LinkedIn is probably my favourite social network. It’s really great! I can keep my CV there and update it whenever I want, network with lots of nice people in different industries, have interesting business talks with fellow entrepreneurs. It also helped me a lot when I was job-hunting. It’s just so much easier to build trust and connections with people in your network when you can see people’s faces and profiles, rather than sending spammy introduction messages starting with “Dear Sir or Madam”…
If you’re running any sort of business, you want to be on LinkedIn, just because there are so many interesting people there that you will, sooner or later, find someone you can help and will be happy to give something back. There’s always someone to give you a hand when you need it.
I’m using Twitter as well for SEO and link building purposes, but in my opinion LinkedIn is still the best by far for business purposes, and it is where I head to first when I need to talk to a specific type of person.
Now, in Japan, and by this I mean Japanese people, LinkedIn is not really popular. Not even the way Twitter and Facebook are. If you check Japanese Twitter accounts, you’ll still be able to find lots of people in lots of industries, even thos that have no connection with international business. You will find less than you would in Europe in the US, but still enough to get started.
But when it comes to LinkedIn, it’s hard to find Japanese people that are not related to international business somehow. You will find translators, language teachers, exporters and key people of big international businesses. If you’re looking local, say you need help from an IT services company in your city, they will probably have a Twitter account, maybe even a Facebook one, but the chances you find them on LinkedIn are low, really really low.
So, in my case, when I’m doing business in Japan, the ratio time spent on LinkedIn vs. Twitter switches from 80/20 to 50/50. I still find LinkedIn incredibly useful for lots of things, but it doesn’t not suffice to itself, while I wouldn’t be too afraid to rely exclusively on it in any other country.