LinkedIn – On Notice

Amanda Smyth Connor1343803_rusty_chain_2

I’ll admit it. I don’t really “get” LinkedIn.

I’ve worked in social media  for about six years. During that time, I have grown to love and understand the intricacies of Facebook and Twitter. But when it comes to LinkedIn, we just never formed a connection. Our synergies never synergized.  We just didn’t click.

Dear LinkedIn. It’s not you…it’s me. Well, maybe it’s you.

Don’t get me wrong. I check LinkedIn frequently. I keep my profile up-to-date and active. I respond to requests for recommendations and connections very quickly. I have my Twitter feed hooked up and running and I obviously use LinkedIn to track what colleagues and clients are up to professionally. However, it feels like so many people are using LinkedIn for the wrong reasons.

I get spammy messages from people looking to rent out office space. I get jerky self-promotional mass emails from connections looking for new projects, and worst of all, I get requests for recommendations from people I have never worked with or have not worked with directly, which just feels really slimy. “Please recommend me even though you have no frame of reference for my work and have no idea what my work ethic is really like.”

So the question remains – is LinkedIn really just a glorified resume platform that occasionally yields a job connection, or is it a highly valuable professional social media tool that I have unfortunately not experienced in the best capacity? From a social media and professional standpoint, I just don’t understand how best to use LinkedIn – which begs the question – how user friendly is LinkedIn if someone like me is asking this question?

Until someone explains how LinkedIn should best be utilized beyond what I’ve stated above, as Colbert says: “LinkedIn – you’re on notice!”

Amanda Smyth Connor is a community manager for a major publishing company, owns her own wedding planning business, and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.

4 thoughts on “LinkedIn – On Notice”

  1. How interesting to find this, as I just wrote a post yesterday telling people how they should use LinkedIn to their advantage. Like all other social media, it is what one decides to make it, but overall if you have a business that can work with other businesses, no matter where they are, one should consider being on LinkedIn.

  2. Hi Mitch,

    Thanks for your feedback. I guess this is my problem. I do have a business and my business is on LinkedIn. But aside from being on LinkedIn and updating it as needed, I, and many others in social media positions, don’t really understand how to “use” LinkedIn. We’re present, we’re just not sure what we’re supposed to be doing. And any direction anyone (eh hem…LinkedIn) can provide would help give social media professionals like myself better insight into a platform that we are eager to utilize.

  3. Hi Jennifer,

    Great tips on Cathy Miller’s blog – very helpful. I maintain though, that this still begs the question: Why isn’t LinkedIn more intuitive/user friendly/informative in how to get the most out of it? And why are so many people using it the wrong way? I think LinkedIn still has some growing to do.

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