Socialization LinkedIn LawyersTech reporter for the LA Times, Paresh Dave (@peard33), writes that LinkedIn is becoming more like other social networks.

With the new LinkedIn feature that lets individuals and companies share photos, documentates, and presentations in status updates, Dave sees LinkedIn getting in direct competition with Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

From Itamar Orgad (@iorgad), LinkedIn’s Senior Product Manager, describing the new feature:

Whether it’s a thought provoking presentation about the future of big data or it’s a picture of an inspirational quote, or perhaps it’s an infographic showing the top trends impacting your industry, the possibilities are endless for what you can share on LinkedIn to add a richer and more visual component to your professional discussions.

I don’t know if this feature, not yet available to everyone, puts LinkedIn in direct competition with other social networks anymore than it already was. I also don’t look at social networks as a zero sum game. All of the major social networks are growing and all have more future than past.

I agree wholeheartedly that LinkedIn is becoming more social. Over the last month or two I am getting a lot of ‘likes’ and comments to my own blog posts which I share in my status updates at LinkedIn. Though I share other’s posts and articles, it’s my blog posts which draw the most engagment.

Part of that is caused by adding new features and improving existing ones. A big jump in interaction took place with LinkedIn’s recent improvements to it’s mobile experience. It’s app for IOS was updated for the first time in 2 years and a contacts system was added for smart phones.

For lawyers, LinkedIn’s ‘socialization’ represents a wonderful opportunity to meet and network with people you’d like to get to know. The people who could become clients, referral sources, or just speak about you positively so as to enhance your word of mouth reputation.

I’m not talking of ‘auto-feeding your blog posts into LinkedIn. I could make a good argument that’s spam.

I am talking of adding value. Sharing other’s content so those on LinkedIn know your intent is to give, as opposed to advertising your presence or content. When sharing your blog post taking the time to craft a sentence or two with an intro to the post or asking others what they think.

When you get likes and comments, engage back as appropriate. In the case of a comment, respond. It takes time for someone to read what you shared and even more time to comment. Be respectful of their time by responding to their comment.

Look up the people who liked and commented. You must at least be curious of who these folks are. Maybe it’s appropriate to drop them a note through LinkedIn. If they are not a connection, maybe’s it appropriate to connect with them. If they’re local or live in a place where you’ll be traveling to, maybe it’s appropriate to ask them to get together for coffee.

The socialization of LinkedIn represents a wonderful opportunity to network. To build relationships and to grow your reputation.

Just don’t be a cad by viewing LinkedIn as another opportunity to push your content at people.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Cristiano Betta.