Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Social Series: LinkedIn

Discussing dos and don'ts of social media.
The latest and greatest social media platform is LinkedIn. This networking site is one you need to be on as an up-and-coming public relations professional. This is a great tool for your branding strategy--the easiest way to put yourself out there and the easiest way to build and track your network.

A few months ago, I finally broke down and created a profile. But until recently, after putting in all my work experience, my profile just sat there. But lately, I've been fiddling around on the site, talking to friends whom use the site daily, and getting a better idea of how to use it.

  • Have a profile picture: Not having one doesn't make you mysterious, it makes you a mystery and you might get passed over for job and internship opportunities. People like put a name with a face so they can identify you offline. And choose a professional-looking picture. Preferably, a headshot. Again, you should be identifiable.
  • Get recommendations: LinkedIn recommendations work just like letters of recommendation. The only differences are they're online and visible to anyone viewing your profile. But these are good things; depending who's endorsing you, this maximizes your credibility.
  • Recommend others: It's good karma! But one caveat: Do not recommend people just so you can get more recommendations. Remember, you're attaching your name to someone else. If that person doesn't live up to your review, your credibility depreciates.
  • Post updates: Found an awesome infographic? Post it! Remember, LinkedIn is a networking site for professionals. Industry- and career-related posts will better appreciated here than on Facebook.
  • Join groups you don't plan to contribute to: Yeah, being a group member looks good, but being an active, contributing member looks even better.
  • Recommend others: Yes, this is that important. Again, you're attaching your name to someone else. If this person doesn't live up to your review, both parties get dinged. Recommend wisely.
  • Skills and expertise: This should be a no brainer, but don't list skills you do not possess and do not list expertise you do not have. Example: Don't list yourself as a social media expert just because you're on Twitter. You need to know how analytics work, to generate content, followers, etc. It's a lot more than just spewing your personal opinions and being retweeted.
What are your LinkedIn dos and don'ts? Let us know! Drop an email or chirp us on Twitter!

Until next time, kiddies...

Rock out!

- J

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