I was recently interviewed by Haydn Shaughnessy of Forbes for the article “How to Power Your Professional Networking Through LinkedIn.” Haydn did an excellent job of interviewing me by posting questions that others have never asked, and therefore I provided advice there that I have never provided anywhere else. Make sure you check out the article for the full details, and please share with your networks if you think the advice would help them.
One of the questions that resonated with me was his question,
“When people share content on LinkedIn it just seems to be part of the usual web of noise. Are there any special tips for how I should view content in a LinkedIn context?”
Just as when I present on social media for business I use a Gen X perspective to contrast the emergence of the social web with the emergence of the Internet two decades ago, being an early active user on LinkedIn gives me the same historical perspective to say that LinkedIn used to have very little noise. As every social network gets bigger, they invariably get noisier. Even with that fact, I always thought information sharing in the context of LinkedIn had traditionally been marked by less volume – and noise – and higher quality. Two things changed this:
After the integration with Twitter, and with a growing number of marketers who seem to be more “vocal” these days on LinkedIn as it grows in popularity, it has become more of a noisy atmosphere, but that’s not to say you can’t find valuable content that can help you meet whatever objective you have for being on the site. In fact, after I gave it some thought, no other social media website around gives you these power filters to help you find information that is relevant to you and your objectives.
So, for the first time in public I revealed my concept of the 3 filters to view LinkedIn content by that I want to share with you as well today:
- Your Connections Filter = Network Updates – Compared to Facebook, or Twitter, and with the exception of integrated tweets, you’ll find that the number of updates here is fewer than on other networks. LinkedIn has also given you the ability to “hide” the feeds of anyone you don’t want to appear, so it is easy to maintain a tight and “quiet” News Feed of your connections to keep on track of what is happening inside your network. I recommend that everyone check on their News Feeds on a daily basis as a way to keep in touch with their network and engage where appropriate.
- Your Interests Filter = Groups – LinkedIn Groups give you an environment to network with others having the same professional interests. Sure there are huge groups out there that aren’t moderated and/or are filled with spammy, unrelated content. There are also hundreds of thousands of smaller groups with fewer numbers where serious discussions and content sharing are going on. Just like the Internet itself, there is no “TV Guide” for any of this, but at least you can subscribe to daily or weekly Group digests so that you can see which Groups resonate more with your content viewing objectives.
- Your Industry Filter = Posts – LinkedIn has opened up its blogging platform and many professionals have taken advantage by sharing their perspective on their industries inside LinkedIn. Try searching for posts in advanced search using keywords to find articles that might be appropriate for you. Once you find a few authors that you want to continue reading about, make sure you follow their new posts so that you can see them in the comfort of your network updates.
Sure, there are other avenues for content sharing and information gatherings such as Slideshare and what not, but if you only had a few minutes a day to spare on the site, the above three filters would be my recommendations for making valuable use from the information sharing that is occurring.
Do you think LinkedIn has become too noisy of an atmosphere for information gathering? What filters and applications do you use most to find pertinent information on the largest social networking website for professionals?