Limbering up with LinkedIn

Monkey Swing by Thomas Tamayo at Flickr

Thanks to Dale Smith (2012) I received Tim Tyrell-Smith’s (2012) guide against being lazy on LinkedIn.

On pondering Tim’s advice, I wonder whether there are some people (like me perhaps) for whom such sites are not the best place to promote oneself. For example: suppose one is aiming for a career change – where they have worked in the past could be a distraction; Or suppose one has been out of the workforce raising children for many years? Or working at positions below one’s ability during those child-free years because they are the only ones with child-friendly hours?

If I were to convert Tim’s warning signs into a to-do list, re-ordering for the limited position LinkedIn has in my humble ambitions:

  1. Keep profile updated:
    Thankfully, LinkedIn sends out notices fairly regularly, so when someone else updated their profile recently I let it prompt me into updating mine.
  2. Come up with an appealing headline
    Particularly difficult for humble people – could you point to some good ones?
    (Update August 8: Michael Keleman recommends precise (unpuffy) clarity)
  3. Improve summary without just copying resume
  4. Find a few more connections.
    Eek, I’m not keen on quantifying my connections, so I’ll not let Tim’s “at least 100” factor in at all. (Except cousins: I still take childish pleasure in having lots of cousins (>50)).
  5. Complete profile
    If I did, I would run out of things to update it with?
  6. Keep personalising connection requests
    – yes, of course, would anyone send a generic request except to someone they know very, very well?
  7. Keep seeking constructive groups
    Two of the ones I joined are more often spammed than constructive
  8. Find new ways to contribute constructively to groups
  9. Provide true, specific recommendations for others
    It is the only kind I would, but for whom would my recommendation be desirable?
  10. Recommendations? Does anyone take them seriously?
    Even Tim admits they don’t carry a lot of weight. Maybe he just wanted to round out his “10” signs? How useful are they if you’re not sure what kind of work you’re seeking? Might they be counter-productive the more generic they are, or if they are more relevant to past than future ambitions?

What would you advise?

Image credit: Tamayo, T. (2008). Monkey swing. CC:BY-NC/2.0 from http://www.flickr.com/photos/malweth/2914866040/

References

Keleman, M. (2010, January). LinkedIn Taglines. Retrieved August 9, 2012, from http://recruitinganimal.typepad.com/ch/2010/01/linkedin-taglines.html
Smith, D. (2012, July 28). RT @WayneMansfield: 10 Signs You Are Being Lazy On LinkedIn […] #inf2506. @das013. microblog. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/das013/status/229111276884865024
Tyrell-Smith, T. (2012, July 26). 10 Signs you are being lazy on LinkedIn. Retrieved from http://fixbuildanddrive.com/10-signs-you-are-being-lazy-on-linkedin

Tweak up

As part of my series of starting points before I can work out what to learn with this subject.

Ten types of tweets

Lisa Barone offers 9 types of tweets – exactly what I was seeking and against which I plan to evaluate my own tweeting practices. However, Lisa introduces it as list for people new to using social media.  That being the case, I’d assume they’ve not yet attracted a large following, so her suggestions might be more practical in almost reverse order – and one she didn’t mention:

*. Complain (politely) about a product problem

Creators (particularly of social media tools) and their competitors are monitoring these days, and they’ll be eager to present a solution; or others might have found workarounds.

1. Slice of life  (Just to warm up perhaps?) (Good to combine with Buddy Media’s advice (below) to tweet images)

2. Conversation: “People are talking all around you.”

  1. Search twitter streams for topics and content that interests you
  2. follow any whose content seems largely to fit your interest
  3. if only one or tweets are interesting – see if you can stretch one or two to conversation

3. Solve other people’s problems: “Find a question you feel confident to answer, and then hop into the conversation.”

4. Retweeting information:

If you’re on twitter for community connection, then finding people whose content is interesting to you will serve two purposes – it provides you with a model; and give you material to retweet.  Retweet also serves two purposes: shares interesting things with people who follow you; and tells the original tweeter what you’re interested in.

5. Community highlighting: It’s not about you!

(Lisa refers to tweeting about someone who: left a really insightful comment on your blog post (link to the comment permalink); or who just released an e-book you want to share; or who was just invited to speak at an industry conference.)

6. Link to your blogposts if you’re blogging.

7. Opinions/Disagreement:

I agree with telling people what inspires you, but Lisa’s first recommendation about sharing the things you hate?  My mother’s caution about not saying anything if nothing nice can be said echoes in my ears.  Plus, why promote something with which you disagree?  On the other hand, a provocative title linking to a blogpost (perhaps of your own) that contains sturdy critique – that’s constructive.

8. Information sharing:

“Tweet links to interesting articles you read, industry research, studies, or anything else you think your audience would enjoy.”

9. Questions:

By this time you may have a larger following, and if they can’t answer they might retweet for you.

“Moushkateer” by James Blann on Flickr. (2009) CC:BY-NC-ND/2.0

Five tweeting strategies

Lee (2012) derived 5 strategies from Buddy Media’s analysis and/or their newsrelease.

  1. Keep Tweets Short
  2. Use one or two hashtags
  3. Use Images in your Tweets
  4. Add a call to action
  5. Spell out the word “Retweet”

Lee’s post is the first time I have seen ClickToTweet in action.  Ever wanted to tweet a point hidden within a post, found the button’s auto-title not quite to your point, and struggled to synthesise something tweet-worthy?  This could help your reader’s overcome that hurdle. I would recommend that Lee make use of anchor title to explain the feature, or preview the autotext.

For my learning plan:

  • I will want to consider how some of these translate to institutional twitter accounts (eg ‘slice of life’ & ‘disagreement’).
  • Because I have done almost all of the above except yet called to action or spelled out the word “Retweet”
    Just discovered (via google) Snap Bird for searching my own tweets. And what do you know, once upon a time one of my RT contained the word “Retweet” as a call to action 🙂
Try snapbird yourself
snapbird found the time I retweeted QF1’s game showing a friend how far a tweet would reach. Not that I usually participate in chain events.

Two birds in one shot

to a goose? not very.

Its about conversation and engagement
Canadian goose and gosling

(a) Defining social networking (in my words)

My notions of social networks predate the internet. Some are formal, deliberate structures like workplaces, churches or sports clubs; others are ad hoc associations through the ‘local’, activism, or hobbies. People try to meet their social needs (eg: belonging, attention, achievement) through a variety of such networks. Similarly, what I knew then as ‘networking’ applies even in the context of today’s connective technologies:

Social networking:
(a) the activity of engaging with other people through formal social structures or informal associations.
{Sometimes used to refer to the practice of using web technologies designed to facilitate social networking (a).}

Online ‘social networking’ technologies gave me easier ways (at the time: Yahoo Groups) to make social connections when my young family kept me at home. I suspected that anonymity or pseudonymity also eased the way for an introverted personality and perhaps it did. The psychological dimensions involved in truly engaging with others, even with a pseudonym (as opposed to anonymous ‘troll’ing): willingness to reach out and to reveal oneself, risking rejection in hopes of positive responses, finding points of mutual understanding and shared values – appear to me to be the same whether the activity is online, offline, or in person.

(b) Social networking technologies / sites I use:

All for study and personal use and though not required, comes in handy at work:

(c) What I expect to learn from completing INF206.

After studying social media efforts by libraries for a few years, my interest now is in finding effective examples beyond hype(or hope)-inspired pilots and [beyond] marketing. I’d like to see some with well-founded strategies and evaluation methods.  I hope the subject includes knowledge of group and community dynamics in teaching how libraries can enhance their communities by networking.

to a goose? not very.

 What are the best engagement strategies you’ve seen?