politicianAs you may know I have been commenting on the LinkedIn profiles of each presidential candidate, as they announce their candidacy.

My colleague Gurmeet Sodhi asked me to be on her broad-cast last week and she wanted me to address her global audience of Punjabis in India and elsewhere.

I drafted the bulleted points to guide myself in the 3 minutes she generously allocated for the me on her show. This is (roughly) how it went:

Hello Marc, thank you for joining us today. Marc, when we think of any social media, we always think of fun and socializing. But when we think of LinkedIn, we think of little more sophistication. We are now targeting business professionals; entrepreneurs and like. And now of late we see even presidential candidates are turning to this site to reach out to their donors. What do you think of this?

  • They cannot ignore that LinkedIn is open to >364 MM business people.
  • LinkedIn has the highest net worth and educational status of any major social media.
  • It’s a self-policing, professional communication network: no videos of puppy dogs and kitty cats; I try to comment and admonish those who spread word and number games, and urge them, rather, to share high quality info and ideas among our Personal Learning Networks.
  • LinkedIn’s the currency of business communication, connectivity and collaboration-globally as well as locally.
  • It allows politicians and other reform-minded people to show their vision and viewpoints to a constituency that has money, discernment, and votes.
  • A candidate can easily control the message and tune it to the audience that is unique in each social medium.
  • Politicians can better make the case of why you do what you do as a candidate to gain allegiance of business professionals; then the constituents will more readily volunteer, discuss with others, and make contributions to the campaign.
  • Candidates can express original thoughts and ideas in Posts (example: my such as analyses of political candidates’ LI profiles, or lack thereof): it allows people all over the world to comment and learn from each other’s experience and observations on business life.

A few years ago if someone said “I am connected to President Obama or Clinton on social media,” one would laugh that politicians are not on social media. But now it’s a norm to see politicians like everyone else on LinkedIn and other social media. Do you really think sites like LinkedIn help candidates raise awareness of their campaign or better yet raise money for their campaign?

  • Obama and Romney each had LI profiles before the last election and it was fascinating to see how their perceived personas were additionally reflected in the LI profiles.
  • We are starting more slowly in using LinkedIn in the current political dance among almost a dozen Republicans and 2 of the 3 Democrats.
  • Of late, Hillary has a particularly good LinkedIn profile that tells “Why I Do What I Do” and how she perceives her role and her constituencies’ needs. The Republican candidates so far have not moved in that way.
  • There’s a need to differentiate one’s political vision this election, as there is no incumbent from any party, and any slip-up will ruin slim chances; so crafting a measured and careful positioning on social media will be even more important this cycle.

Once I have the link to the show I will post it for you.

In the meantime if you have not already seen my continual assessments of each of the presidential candidates’ LinkedIn profiles, go to my LinkedIn Posts and start as early as March 23rd.

It looks like a few more will be announcing soon…