I was checking out our company's website stats the other day, taking a particular interest in other sites from which we were receiving referrals. To my surprise, up there in the Top 20 was my own linkedin.com account. For those who don't know this site, I can best describe it as Facebook for business folk. I've heard recruitment companies use it a lot for prospecting.
The point is though that my setting up a linkedin profile has actually benefited my employer, introducing the fund for which I work to at least 600 new people. As we're Australian-based and many of these visitors are from overseas, the overall value of my viral presence is reduced, but nonetheless these are eyeballs on the business that would otherwise not have seen us.
It raises an interesting point - should businesses be encouraging employees to register their names on sites like linkedin as a viral marketing strategy? Not only that, should they not be making it company policy that staff invite any new contacts to be linkedin connections to ensure the company's profile is constantly expanded?
Ok, it may expose staff to recruitment companies and so on but, if you're an employer of choice, there is little downside risk in this.
I hope this viral blog is catching...!