OK, well this is how I use LinkedIn.Lots of people
yap on at length about how to unlock the mysteries of LinkedIn. They say stuff like 'the goodness and light of LinkedIn exists through using it in only one way!' and 'I would never accept an invite from a lout whose acquaintance was not already known to me!'
Baloney! There are lots of ways to use it.
Now I will waffle freely on the subject.
1. NO-! You don't have to be snuggly with every last one of your connections!
I really like the fact that if I don't know someone who would be valuable to a project, team, or event then I can just pop on LI and search through all the folks I'm already connected to with whom I've exchanged a friendly "Hey there, I don't know you but you seem rad and we have this awesome stuff in common, let's connect!" message. I want to know people who run in my line of work and if I need a freelancer then I've already connected with a gaggle of 'em. Sha-ZAM.
BONUS TIP: Don't use LinkedIn to try to hook up. No.
2. Fer chrissakes, cold calls are not bad if you do your homework.
I've made friends and befriended mentors on LinkedIn by simply doing my homework. Let me explain: I read their blog, LinkedIn profile, a few tweets,
cyberstalk and then shoot through a "You like Stevie Nicks? I like Stevie Nicks! Isn't she so mystical?!" message.
BONUS TIP: Prior to any trip I've taken in the last 2 years I've made sure to already have made a couple new LinkedIn pals to meet up with. In my world LinkedIn exists to create connections.
3. Respond to those less polite with endless politeness.
Requests for connections from folks I don't know who neglect to include a message are usually looked at with vague annoyance. However, it happens to the best of us by accident, it really does- I know!
With that in mind, I respond to these types of invites with an uber nice, personalized message explaining that I'm not familiar with them, and offer general assistance. It genuinely confuses me how many people don't write back (jerks!). The ones who do? They are awesome. My inbox gets jobs on a regular basis for various reasons, I hook those well mannered folks up if I can.
4. Don't litter your skills & expertise section with lies.
Claiming to have mad social media marketing skillz isn't as ruinous as saying you can hack open heart surgery when you're actually a plumber, but it's still not cool. Unfortunately it still makes you a bumpkin liar and will bite you in the ass. I put very, very little weight in the endorsement section for this reason. Try to endorse folks off of your direct experience with them and knowledge around what they do.
5. Don't update your skills/title/profile photo every day, it's annoying. Like that GIF.
I've hidden quite a few folks for this one. Their logic dictates that they be more noticeable on the 'ol newsfeed, but that logic is flawed. Majorly.
6. If you have a friend or mentor who you'd like to mention in your profile, don't do it more than twice.
Three mentions of someone on your profile and your name will come up when their name is searched. Don't be That Guy. Please.
7. LinkedIn groups are boss. For realz.
Unlike twitter, which may lead to a handful of click throughs, LinkedIn groups provide you with a group already pre-disposed to your content. Furthermore, if you put in a description which clearly explains why your link is so important in a human-like tone (not PR/scare mongering/d-bag nonsense), then you'll probably get more meaningful click throughs and some new pals while you're at it. Finally, for the love of all things holy and good in this world- don't you DARE post a press release.