public relations efforts more successful and effective when communication platforms and networks are separately implemented and strategically designed for specific groups of target publics?