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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Is the social media manager really dead? Maybe not…

Is the social media manager role really dying?

Last week, I published an article on LinkedIn about the evolution of the social media manager role.

The inspiration for the post was another LinkedIn article—one that was published by Hootsuite Founder Ryan Holmes:

Last year, Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes proclaimed the role of social media manager dead. He cited a study that found that the growth in positions with the title “social media manager” has slowed down by 50% between 2012 and 2013.

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14 social media predictions for 2014

Lawyer Crystal Ball

Just for fun, here are my 14 social media predictions for the year ahead:

  1. LinkedIn will introduce hashtags.

The three major social networks in the West—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—tend to copy each other’s features.  This year, for example, LinkedIn started letting people tag other users or companies on the site. Facebook, on the other hand, introduced hashtags.

I wouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn introduces hashtags as well. It makes sense: Hashtags will enable content discovery, letting people connect with other professionals and find even more articles to share.

  1. LinkedIn will kill LinkedIn Groups.

Let’s face it: LinkedIn Groups haven’t been useful for a couple of years now. It’s a widely abused feature. Many people use LinkedIn Groups to spam people with links, without actually thinking about engagement. Earlier this year, LinkedIn killed LinkedIn Answers; I expect LinkedIn Groups to be next.

  1. Teens will flock to yet another new social network.

Teens have a very fickle taste when it comes to social networks. A few years ago, it was Facebook. Today, it’s Snapchat, Tumblr, and, to some extent, Twitter. Pheed was cool for a brief moment of time.

Teens still use the other apps/websites, but an obscure social network will once again capture the attention of the young ones in 2014. Marketers will have to pay attention since where the teens go is usually an indication of what’s going to be hot in a few years.

  1. Buffer’s user base will grow significantly.

Buffer has been a rising star for a while now. And it’s really no wonder why: With a great, easy-to-use product, a useful blog, and a competent team that can handle social media disasters, Buffer is on a roll.

I expect Buffer to grow significantly in 2014, perhaps to the point of challenging Hootsuite in the marketplace. Late this year, Buffer introduced services for businesses. And then a few weeks after that, it integrated with Mention. Buffer surely has a few more innovations along the way.

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Advanced tips on how to use social media to find your next gig

Using social media to find next gig - SFU Career Services B2B

In a previous blog post, I shared some basic tips on how to use social media in your job search. In that post, I pointed out how you can use tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and Hootsuite to enhance your online brand and find job opportunities.

In a recent presentation to SFU Career Services’ Backpack to Briefcase conference, I expanded on these tips and provided more advanced tips on how students can take advantage of social media to help them get their food in the door after graduation.

Backpack to Briefcase - SFU Career Services conference 2013
Photo credit: SFU OLC

Here are some highlights:

1. Monitor potential employers, local job opportunities, and industry experts closely.

  • Use Hootsuite’s geo search to find local job openings. I suggest monitoring keywords such as “hiring,” “looking for,” and the hashtag #jobs.
  • Monitor keywords related to your industry to find professionals in your field.  Connect with these professionals by sharing their content and responding to their updates.
  • Add potential employers to Twitter lists or Facebook interest lists for a more organized way of keeping track of what they’re up to.
  • Follow organizations’ LinkedIn company pages to learn more about the different products and services that they offer, the people that have recently joined the company, and news about your industry.

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