LinkedIn is undoubtedly a valuable tool in communicating in an evolving world of digital networking, however is the validity of information being diluted by those who use it? Facebook is fast becoming a social platform saturated with adverts, scams and pages which you apparently may like. Facebook should have a reason for deleting friends such as “They have sent one too many Candy Crush invites”. As I become similarly frustrated with content and how people use LinkedIn I wonder is LinkedIn in danger of following a similar path to facebook?
Think before we post content on linkedin
Just last night I was browsing LinkedIn and noticed one of my connections had commented on a post. Funnily enough the same post had appeared on my facebook feed several weeks ago, albeit by another person. The LinkedIn post was a picture including the words “Name a city without the letter A, I bet you can’t”. Now this was lame for facebook standards let alone
on a platform which is supposed to be a “professional’ platform. Since I saw the post there has been 73 comments and several likes. Unfortunately whilst there were 5 or 6 comments opposing the post, largely the comments consisted of city names without the letter A.
Endoresments, let’s get real!
I will say I'm surprised how some people interpret who they should endorse on LinkedIn and which skills they should be endorsing people to have. I personally quite often receive endorsements from people who have never spoken to me,
never met me nor been on the receiving end of my services, I mean really? What is that about?
How can we use the endorsement as a measurement of someone's professional suitability or validity if endorsements aren't given careful consideration to only endorse those whose skills you have witnessed or services received? The same question could be asked about recommendations. Many recommendations are made by friends or colleagues rather than managers, employers or clients. I've witnessed several of my staff receiving requests for recommendation from someone they know very little about. The request was along the lines of "recommend me to help me raise my profile and I’ll recommend you in return".
Think before we click
Recently I saw comments on my feed on LinkedIn which on one hand made me giggle yet on the other showed just how quick people are to 'click' before reading properly or taking the time to assess the content they are responding to.
A connection of mine changed their current job status to "business development manager at looking for opportunities". Whilst I hope several people ‘liked’ this to give this person exposure to potential employers in their network, I'm not willing to give the benefit of the doubt to several who had written messages of congratulations! I'm hoping my connection hadn't lost their job as a message of congratulations would be a real kick in the teeth to say the least. In a world where most information is available to public eye, it might be better to read what we 'like', take time to consider whose skills we endorse and think carefully before
Something I noticed several weeks ago on LinkedIn was a comment by a young recruiter with only 12 months experience. He popped up on a discussion group of which I'm a member, asking a very basic question which I'd consider to be recruitment 101, something most recruiters learn in their first few weeks of being on the job. Whilst the question was valid and certainly answered very well by numerous experienced members, rather than just answering the question or commenting on the topic I decided to look at this persons profile first. I was gob-smacked.... He referred to himself in his profile as "a recruitment expert"!
Seriously, if we don’t take the time to think about the content we contribute to, the credibility of Linkedin will and may already be on the same path as Facebook. Personally I think it’s a great tool to share information, build networks and promote your brand. Let’s work together to keep the content real!
So, a good exercise might be to put 1-2 hours aside over the coming week to do the
- Trim your connections list – delete anyone who is in no way remotely relevant to you, your industry or ever likely to open dialogue with. Be brutal
- Make a general rule – you will not endorse someone unless they have provided you that particular service or you have at least heard a review of that persons service / skill set
- Review your profile - update your experience, review the content to ensure it is what it is
- Make time to contribute to your network - share something valuable, write a short piece, offer advice where possible.
Lastly if you see content you feel to be inappropriate for LinkedIn make a point of helping the person responsible for posting the content, understand the difference between "Social" and "Professional". Let's contribute to quality applicable information and useful networks rather than standing by allowing the trend to slide.