I'm an assistant professor of recording arts & technology, but one of the most important things I teach my students has nothing to do with audio recording. Because our industry is made up of freelancers, finding the next job often comes down to who you know. I spend a considerable amount of time helping them learn networking skills. Whenever I mention online social networking to my students their first, and often only, thought is to hit Facebook. Little do they know that when it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn kicks Facebook's butt on a daily basis. Here's five reasons why:

  1. Highest concentration of wealthy people on any social network. I've seen several reports lately indicating that there is a much higher concentration of wealth, per user, on LinkedIn than any other social media site. If you look at the demographics of these users (follow the link at the end of the article) you begin to see why. A very significant proportion of LinkedIn users are college educated. In general, people with college degrees earn more than those without degrees.
  2. Every single person is there to network. The LinkedIn brand is all about networking. The vast majority of the people there are looking to make more professional connections. Where Facebook has friends, LinkedIn has connections. These connections are grouped into three levels (1, 2 & 3). Level 1 connections, also known as direct connections, are people that you know. Level 2 connections are people that you don't know but are connected to your level 1 connections and level 3 connections are direct connections of your level 2 connections. If that explanation was confusing try this. In the real world, what's the best way to connect with someone influential in your field? What I would do is find a friend that knows that person and ask them to introduce us. It works the same way on Linkedin. Once you connect with someone you can then see all of their connections and they can see your's. There's your introduction.
  3. Profile pages rank very well in Google. LinkedIn profile pages receive a fairly high page rank score from Google. In my own recent searches I've noticed that LinkedIn profile pages tend to outrank personal sites in Google. Obviously, this isn't always the case, especially when someone has spent considerable efforts on SEO for their personal website. But it is something we should all consider in this age of personal online branding. Take advantage of your LinkedIn profile page.The Music Biz Workshop On LinkedInCredit: Bill Hartzell
  4. Groups. It's been my experience that this is where the real work gets done in LinkedIn. The groups in Linkedin are similar to forums and message boards. Basically, you post a question or message and people can reply.  The most successful LinkedIn users spend a lot of time taking part in Groups.  They join and contribute to the sense of community.
  5. Not a single stupid game in sight! I really don't have to beat this one to death. If you're looking to play games, join Facebook. If you're looking to build a business and further your career, join LinkedIn.

Are you on LinkedIn?  Where do you line up in the LinkedIn vs Facebook battle?  Leave me a comment and let me know.