- Content Marketing
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the PlatformRise of Social Media in Ecommerce [INFOGRAPHIC]How eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Patient Opinion Leaders Are the New Healthcare InfluencersFive Online Community Types: Which One Does Yours Fit Into?Digital Communities: 5 Ways to Determine PurposeCelebrate Your Social Media Successes, but Don't Forget that Community Trust is the Key
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
LinkedIn Best Practices: Be Careful What You "Mention"
Posted on April 11th 2013
Last week, LinkedIn introduced the mention feature, allowing the social media giant to become a bit more social. The feature, pretty much identical to Facebook's and Twitter's mention, is a great way for users to engage with other users. But for the professionals looking to start taking advantage of this feature, I would highly recommend exercising caution.
Since LinkedIn is primarily for professional networking (emphasis on professional), the platform has a completely different culture than that of most other social networks. Profiles are available to the public and potential employers, so maintaining professionalism consistently is essential for any and all LinkedIn activity. A good rule of thumb is to treat your LinkedIn profile as if it was a digital resume you were submitting to a prospective employed. This means profile pictures, which are publicly viewable, should portray you in a conservative business attire as opposed to that hilarious Facebook profile picture of your weekend shenanigans (for someone seeking jobs, this is also a bad idea for Facebook).
So with the introduction of LinkedIn, one has to wonder why now? On LinkedIn's end, it's pretty obvious. They want users to engage more which means they will spend more time on their site, which in turn makes it more lucrative for both advertising as well as a platform for head hunters. But this is exactly why you should question using it to begin with: there doesn't appear to be an actual benefit for the user. Sure, technically this will help by increasing your visibility, but LinkedIn profile's are already subject to more scrutiny since they are set up for the sole purpose of professional networking. Making public conversations available changes the dynamic of the platform and will do nothing but increase the chances that a user will interact in a way that is off-putting to co-workers, employers, or potential employers.
Take into consideration the following scenarios:
Scenario 1: User converses about a new job while still employed.
Job hunting while currently employed is already tricky to navigate outside of LinkedIn since there is a risk of jeopardizing your current standing with your company. General practice usually entails keeping everything hush-hush. But with mentions, that will no longer be an option as conversations with prospective employers or even current coworkers can potentially out or allude that users are seeking a new job since interactions will be publicly viewable.
Scenario 2: User says something inappropriate.
While we'd like to assume that people should know to exercise restraint (especially on LinkedIn), there will no doubt be public conversations that will be damaging. The simple fact is that if you engage LinkedIn with mentions, you are essentially increasing the amount of information employers can judge you on. The hard part is that users may not even know what is damaging since it is all subject to the current employer or potential employer. This means, in order to use it to protect yourself, you'd essentially need to triple check every mention to make sure that it is universally benign to anyone who views it. But that won't even help if you are engaged in a conversation that you shouldn't be discussing publicly.
Scenario 3: User mentions too much.
Everybody on Facebook has that "friend" who annoyingly over-invites everyone under the sun to like their page or go to their event. This is a huge turn off. Mentions basically gives a user the ability to over extend themselves which can be harmful in the eyes of some of your connections who may not appreciate it.
While I realize that my scenarios regarding LinkedIn's new feature focused on the dangers (surely there are benefits as well), my primary concern is that it is relatively unnecessary. Since professional profiles are under scrutiny as is (much of it unknown to users), adding a new dimension does nothing but open up potential hazards that users will need to learn to navigate around. In the meantime, there are certain to be users who will hurt their existing connections and thus create cautionary social media tales. So before you decide to jump on the "mention" band wagon, ask yourself first if the communication would be better suited to a simple direct message that isn't so public.