The old-fashioned way of getting started on LinkedIn went something like this: a colleague, college friend, or business acquaintance invites you to join LinkedIn. You let the invitation sit in your Inbox for a couple of weeks. Then you join, fill in about 60% of your profile, and connect with four people you know. Then you get laid off or quit your job and realize that LinkedIn is the place to be for professional purposes, so you start getting serious about it. However, many LinkedIn users don't take full advantage of the dominant business-oriented social media network, because they connect only with people they already know. Instead, writes Des Walsh (business coach, certified social media strategist and LinkedIn expert), decide who you need to know next to reach your professional goals and concentrate on adding those individuals to your network. Use advanced search to find new connections - and take advantage of your right to connect with all fellow LinkedIn Group members. Make sure you follow up with everyone you meet professionally and at networking events and make those connections. Take a look at your connections' connections, too, and ask them to introduce you to the people you need to meet. After identifying the problem in a June blog on his website, followed up with a more specific how-to: "To Build a LinkedIn Network, Talk to Strangers."
Busy social media users are often tempted to use automation to keep their feeds topped off with new content. Tools range from built-in options, such as feeding everything you post on Instagram to Twitter or Facebook, to sophisticated programs like Buffer or Hootsuite that allow very fine-grained control of scheduling. However, studies show that automated posts attract less engagement from followers and fans, get clicked less often, and receive fewer shares. This blog from Laura Nunemaker, online marketing management and consultant at Social Media for Small Business, provides clear no-no's, excellent tips, and creative alternatives for better use of the valuable tool of social media automation. Writes Nunemaker, "Automation implies 'set it and forget it.' But you can't really do that with social media. When you post on social media, your followers expect you to answer their questions."
Love Twitter, but find it baffling? This infographic will fill you in on the rapid evolution of the "nervous system of the Internet" from its modest beginnings in 2006 to the astounding 500 million tweets that 300 million users post daily in 2015. "Twitter was created in 2006 as a platform for sharing your answer to the 'what are you doing' question. The very first tweet was made on the 21st of March and later on, July 15th, service was opened for everyone to give the power of spreading ideas and information without barriers," writes Cindy Bates on Hot in Social Media.
Here's a collection of the 75 "most important" social media acronyms, compiled by Anna Washenko on sproutsocial. Now you'll know what people are talking about when they write something about an "API" (application programming interface), or send you something prefaced with "ICYMI" (in case you missed it). Perhaps most vital: why you need to see who's looking over your shoulder when something's "NSFW" (not safe for work). Acronym categories include network-specific, business, technical, and just for fun. Good for keeping up with your younger employees.
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