Why going viral means nothing

Why Going Viral Means Nothing

Last March, I published a blog post about the death of the social media manager. I wrote the post as part of LinkedIn’s #MyIndustry campaign.

Within a day, more than 1,000 people have seen it. The views kept on coming, reaching over 50,000 views by the end of the week. I got a lot of mentions on Twitter. I received the most LinkedIn requests I’ve ever received in one week. My LinkedIn following easily crossed 1,000. Today, that post has more than 76,000 views.

I’m not sure when a piece of content technically goes “viral,” but at least in my standards, that LinkedIn post did just that. Some of the blog posts I’ve written in the past have reached a wide audience, but those views trickled in over a long period of time. Not this one.

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How to rock LinkedIn: 10 tips for beginners

Why you should rock LinkedIn (and 10 tips on how to do it)

I joined LinkedIn when I was first laid off work. The company I worked for decided to close its Vancouver office, laying off almost a thousand people. It was a scary time, and people in the company wanted to support each other and to keep in touch. For many of us, LinkedIn was the way to do that.

Besides connecting with each other on LinkedIn, we used the site to recommend each other as well as to introduce people to our networks.

That was more than 5 years ago, and since then, LinkedIn has become one of the most prominent social networks. Today, if you’re serious about enhancing your online reputation, there’s no better way of doing it than by having a solid LinkedIn account.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to a group of writers who were interested in learning the basics of LinkedIn. Since joining LinkedIn, I’ve found tremendous value in it, so I was happy to share what I know. Here are some highlights from my talk. (Scroll down below for the Slideshare presentation.)
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Your complete guide: Enhancing your LinkedIn presence

Your complete guide: Enhancing your LinkedIn profile
Photo: Nan Palmero

Although it doesn’t get as much attention as Facebook, LinkedIn is a great social network for both businesses and professionals. LinkedIn is particularly helpful if you’re interested in taking your career to the next level. And really, who isn’t?

Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to LinkedIn expert Lisa Dalla Vecchia at an IABC/BC volunteer appreciation event.  Lisa, who is currently the Alumni & Career Communications Manager at SFU Beedie School of Business, gave some tips about LinkedIn and how to leverage this platform to enhance your online profile.

I’m already a huge fan of using LinkedIn to enhance personal branding, so I was really surprised to learn about many features that I wasn’t aware of. Based on Lisa’s presentation and what I know about this professional platform, here’s how you can rock this often under-utilized platform.

1. Complete your LinkedIn profile.

Your presence on LinkedIn should be more than just about replicating what’s already on your resumé.

Lisa reiterates that LinkedIn can help establish your online presence and define your professional brand.  Use the “summary” section to communicate your passion and what makes you unique. Define your brand by reflecting on what people usually ask your help for. Do that, and you’re one step closer to defining what makes you stand out.

Make your LinkedIn profile more powerful by avoiding overused buzzwords. Show, don’t tell.
Top 10 overuse buzzwords in LinkedIn Profiles

Hot Tip: If necessary, turn off your activity broadcasts. This is helpful if you’re doing a lot of updates or if your boss is in network and you don’t want him or her to see your profile updates.
Turn off broadcast notifications on LinkedIn

When filling out your profile:

  • Use a professional photo. What works on Facebook probably won’t work on LinkedIn
  • List your expertise. Think keywords when filling up the “Specialties” section. Lisa recommends adding your top specialties but not going overboard. You don’t want to appear scattered!
  • Install applications. You can include apps to your LinkedIn profile to showcase your WordPress blog, SlideShare presentations, and Behance portfolio.
  • Showcase your achievements. When describing previous and current experience, go beyond listing your tasks. Describe your achievements and how you accomplished them. See job opening descriptions if you’re not sure where to start with this part of your LinkedIn profile.
  • Show off your education. Mention any majors and minors you have in addition to adding your educational institution. Lisa recommends not listing your GPA unless you’re an accounting or finance student. List your awards and honours.
  • Fill out the “Additional Information”. Mention any key interests you have.
  • List trade associations or interest groups you currently belong to.
  • Add links to your websites. Include a link to your blog, portfolio or other social media profiles. Include your Twitter information if you’re comfortable doing so.

Customize links on your LinkedIn profile
Hot tip:
When adding websites to your LinkedIn profile, edit the default ‘My Website’ label to provide more information about where your guests are being redirected (e.g. Say “marketing portfolio” vs “kcclaveria.com”). This information is helpful to people viewing your profile, and it is a good SEO tactic.

  • Set up your profile’s privacy settings. If you make your profile public, it will appear on a Google search, usually within the first page.
  • Claim your profile’s vanity URL. Lisa recommends something consistent with your other social accounts.
  • Make it easy for others to get in touch by including your contact information. Add things such as your phone number, address, birthday, and marital status to the “Personal Information” section.
  • Fill up your contact settings. Include your availability, the types of opportunities you are looking for, and what information you’d like to see included in a request.

Rearrange LinkedIn sections
Hot tip: 
You can move stuff around on your LinkedIn profile. Why is this important? This lets you showcase the most important things first — potential employers and recruiters are not likely to read everything on your LinkedIn profile. To do this, go to “Edit Profile,” click the section you’d like to move, and drag it to its new location.

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HOW TO: Use social media to land your next gig

Tweet Up

More than a year ago, I wrote a post on the AIESEC SFU blog on how to leverage social media in your job search. Since writing that blog post, I’ve discovered a few more ways that students and recent grads can use tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn to find their next gig.

With the current competitive job market, students and recent grads are always looking for ways to gain an advantage. And although more and more young and higher-educated Canadians are now turning to social media to land employment, I think that most aren’t using these tools to their full potential yet.

Finding a job using social media — not just for the marketing folks!

A common misconception about social media is that it’s only for the marketing/digital arts/communication types.  Regardless of your industry, there are things you can do in social media that will give you a competitive edge.

Not convinced? Consider the following:

Also, a survey conducted by Jobvite indicates that an overwhelming majority of employers (73%) plan on using social media in some capacity to support their recruitment efforts.

Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed plans to use LinkedIn at one point. These numbers suggest that having a presence in social media can pay dividends with your job search!

Just like many tools, social media offers many possibilities when it comes to your job search.  On a high level, there are two ways you can use social media to land your next gig: (1) creating your online personal brand and (2) using the tools to find job leads.

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