I read with interest the discussion over at TechCrunch this morning about business networking site LinkedIn surpassing 3 million UK members recently. Many commenters mentioned how they have accounts but never use the site, therefore casting doubt on the worth of the 3 million number.
It strikes me though that this is the same issue regardless of what social media site you mention because I hear exactly the same arguments used when people discuss Twitter. “Oh I’ve signed up but can’t see the point so have never used it” they will say.
Of course if people have no reason for using a service then it will be very difficult for them to ever gain any value from it. It’s no different in the social media world than it is in any other activity. If you have no goal in mind and no strategy for achieving this goal then how can you possibly get value from the activity?
So the moral of the story for me is don’t do something just for fashions sake or to keep up with the Jones. If you’re going to use LinkedIn go in with a clear goal in mind for what you want to get out of it.