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NEW Functions in LinkedIn

By Nigel T Packer

LinkedIn introduced a number of new functions to their professional business networking platform in October 2012.  It might be said that these are not dissimilar to functions that are popular in Twitter and Facebook.

The ENDORSEMENT

For those who are familiar with Facebook function and terminology, this is a LinkedIn version of ‘Like’. The endorsement gives those who have experienced a particular skill (of a connection) the opportunity to recommend or endorse that skill.

While this existed previously (and still does) in the form of recommendations, this is a simple, one-click activity and therefore much easier to carry out.

This is also an opportunity to highlight your skill sets to anyone who visits your profile. LinkedIn allows you to post up to 50 skills on your profile, so ensure that the all the skills you hope to promote are on your profile so your connections can – and hopefully will - endorse those skills.   

Endorsing others

Be careful who you endorse. Do you really mean it?  Will you stand by that endorsement?  Be clear in your mind before you click, that when you endorse a connection’s skill, you are offering approval in public. 

False endorsements

Might there be potential risk - a possibility of false representation if you endorse a connection’s skill without having experienced it?  Be careful that you do not endorse without due diligence. 

It has recently hit the press that Facebook has just deleted tens of millions of false profiles to stop unscrupulous opportunists offering services to provide large volumes of false likes.

I can envisage that soon we will see thousands of false profiles are likely to emerge on LinkedIn, which together with automation of the endorsement process will enable: “1000 endorsements for $100,” offers to soon appear online. 

The FOLLOW

It has been announced that soon (as with Twitter), you will not have to connect with an individual to follow their activities.  You will be able get their activities automatically streamed to your home page wall updates.

Espionage?

I wonder what opportunities this follow function might offer for those clever enough to use it for a form of ‘public domain industrial espionage’?

Have you ever connected to a competitor on LinkedIn?  Have you noticed who they are connecting with?  Ever asked, “Why are they connecting with ‘that person’ from ‘that company’?”  Hmmmmm…

Until now you had to be connected to find this out, now all you have to do is follow.

Finally…

These new functions are likely to be very useful, so take advantage.  However: be careful who you endorse; be careful what you say; and watch who follows you.

LinkedIn training

If you want to know more about using LinkedIn for online business networking then book your LinkedIn for Business training by calling Nigel T Packer on 01792 817270.

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