LinkedIn: How it’s changing business (and how to make it work for you)

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CEO Jeff Weiner on the Stevens Creek Trail behind LinkedIn’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Shortly after Sallie Krawcheck got pushed out of Bank of America, the high-profile banker found herself in need of a professional makeover. As she tried to figure out what to do next, she wrote a few newspaper opinion pieces to build her reputation. She didn’t get much response. When she published something, she’d hear from a friend or two, but that was about it. Then, last fall, LinkedIn recruited her to be a member of its Influencer program, which publishes blog posts and promotes them to the social network’s members. In an early piece she offered advice on being fired. “No one cares about it nearly as much as you do,” she wrote.

LinkedIn readers loved it. The piece has garnered 212,000 page views to date, and several other publications have excerpted it. More than 1,300 people have commented on it, and for the most part their comments are civil, because they have logged on to LinkedIn with their real, professional identities. Not all of Krawcheck’s posts were so popular, but her writing consistently found a large audience, and so far 200,000 LinkedIn users have signed on to “follow” her. So in May, when she purchased the Wall Street women’s network 85 Broads, she broke the news on LinkedIn. Says Krawcheck: “I was really interested by the engagement that occurred. I just can’t beat the professional audience I find there.”http://money.cnn.com

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