In an April 2011 study conducted by ROI Research and Performance, online consumers believe that a LinkedIn account is the most important social networking profile to have. LinkedIn even trumps Facebook. This seems crazy to me since Facebook has the highest engagement rating of the top five social networking sites. What more, Twitter and YouTube also beat out Facebook when it comes to importance. (Read more on MarketingVox)
So how is it that Facebook can be the most widely used site but is not rated as the most important site? I think the answer lies in how people use each site. People go on to Facebook to connect with old and new friends, post pictures, and make plans for the weekend. Where as LinkedIn and Twitter are all about receiving/distributing information and making professional connections. I would gladly let employers and co-workers connect with me via LinkedIn and Twitter. In fact, I would actually encourage it; I believe that having these connections would be beneficial to my career. Whereas, I would think twice about friending a co-worker or employer on Facebook. Facebook is a little more personal to me and even though I don’t post any photos or information that might defame myself, this is a space where I don’t want them to go. There is no value for me to make this connection with them via Facebook. I think my thinking is similar to others in this study. We see Facebook as a personal, fun space, whereas, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube could help them professionally, thus having more importance. But that is just my opinion, what do you think?