Why You Should Match the Content to the Site

A much-discussed topic of late is the need for social media users to be mindful of what content they are sharing across which platform. In recent posts, I have discussed personal branding and things to consider when it comes to working on your personal brand through social media outlets:

Now that you’re feeling a bit more comfortable with what personal branding is and how you want to use it, there are some things to which you should pay attention. There are things you can do in social media that either help or hurt your personal brand. What you want to do is be a savvy user of social media, demonstrating that you “get” how each platform is a little different and requires different content.

Know Your Social Media

Since Twitter and LinkedIn recently got divorced, it becomes apparent that the various forms of social media have their own plans and feel that “sharing” only goes so far.

I’m not all that opposed to this change. I think it’s important for users to recognize that social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter are distinctive. Yes, there are commonalities across the platforms but it’s important to note

  1. Who is using which site
  2. What is the purpose of the site
  3. What type of content works best on the site

Twitter may have made the choice to break from LinkedIn simply because it finds itself going in a different direction with its plans for its company or “for the money”. I can’t say, and I don’t know. What I do know is that I think users will benefit from the separation of content. Here’s why.

Why Posting Content to Match the Site Makes Sense

Have you ever logged into your LinkedIn account, scanned your Updates and noticed that they’re full of your Connections’ latest tweets? Nevermind that the content might be interesting, it’s rather jarring to see hashtags and Twitter-specific abbreviations (ex. “RT”) outside of Twitter. When you’re used to seeing LinkedIn messages that contain pictures and are >140 characters, the style and format of a tweet post looks out of place.

What’s to be done?

First, as a user of various social media platforms, it’s worth it to consider tailoring your content to the site you’re posting it. Perhaps you really did appreciate the link in the tweet you read, and you want to share it with your LinkedIn, Facebook and blog followers. That’s a great idea! But why not take a second and craft your post to get the best result in that form of social media?

For example, say you read a really interesting article and wanted to share it with your networks. First, you tweet about it, including all the relevant hashtags and mentions. That’s great! Now, before you go and copy that tweet to all your other social networks, stop! Consider the value of sharing the post in a way that is relevant on the other platforms.

  1. Facebook, LinkedIn – Add a picture. If the article has a picture, so much the better – make sure it shows up when you post the link to those sites.
  2. LinkedIn – Elaborate on the link with your own thoughts about its relevance to your LinkedIn connections, particularly if it has professional significance.
  3. Your blog/your Tumblr – If you’re sharing a link on your blog, where better to take a few moments and expound on what you found to be interesting in the article? Your blog is the one place that’s all you. No character limits, no posting limits…you could say as much as you want to say, and people can find out even more about what that article meant to you.

This list only things to think about when posting text to some of the most popular text-related social media sites. It doesn’t even consider how you could diversify your posts by taking article pictures and pinning content to Pinterest or sharing a video of your thoughts on YouTube. But that’s up to you. Some of us are solidly text-related personal brand builders. Others love adding sights and sounds to their brand. It’s all about what you want to put out there, but in the end isn’t purposeful posting worth thinking about?

By the way, this post isn’t to condemn folks who post their Twitter content verbatim across other platforms (or, in reverse, those who post content clearly over 140 characters automatically to Twitter without considering that half the message will be cut off). It is just offering an opinion on the value of paying attention to what you put where. You might find that, by modifying your content to match a particular social media platform’s purpose, you might get better responses and greater communion with your followers.

What About You?

Do you cross-post?

If so, with or without editing content to match social media site?

Do you think it makes sense to have content match the social media site it is posted to?

Why or why not?

Please share your comments below! I’m really interested in everyone’s take on this issue! 🙂

4 Types of LinkedIn Groups You Need to Join

Ready to try LinkedIn groups?

In my previous post, “13 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn”, I talked about Steve Kovach’s How To Make The Most Out Of LinkedIn – Business Insider and mentioned that one of my favorite items on the list was the point about LinkedIn groups.

Now, I don’t generally like talking about “should”-s. In fact, I spend a lot of time telling various friends of mine not to pay so much attention to what other people tell them they should do. After all, if you spend most of your time reading/watching/hearing how you should be going to the gym, eating less, eating the RIGHT things, watching less TV, spending more time out in nature, not microwaving plastic containers full of your lunch, not drinking coffee, exercising every day, drinking 8 glasses of water a day, getting up out of your chair at work every 30 minutes to prevent back fatigue, not wasting time on Facebook, being an active blogger, tweeting all the time, maintaining all your social media profiles constantly, making new meaningful and engaging professional and personal consistently, etc etc etc … well, you could easily develop a nervous tick and end up in a small, padded room.

A Nod to the World-Weary

There are already too many things to worry about in the average person’s life. Your personal story probably starts with rising from your bed and ends with falling into it. The pieces in between are a crazy mess called “your life” and you have a hard enough time balancing everything without adding any more “should”-s.

But because “good blog titles should [<–see??] be calls to action” and because I think there is true merit in what I’m about to suggest, I am going to add something to your professional and personal branding to-do list: join LinkedIn groups.

Now, listen, I know. You are sitting there, working through that cup – nay, carafe – of coffee that’s three sizes bigger than you know you should be drinking, snacking on a rather greasy breakfast sandwich while trying to live up to a part of your social and civic duties by reading the morning news – or, in your case, your blog reader and Twitter feed. You have big plans for your day, your week, your month and you really feel you’ve put in your time on social media development for the quarter. I mean, geez, you have a LinkedIn account (finally)! What more does the world require?!

Deep breaths.

A Nod to the Social Media Enthusiasts

Now, for some of you, the last few paragraphs do not apply. You’re like me: crazy about social media and eager to learn new features and develop new skill sets. Good for you. Sadly, you’re probably the first ones to find blog posts like this. I know you do your best to share them with your less tech/web-savvy friends – the troglodytes, you say to yourself – and impress upon them the urgency of reading and acting, all in vain.

You’ve discovered a wonderful world and its hidden treasures. You want others to know.

Grab your popcorn, take some notes, and get ready to share with those who have yet to embrace this aspect of this social media platform.

Back on Topic: LinkedIn Groups

Ok, to get back on point, groups. First off, see the infographic below. Clearly, everyone on LinkedIn is a big fan of groups. In fact, most LinkedIn users are in 10 or more groups (fun fact seen here).

Linkedin Infographic
Via: PowerFormula for Linkedin Success

So you hear what I’m saying and you think to yourself, “Ok, I’m game to try it. How do I start?”

  1. The first thing is to be aware that LinkedIn groups exist. By now in the course of your reading you should have that point well ingrained in your mind.
  2. The second thing is to go sign into your LinkedIn account and click the third tab over from the “Home” tab. (Yep, the one marked “Groups”. If you haven’t clicked it before, now is the time!)
  3. The third thing to do is start exploring. To the left of the site navigation tabs, you’ll see the search bar. After clicking “Groups”, you’ll find the search is already pre-filtered to search within “Groups”. Below on the page, you’ll see a list of your groups. If you haven’t joined any, I believe it prompts to you to consider doing so.
  4. Finally, type in search topics and find groups to join!

LinkedIn Groups You Need to Join

Ok, you’re there. Now, what should you search? Which groups should you join? I’m going to offer a few suggestions of groups you need to consider joining in order to make the best connections with other individuals who share your interests.

  1. Groups related to your professional interests. Does your company have its own group for employees? What about groups related to your industry and profession? Are their groups for organizations you are a member of professionally? For example, I’m connected to groups like Higher Education Professionals, Social Media for Higher Education, Young Education Professionals – DC and a number of others.
  2. Groups related to your personal interests. What are you interested in? Social media? Sports? Health? The environment? Politics? There are groups for everything, and connecting to a LinkedIn group related to your topic interest helps you connect with other people who are just as passionate about your interests as you are. I joined the Social Media News, Personal Branding Network, and the Professional Women’s Network groups for exactly that reason.
  3. Groups related to your alma mater. Join alumni groups! This is a great way to find people you already have one big connection with: you went to the same school! If you went to a large college or university, consider searching for departments, your major or learning communities in which you participated. For example, my alma mater is the University of Michigan. I joined the LinkedIn University of Michigan Alumni group and a group created for a learning community I was part of. My goal was to reconnect with former acquaintances, both fellow alumni and former professors.
  4. Groups related to your local community. Most of your best connections in life are going to be made offline, face-to-face with people where you live and work. But the beauty of the online world of social networking is that many of those connections can be made online FIRST and taken offline later. I’ve met some great individuals and made some amazing connections with people who I first talked to online. LinkedIn is a great way to meet people who share your interests in your area. (Note of Caution: Don’t use LinkedIn as a dating site. As Molly Cain warns in her Forbes article, The 8 Things You Do Wrong on LinkedIn, you shouldn’t flirt. There are better places for that sort of thing. PS. Read the article. Molly lists a lot of good things to think about when it comes to managing your LinkedIn profile.)

Joining these groups can only help you. Doing so will:

  • Get you connected to people who share your interests
  • Help you join discussions about your interests
  • Give you a place to find answers when you need the advise of experts in the field
  • Give you a place to begin your job search, if such an action is needed
  • Allow you to potentially reconnect with old friends and acquaintances
  • You can find events or promote your own

LinkedIn groups can be an active or passive experience. I enjoy browsing the discussions in the various groups to see what people are talking about and, often, learn new things. I also have made some excellent connections with group members on other social media platforms – people like to share their Twitter handles, and I find following individuals’ content on Twitter is easier to scrolling through my LinkedIn updates.

Last Thought – Email Management

I know some of you are not fans of getting any additional emails, particularly those “daily summary” type emails. (Did you notice Twitter is starting to send those out??) To avoid that problem after joining LinkedIn groups, follow these steps.

  1. See your name at the top right? Hover over that to see the link for “Settings”. Click it.
  2. In the bottom left, click on the link for “Groups, Companies & Applications”.
  3. Next, click on the link for “Set the frequency of group digest emails”.
  4. By each group, change the frequency to “No email”. (You can also change the settings to allow for receipt of “Daily Digest” or “Weekly Digest” emails, as you prefer).
  5. Click “Save Changes”

So get out there and see who you can connect with!

What About You?

Will you join LinkedIn groups? Are you already? If so, which groups do you recommend?

Image Credit: The Seafarer, Flickr

“13 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn”

What LinkedIn goodies have you been missing out on?

How To Make The Most Out Of LinkedIn – Business Insider (By Steve Kovach, @stevekovach).

A lot of LinkedIn’s ~150 million users don’t know how to unlock its true potential.” – Steve

Mr. Kovach’s article is worth noting for several reasons. First, he delivers valuable information on various ways to use LinkedIn that users may have never known existed. (Example: Did you know you can turn your LinkedIn profile information into a PDF resume?) Secondly, he indirectly addresses something that many fail to do when jumping on new forms of media: exploring.

What to Do When You’ve Just Joined a Site

When you join a  new site online for the first time, there’s two things you should do:

  1. Click everything. And if you get stuck or lost, that’s why sites have “Help” sections. It’s better to explore all components of the site than to miss something great.
  2. Learn by doing. 

The second point is really critical. You can only really learn new forms of technology by testing out their features. The 13 things that Mr. Kovach lists are things I found before ever reading his article simply by exploring the LinkedIn site and trying out its different features.

Back to the LinkedIn Feature List

My favorite features on the list are:

What Do You Think?

Did you guys know all these features existed on LinkedIn?

Which ones were news to you?

Will you be trying them out?

Image Credit: Nan Palmero, Flickr