Four Things You May Not Know About LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Four Things You May Not Know About LinkedIn

LinkedIn, like many other social platforms has been making updates to the way its algorithms and the way it presents user profiles. Like many other social platforms, LinkedIn doesn’t exactly announce how those updates will affect your profile if you decide to make updates. Below are a few things I discovered as I tweaked my account the past couple of weeks.

linkedin public profile

1) Unattached Recommendations: In the past, if you had a recommendation attached to a particular job description and decided to eliminate that position, you could save that recommendation and attach it to another position. This was convenient for consultants or people who owned their own businesses as they reorganized their profiles.  Now, if you removed a job description, any recommendations attached to that job description also goes away.

2) More Company Pages: Chances are, your previous employer has created their own company page on LinkedIn. If this is the case, you will want to update your previous employment section and link it to their company page link.  Instead of just text, your profile will show your previous employer’s company logo on your profile with a link back to their company page.

3) You can customize your public profile: Regardless of who sees your profile while logged in on LinkedIn (connections, network, etc…) you can pick and choose who sees your profile on the web (who is not logged into LinkedIn) – which doesn’t really make sense to me.  If you want your profile to have limited or full exposure, you have to make changes in multiple locations. You get to this option by managing your public profile settings; (see image below) and you can see by the figure included to the right which items you can choose to share with the public. manage linkedin public profile

4) You can’t block people from viewing your profile on LinkedIn: For Instance, if you want your profile to remain public on Facebook or Twitter, you can block a user who is stalking you, spamming you, etc… On LinkedIn you can’t do this. You can report someone who is spamming you, but you can’t block someone who, let’s say views your profile every day, yet is not a connection.  You basically have 3 choices on LinkedIn. You can allow your connections, your network or everyone to view your profile.   This can prove problematic if you want people to reach out and connect if you’ve had to reduce your profile to connections only.

So how are you supposed to keep up with these updates LinkedIn makes?  Well, one way is to subscribe to my blog, because as I notice things are different, or if someone asks me a question I will write a blog post or record a video and post it on YouTube.  LinkedIn also has a blog and a Facebook fan page, however – I have not found them to be overly helpful.  When I have asked for assistance, they are slow to respond.  Another way to keep up-to-date on what’s going on with LinkedIn is to follow @LoriRuff on Twitter or connect to Lori Ruff on LinkedIn.  She’s probably best known as the LinkedIn Diva and if you have any questions regarding LinkedIn, she can answer them.

I have noticed other changes – have you?  Which ones do you find to be the most problematic?  Did you find this post helpful?  If you have a problem or question you would like answered, feel free to post it here or on my fan page.

Social Media Security – Best Practices

social media security

You may ask yourself why you need to worry about Social Media Security

Let me fill you in on the back story.  A former colleague contacted me and asked me if I personally knew a mutual contact on LinkedIn.  Apparently this mutual contact had scammed her out of some money.  I told her I did not, as I am connected to a few thousand contacts and do not know all of them personally.   Since this is an issue so many have to deal with, I thought this post would be appropriate.  Here is a checklist of best practices you can do to make your social media security more secure.

1) Use a separate e-mail address for your social media accounts:  i.e. linkedin@yourdomain.com  or twitter@yourdomain.com  then have each forwarded to your main account.  If you do not have the luxury of multiple e-mail accounts you can do something along the lines of  yourname_socialmedia@yourdomain.com.  This was beneficial for me about a year ago, in that I received an e-mail from my Linkedin e-mail  account from “PayPal”.  Someone on the other end was trying to get money from me.  I immediately knew this was a scam because my PayPal e-mail is not my LinkedIn e-mail address.  Of course I immediately let PayPal know what was going on and forwarded them the e-mail.

2) Use a secure password: You want a MINIMUM of 8 characters, but I like to use 12 or more.  You also want a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.  You want a different password for every account.  I know this seems impossible, but you can use a naming convention.  Here is an example.  Tw1+2013!!  I spelled the first four letters of Twitter using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters, added the year and ended it with exclamation points.   As you can see, this password combination makes the social media security is pretty good.  If you want to see how your password stacks up – go to this password checker and check it out.  You might be surprised.

3) Change your passwords regularly.  I would say at least every 3 months – but if that’s too often for you, at least once a year MINIMUM.  I change mine every 3-6 months because I used to work in network security and I’m a bit more paranoid.

4) Use a social media management application:  I use HootSuite and Sprout Social, but there are others.  You can also use applications like Gremln or Smarsh.  This is beneficial if you have someone managing your social accounts.  This way, they only have limited access.

5) Take advantage additional authentication method:  Several social platforms will send a text to your cell phone and allow you to enter a code for verification.  If you are concerned about social media security, this is an added step worth taking.

6) Recognized Devices:  How many devices do you have?  How many do you use?  Facebook recognizes and remembers your devices, so it’s good to go into your settings and delete your old devices every few months.  I only have 3 devices, but according to Facebook, I have 17 since May of this year.  The thing is, I log into Facebook from a lot of different networks.

7) What is the URL? Sophisticated computer hackers can duplicate your social media accounts (as well as pretty much any other kind of account).   If you want to be on top of social media security, you definitely want to pay attention to the url.

8) This may seem obvious, but do NOT give your username and password to people you don’t know.  Even if they say they need it to get you more followers or to manage your account.  Have them with you when you are signed in, then let them act as you add them as an administrator, or set up a third party social media management tool like Hoot Suite.

9) No matter how much you WANT to, NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER did I say NEVER? But NEVER have your browser remember your passwords.  If your computer gets infected with a worm, or virus, or the latest mutation thereof, it could possibly take the passwords from your browser and save them to a server somewhere for someone to use.  Also – NEVER save your passwords to a file on your computer.

10) Keep your computer up to date with the latest patches, upgrades and antivirus software.  Social media security is just as much about maintenance as much as it is about awareness.

Do you have anything you would like to add to this list?  Have you had anything scary happen to you or a friend?  What do you think could have prevented it?

Pros and Cons of Hiring an Intern for Social Media

social media

Let’s face it.  social media is becoming more and more important in marketing your brand whether you are a brick and mortar business, an online business, a celebrity, a non-profit,  or something else altogether.  No matter which category you fall into, social media allows you to reach more of your target market for less marketing dollars than traditional marketing avenues.  If you haven’t started using social media yet, or have but have not been managing your accounts regularly, this post covers the pros and cons of hiring an intern to handle your social media accounts.

What are the pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media?

  1. Pro:  You can get an intern free or almost free.  Most interns are required to do internships as part of their college credit so you won’t have to pay the rate you would have to pay a professional.
  2. Pro:  Interns are usually more technically savvy.  Interns have been using the social platforms you want for years.  They probably have taken classes in many of the management platforms as well.
  3. Pro: Interns are not set in their ways.  Interns are usually younger and are open to new ideas (your way of doing things) whereas professionals usually have their own way of doing things.)

 

  1. Con:  Interns are only with you a short time.  Because interns are doing their internship for a class credit, they are only there a short time (unless you decide to hire them). If you decide not to hire them, you have to go through the process of training another intern.
  2. Con:  Interns may need to be closely monitored.  Although your intern may have years of experience on various social platforms, their experience is purely for personal and social reasons.  Their posts may contain inappropriate language, and represent your business or brand in a questionable or negative manner.  Unless closely monitored, they may spend the day tweeting with their friends instead of the tasks you’ve given them.
  3. Con:  Interns are not dedicated to your brand or company.  You put your blood sweat and tears into your company.  You would never do anything to tarnish your company’s name in any way shape or form.  Does your intern care if there’s a typographical error, or if they accidentally post a photo of them at a party drunk as a skunk to your account that should have been posted to their personal account? Very doubtful.
  4. Con:  Interns don’t know everything about your company.  The person representing your company through social media should know as much as possible about your company and your brand.  People will be asking questions about your products and services.  Exactly how much can you teach an intern in a limited amount of time about your company or your brand?
  5. Con:  Interns won’t monitor your social platforms 24/7.  This goes back to the intern not being dedicated to your company.  They are there for college credit and possibly a job down the road, but 24/7 monitoring is a lot to ask for someone who is probably not getting paid.

I’m sure you can think of more pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media.  Please be sure to share them!  If you haven’t started using social media as part of your marketing strategy start now.  Don’t take my word for it – read this post by Forbes.  If you don’t play, you can’t win.

Why you should configure your LinkedIn profile

Why configure your LinkedIn profile?

I was recently asked how to block someone from a LinkedIn account.  I researched LinkedIn and while I was unable to technically “block” someone from an account, I did find ways to change your privacy settings by configuring my LinkedIn profile to make it more difficult for someone to be “stalked” once you have disconnected from them.  If you want to be more private on LinkedIn, here are the steps you may want to follow:

Step 1

Click on your image, or your avatar you have uploaded into LinkedIn in the top right hand corner and select Privacy and Settings  You will probably have to enter your password even though you are already logged in.

how to linkedin image 1

 

Step 2: 

Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.  This LinkedIn feature notifies all of your connections all of your activity.  If you are in the process of tweaking your profile, I would recommend turning this feature off.  If you don’t want people to know what you are doing, leave the activity broadcasts in the off position.

linkedin-image-2

Step 3

Select who can see your activity feed:

Who do you want to see your LinkedIn activity feed?  Everyone? Your network? Your connections? Or only yourself?  You may ask – what’s the difference between your LinkedIn network and your connections?  Your connections are people who are actually connected to – 1st degree connections.  Your network are people who are 2nd & 3rd degree connections.  If you want to be private, you will want this setting to be only yourself.

linkedin-image-2a

Step 4

Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.  You can choose to show your LinkedIn profile, be somewhat anonymous or completely anonymous.  The purpose of social media is to make connections and network, so for me, I don’t personally understand why you would would remain anonymous, but that’s me.  If you want to be completely anonymous – this is where you would make this change.  If you view someone else’s profile they will not know who viewed their profile.

linkedin-image-4

 

Step 5

Show/hide “viewers of this profile also viewed” box.   You can see the example below that belongs to Carly Alyssa Thorne – “People Also Viewed”.  She has this feature turned on.  If you do not have this feature turned on – this box would not show.

linkedin-image-3a

 

When this box is checked – this is an example of what they will see.  You can see by looking at the example below, Carly shares her activity.  She is connected to Lori Wilk, and was endorsed by Alexandar Alexandrov.   She also shared a blog post.

linkedin-image-5

We’re going to skip over who can see your connections and go straight to

Step 6 Change your profile photo and visibility

I think this is probably the most important LinkedIn feature.  Your LinkedIn profile photo is your first impression to the business social media network.  You should take this opportunity to use a professional quality photo.  I would highly recommend NOT using a poor quality photo, NOT using a company logo, NOT using a photo where you cannot clearly see your face or that does not represent you in a professional manner.  This photo needs to instill trust and professionalism.  This photo needs to be welcoming without being inappropriate or overtly sexual.  This photo needs to be current.

And finally – in answering the question of the person who was trying to block the individual who was being a “stalker”.  Since she had disconnected from that person, all she needs to do now, is change her settings to show her profile only to people she is connected to.

Don’t forget to SAVE each time you make changes to your LinkedIn profile.

linkedin-image-7

 

I hope these instructions help you with any problems or questions you may have been experiencing.  Remember, if you have any questions in the future… just post them on my Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/YourSocialMediaMogul

 

How to Manage Your LinkedIn Skills Endorsements

linkedin skills endorsements

LinkedIn Skills Endorsements hit the scene back in September 2012

Many people were not fans and by the looks of it, some are still fighting them by not participating.  How do you make the best of LinkedIn Skills Endorsements?

  1. List your skills.  You can add and manage your skills in the Skills & Expertise section of your profile when it is in edit mode.  Pick at least ten.  LinkedIn will give you variations of the same skill so setting your skills can take a while.  For instance, I was offered several endorsement opportunities with the words Social Media  so I took advantage by listing all that were applicable. You don’t have to ask for the Skills Endorsements to receive them and depending on your settings, you will get an e-mail notification when you receive one.
  2. Hide skills you don’t want to show.  This is something many people don’t realize you can do.  It’s beneficial to hide skills for a few reasons.  Perhaps someone gave you an endorsement for a skill you don’t believe applies to you.  Perhaps you are looking for a job and you want your endorsements to be focused on the skills necessary for the job you are interviewing for.  Perhaps you want more endorsements on skills at the bottom of your list.  Here’s a quick video to show you exactly how:
  3. According to LinkedIn’s overview,  you can only give or receive endorsements to and from your 1st degree connections. This brings up the age old argument between those who have thousands of 1st degree connections and those who only connect with those whom they personally know and trust.  It is easy to assume those with thousands of 1st degree connections will more than likely get more skills endorsements than those who do not.   The more people you’re connected to, the greater your reach and the more possibilities you have to get help reaching out to a potential employer, client or consultant.  Please do not misunderstand, I’m not saying to go out and connect with every person on LinkedIn, I’m just pointing out the likelihood of the number of endorsements you could receive in relation to the number of 1st degree connections you have.
  4. It’s a good idea to reciprocate skills endorsements.  If someone went to the trouble to endorse you for skills you listed, or even for some skills you have but forgot to list, why not reciprocate?   Let’s say you’ve reciprocated to the point there are no more opportunities to endorse them for a skill.  How do you interact with them to stay in their news feed then?  All you need to do is look at the Activity  box right below their photo.  This box will show what this person has been up to on LinkedIn (if they have their settings to show this information), click See More.  If they have shared blog posts or commented on items, you can interact with someone this way as well.  This is also a good opportunity to meet in person for coffee or to network.

So, for a quick recap of managing your LinkedIn skills endorsements: List the skills you want, hide the ones you don’t want to show, connect to more people if you want more endorsements and reciprocate.

Do you have any LinkedIn skills endorsements tips?