07939 544413 stuart@limeslade.com

LinkedIn: You’re doing it all wrong…

Don’t become a victim of the click bait.

I first had an invite to connect to someone on LinkedIn around ten years ago.

My account says 2008, but I’ve a feeling it was a little before that. At the time, relatively few people were using it – around 10 million in total, compared to the current 500 million plus. It’s now described as, “the de facto tool for professional networking”.

It’s a hotbed of recruiters and free ‘information’. But it can be a very useful resource if harnessed properly and carefully.

Remarkably though, 500 million people and ten years later, there still seem to be a phenomenal number of people who either don’t understand how LinkedIn works, or simply can’t be bothered to think about it. The increase in experience and volume certainly hasn’t brought a commensurate increase in quality.

One of the ways in which LinkedIn ‘monetises’ its activities is through the declaration of “active” members to shareholders and more importantly to advertisers, who pay for advertising space based on the reach of the platform. So they’re keen to make sure you and I keep clicking things so that we appear to be “active”…

A few weeks ago, my time at my last employer ended after eighteen years. There were a number of LinkedIn messages which were lovely and some really kind words which were quite touching.

However, the overwhelming majority were “congrats on the new job” – LinkedIn’s standard message. It was clear many (hundreds) had simply been clicking the ‘clickbait’ button at the top right of the screen which says ‘congratulate xxx on their xxx’.

Whilst it’s good to stay in touch, it’s not great to do so without thinking. If an action on social media is meaningless, it’s possibly better to do nothing than to do what the software encourages you to.

All those messages, when stacked up, look so meaningless. I was more inclined to think ‘this person hasn’t a clue how LinkedIn works’ than to think ‘how nice of them to get in touch’!

Similarly, a number of my former colleagues recently changed their job titles and companies, but have omitted to change their employer or biographies. So when you search for the old company, they all still appear as employees of that company rather than the new one.

The old saying, “the devil’s in the detail” has never been truer than on social media. Because there’s no human interaction, it’s vital that you don’t fall foul of either laziness or lack of awareness. Get someone to help you if you’re not sure – usually there’s someone in the office who’s social media savvy. I can help you with the basics and know some outstanding experts who can help you really get your social media strategy flying.

Best of luck!