Home > Social Media > LinkedIn : Using Social Media’s Uncool Uncle

LinkedIn : Using Social Media’s Uncool Uncle

[tweetmeme source=”tmiesen” only_single=false]

Everybody has one: the party-pooper relative at family gatherings. While the “cool” relatives are playing touch football with the rest of the family in the backyard or telling funny, slightly-inappropriate stories to the kids, the party-pooper is sitting around talking about synergy, fluctuations in the stock market, and cash flow. He’s important to talk to if you’re in business, but not very much fun. Say hello to LinkedIn, the uncool uncle of the social media family.

LinkedIn is all about business. It’s a social network devoted to business networking. So before you dismiss LinkedIn because it isn’t all that fun, remember that it is a very crucial part of your social media toolkit.

Get Recommended

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to give and get recommendations, which are sort of like virtual referrals. Getting a recommendation from someone on LinkedIn shows that you were once a valuable member of a team (or you know the right people to bribe) and gives others the opportunity to write nice things about you.  Of course, this also means that you’ll have to write recommendations for others, too. It’s a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” sort of situation, and it is something you should embrace (and I should get working on!).

Select which tweets you send to LinkedIn

LinkedIn gives you the option to connect your Twitter account to your profile; this will put all of your tweets into your LinkedIn feed. Avoid this option like it was a cast member of Jersey Shore.  Not everything you tweet about is going to be relevant to your LinkedIn connections. A lot of it, like the aforementioned cast of Jersey Shore, is trash to them; they simply don’t care about what you had for dinner or what you thought about the most recent episode of (you guessed it) Jersey Shore. They’ll end up being turned off by your updates.

LinkedIn gives you the option to select which tweets go into your LinkedIn feed, which is what I do. When I want to broadcast a new blog post to my LinkedIn connections, I simply add the hashtag #in to the end of the tweet. It’s a good way of keeping my irrelevant tweets out of my LinkedIn feed, while still letting my connections know that I’m active on the service and have valuable things to say.

LinkedIn will also let you connect with your blog (if you have one). Especially if your blog is industry-related, you should definitely make your blog as visible as possible.

Join Groups

I don’t have a whole lot of experience with groups on LinkedIn, but I know that you should consider joining them. Join groups relevant to your industry and participate in discussions. Join college alumni groups; these will be filled with members of your alma mater, so you will already have something in common. Use groups on LinkedIn to try to create connections with people in your industry that you would never meet in person. It never hurts to put yourself out there and see if you can get yourself noticed.

Follow Companies You Want to Work For

You can “follow” companies on LinkedIn. This means that you’re able to see new hires, new departures, and new job openings that the company has. You can also use this feature to find someone within the company and send a message to them asking about job openings and what it’s like working for that company. You may not get a response, but it never hurts to try. Connecting with a company on social media lets them know that you’re active on social media (duh), which is good for any industry except Amish gift shop management.

Let’s face it; we’re in an age where prospective employers will use any and all tools at their disposal to check out applicants. LinkedIn is designed to help you find a job. What makes it so boring also makes it useful: it is all business, all the time. This means that professionals are probably more apt to check LinkedIn before they look at your Twitter stream or your Facebook page. It may not be as fun as Facebook or as interesting as Twitter, but it’ll come in handy once you’re trying to get into the professional world. Do yourself a favor and make a profile, keep it up to date, and use LinkedIn to your advantage. And be sure to be nice to your uncool uncle the next time you see him.

I’d be a little dull if I wrote an entire post about LinkedIn and didn’t  pimp my profile: Connect with me on LinkedIn, will ya?

Are you active on LinkedIn? Is it helpful to you?


Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: