Schaffer’s second book is a friendly, yet detailed, tutorial peppered with gems of insight into LinkedIn functionality and etiquette.
The book opens with two chapters aimed at building confidence that LinkedIn’s reputation as a space for business networking makes it ideal for business-to-business sales. Then it launches into the various functions available on LinkedIn. The book seems to have two audiences: the staffer who needs technical and tactical support in starting and executing a LinkedIn account, and the manager who needs to decide whether a company should systematically enter LinkedIn and then develop internal policy to reach business goals. The book stands out from others in the genre in its managerial insight. Schaffer’s case studies, pros/cons lists and discussions would help any manager sort out the value of different strategies and options. For staff, step-by-step instructions and advice on LinkedIn etiquette—especially strategies for handling those socially awkward introduction requests—will build confidence in new users. Because every aspect of LinkedIn is covered, even those with some experience on the social networking site could learn something new. With all of the value in this book, the organization doesn’t always match the needs to the two competing audiences. While managers could read straight through the first two chapters that justify LinkedIn as a sales tool, other gems of insight are buried deep in paragraphs later in the book. Notes on developing policies for specific aspects of LinkedIn aren’t collected in a single place, but intermingled within other content areas. Although this organization reads logically, it will lead the manager whose goal is to develop LinkedIn policy to some page flipping. Still, the insights gained are worth the minor inconvenience.
The newbies’ workshop for everything managers and staffers need to start, plan and execute a sales and marketing strategy using LinkedIn.