Mario Sundar's Speakeasy

Spero Ventures. Early LinkedIn, Twitter. These are my thoughts on tech, brand, marketing and community.

Why LinkedIn Today is not just another News product.

Why LinkedIn Today works better than other news portals

For the same reason Facebook’s social graph completely improves upon the game playing experience – think of Scrabilicious or Zynga. They upended the gaming industry giants despite cheesy graphics – for one reason: add your friends into the mix and games are way more fun. Frankly, that’s the only reason we play. Likewise, throw in your colleagues or customers in the mix and News turns way more valuable.

Yes. News is to LinkedIn as Games is to Facebook.

I’ll be honest. I’m still a die hard Techmeme fan because I follow every minute news update in the business of technology. But, increasingly I find myself checking out LinkedIn Today, for one reason. As I skim through the articles on Today, I find myself noticing the people who’ve shared them before I check out the news itself. Not sure if this has been your experience as well.

Ice-breaker meets the Water-cooler

It really prioritizes the most important news for me based on my professional taste and who’s sharing the news. And, frankly that’s why I think LinkedIn Today is different. For starters, it automatically surfaces the most interesting news for me based on who I am professionally. There’s no setup there. Think of it as a automatic news interestingness filter based on who I am professionally.

If this works for a voracious news reader like me, then imagine today’s mainstream professional who’s got much less time to dabble in news. What would he or she want to try out. Imagine if you could see the top news articles shared by your colleagues at work, your executives, your clients, your prospective customers. Another chance to ping them, to talk about the latest news in your space.

People Filter your news

So, without rambling on… let me end this post by quoting from a recent post by Mathew Ingram (who’s been fairly prolific on this topic in recent times), on yet another critical factor that distinguishes LinkedIn Today from other news products for professionals:

If there’s one thing that web users need more than ever, it’s smart filters to help them navigate the vast tsunami of information that comes at them every day. (The big problem isn’t information overload, says Clay Shirky, but rather “filter failure”.) Someone is going to solve that problem, and if they do it properly, they could wind up capturing a significant share of the online news-reading market.

Wouldn’t you agree? The situation gets fairly worse for professionals whose time between 9 to 5 is far more valuable than the time of web users in general whose primary disposition seems to be sharing pictures of LOLCats with their friends on Facebook. Given that situation, it is absolutely imperative that we need a product where smart filters curate the uncontrollable fury of information that’s blaring at us while we work.

In LinkedIn Today’s case, those smart filters happen to be your professional interests, your colleagues, your mentors, thought leaders, etc. in your space. In addition, you can even filter each of the headlines by companies, industry and location for e.g. (see above). You can also follow news sources you dig (see below); something I did rather reluctantly and I’m hoping will translate to better results. But, frankly, people you care for professionally is why this product differs from every other news product out there. 

Enough about what I think. What do YOU think of LinkedIn Today? Let me know in the comments section below or just @mariosundar me on Twitter. Rest assured, I’ll pass it on to Liz and team, as I have in the past.

For regular readers:

I’m back. As I’d promised yesterday. This is a post that’s been brewing in my mind this whole week and I just didn’t find the time to key clicks to my laptop. I’m proud of the work of my colleagues, Liz and team and have slowly but surely moved towards using Today as I’ve noticed an increase in relevancy of news that’s surfaced to me.

Let me preface this by saying, for a long time I’ve refrained from raving about LinkedIn products I dig (because I work there), but to hell with that. When I share my enthusiasm for any tech products (people think I work for Apple :), I’d be remiss if I don’t share with you yet another product I love, just because it’s from the company I work for.

Of course, everything I post here will be within reason and will be explained thus. I’d urge you to call me out if I’m veering towards promotion but I can’t recall the last time I did that on this blog and rest assured it won’t happen. Again, these are just my personal thoughts and do not reflect my employer (as is the running caveat on all my posts here).

Filed under: Linkedin, LinkedIn Features, ,

40,000 LinkedIn Company Pages in 1 Week

Now, many of you reading this are probably aware of LinkedIn’s recent launch of Company Pages – any company or small business’ own space on LinkedIn. An Adage article by Irina Slutsky that came out earlier today talks of the growth and experience of some companies within Company Pages.

As I’d mentioned earlier, I work with many of my social media counterparts at sharing best practices on LinkedIn and I was thrilled that we could get both Kodak (Thomas Hoehn) and Samsung (Esteban Contreras) to launch their brands’ Company Pages on launch date. Brian Nizinsky from Kodak briefly describes his Company Pages experience in the above-mentioned article:

Another feature recently launched is “Company Pages,” extremely similar to Facebook Pages. Companies have jumped on the feature like a starving hyena on the fresh carcass of an elephant. Just in one week, more than 40,000 companies signed up, since now marketers can use the page to promote new products and …yes, engage with their customers. Kodak said the feature is relatively new for it, but hopes to expand on its capabilities. “We have been able to add more information about us and our products/services,” said Brian Nizinsky, online marketing manager at Kodak. “This gives our audience more ways to interact with us and that should only increase as the LinkedIn user base starts using those features more.”

I’ve also had a couple of great conversations with Brian in the past (unrelated to the above article) on LinkedIn Groups and how it could be the starting point of your B2B marketing strategy, and was glad he shared some of his insights into LinkedIn groups here as he has with me:

LinkedIn groups have often been downplayed as LinkedIn’s less-successful features, bringing in low traffic. But Kodak had a different take. “We have found that LinkedIn Groups have been a great way to both start and participate in online discussions that are happening only on LinkedIn,” Mr. Nizinsky said. “We know that the people on LinkedIn use it for business networking and career enhancement so they tend to be more engaged with our content. We make sure we are members of the most active groups that are relevant to our B2B audience — for example, the digital-printing group with over 11,000 members. Once we are part of these groups, we often share content and make sure to respond to any questions and comments that people post.”

I think we could all learn a thing or two from Kodak’s successful experimentation with LinkedIn Groups. I’d like to also provide you a few more insights on that topic. Stay tuned.

In the meanwhile, if you’ve a question on LinkedIn groups or LinkedIn Company Pages, leave a comment or @mariosundar me on Twitter. <<Disclosure: I’m LinkedIn’s Sr. Global Social Media Manager, since 2007>>

Filed under: Linkedin, LinkedIn Features,

Tips: 3 easy steps to find a job on LinkedIn

Here’s one of those videos that does a good job of explaining why LinkedIn works better than any other site at helping you find exactly the job you want with a lil’ help from your friends.

Steps 2 and 3 are key. A lot of folks don’t perform these steps thoroughly enough and wonder why it doesn’t work. For starters, learn how to do an “Advanced Search” ( on LinkedIn correctly (trying out many permutations is key, much like searching on Google) while others ignore the power of a mutual intro.

If you’ve a friend who’s looking for a job, please pass on this video. And, check out other LinkedIn tips I’ve gathered here.

If you find this content useful, subscribe to my blog, or talk to me on Twitter!

Filed under: Linkedin

How to source $180K of business on LinkedIn

Ever so often, I find myself talking to a sales or biz dev person who’s a big fan of LinkedIn. While I’d rather not spend too much time extolling the virtues of a company I work for on this blog, I’d still like to share valuable tips and tricks that will be useful to folks in sales and bizdev – even if it’s about my company.

Here’s a great case study (via Smart Blog on Social Media) on how the Carlton group of hotels sourced new business worth $180K in 90 days. What’s even more useful for you (if you’re in sales) is how they did it:

  • Build a closely held network. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Freesource (the consultancy that helped their client – Carlton group of hotels) recommends only connecting to people you really know and trust. Managing tightly held, individual communities on LinkedIn will maximize the value of the platform and the quality of in-bound/out-bound business opportunities for your representatives.
  • Teach sales representatives how to benefit from search engine optimization. Encourage sales reps and staff to identify with the hotel’s offerings on LinkedIn and align their profiles to meet their goals. Have them incorporate strategic keywords into their job titles, summaries, specialties and job descriptions to benefit from increased Web hits.
  • Learn about your prospects. Use LinkedIn for “social CRM” throughout the entire sales process, Freesource recommends. Active, daily use of LinkedIn will give employees a better understanding of their current and future clients — turning cold calls into warm handshakes, shortening sales cycles and giving you greater share of wallet through stronger relationship management.
  • Create prospecting efficiencies. In-depth knowledge of Boolean strings, LinkedIn’s basic and advanced search capabilities, as well as its newly revamped ”Company Pages” will help a sales team find new, qualified leads faster. Lastly, use tools such as LinkedIn’s SlideShare application to provide virtual property tours so that the profile can bring in leads around the clock.

My $0.02:

Don’t do one-offs. Stay the course on LinkedIn.

We recommend many of these tips to our users (connect with people you know, SEO benefits, prospect management), but I think it’s worth reminding businesses that the key to success on LinkedIn is a consolidated strategy that spans your entire team that will bring you success both in the long term and the mid-term (see above story).

Be creative.

I’d also add, be creative about your usage of LinkedIn. There are a lot of untapped resources as well as new features on our site. A case in point: using our slideshare application to provide virtual property tours. Or, using our newly redesigned Company Pages, both of which can be put to best use in this situation. If you’d like to keep track of the latest product innovation, bookmark this.

If you find this content useful, subscribe to my blog, or talk to me on Twitter!

Filed under: Linkedin

The ROI on Social Sharing vs. Email

My “LinkedIn” twitter search is buzzing with this recent blog post by Tamara of Eventbrite (h/t: All Things Digital), where she compares the ROI on social sharing for their company. Social commerce is a growing phenomenon (think Groupon) but data like this helps marketers understand the true value of incorporating the social graph into their websites. A couple of interesting tidbits from the post:

  • The growing increase in the effectiveness of sharing on social networking sites – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

When someone shares an event with their friends through social media, this action results in real dollars. Our most recent data shows that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90.

  • The resilience of email

…and a share through our ”email friends” application equals $2.34

That’s not bad at all. In terms of effectiveness, they’re ranked – Facebook, email, LinkedIn and Twitter. And, here’s the methodology:

We use a custom suite of social analytics tools that we have developed entirely in-house. Our reporting lets us track and analyze not only which sharing options our users leverage, but where on our site each share action takes place. These tools also tie back into our conversion funnels, so we are able to attribute ticket purchases to the specific social distribution channel that drove them. So, for example, we can compare not just the value created by a Facebook “Like” vs. a tweet, but also the performance of shares initiated before or after a purchase.

Reminds me of a post from Dan Yoo on the LinkedIn blog, where he talked about the effectiveness of Groupon.

“You can see the initial spike in revenue in the graph below. That’s to be expected after distributing a coupon. What we found even more interesting was the “new normal” that resulted. Even after the bump from Groupon, our revenue has leveled off to almost 50% higher than before.”

Of course, Dan works at LinkedIn and was profiled in our Talent series, where we feature employees who do cool stuff outside of their day job at LinkedIn. And, if you haven’t guessed by know, by way of disclosure, I work at LinkedIn.

Are there other studies that compare sharing ROI around? Let me know in the comments section.

Filed under: Facebook, Linkedin, Social Media ROI, Twitter

Previously on LinkedIn: Why Killer Profiles Matter

Another week goes by and a lot of great LinkedIn tips unearthed including a simple articulation of how every professional should craft a killer LinkedIn profile, and more. As Sr. Social Media Manager at LinkedIn, I monitor the social media airwaves for business networking tips, tricks and news so you don’t have to. Here’s this week’s awesomeness!

Ask me questions or @mariosundar me on Twitter

1. SLIDES: How to optimize a KILLER LinkedIn profile by John Kewley

As I speak with LinkedIn users I realize how sometimes even smart marketing types don’t get the SEO benefits of having a killer LinkedIn profile. As I mentioned earlier this week, it doesn’t you take you long to maintain a killer profile (see #2 here). And, a day later, I stumbled upon a succinct presentation that articulates effectively 8 key tips to gain some much needed SEO benefits for you.

The first few tips are useful for any professional, but they progress towards areas that’d make B2B marketers find value from LinkedIn. More on B2B marketing in the weeks to come.

2. How to manage your online reputation by Abhijit Mukherjee

The post makes an observation similar to what I’d add to social media guidelines for companies to share with their employees: “Think before you Tweet”. But that is applicable across all social media hubs since once it’s out there, it’s out there.

One important thing people don’t understand is that when they email, tweet, or comment on blogs, is, that whatever they type is written record. In many cases, the comments can be held against you in a court of law any day. There are enough examples of celebrities landing in trouble due to their tweets, aren’t there?

The bottom-line is this: just because you can type anything online doesn’t mean you should type anything. Not only does it reflect on you as a person, but, an inappropriate sentence typed in haste could go a long way in damaging your brand. So, think before you write. Doesn’t matter if it’s a tweet, a blog comment, an email, anything…just take a step back for a second and take a careful look before you hit the send button.

Also, as I’ve said before – I’d recommend keeping your social and professional life separate. More importantly, the post doesn’t make any mention of LinkedIn (and I find that surprising) or maintaining a robust SEO friendly LinkedIn profile (see #1 in this post – above). I can’ t think of a better way to manage one’s online reputation on the web than a LinkedIn profile.

Once you get past the name of the blog (Dumb Little Man) – just kidding – I think you’ll find a few good posts every month on productivity, savings, etc.

3. How to use LinkedIn to get hired by Sindhu Sundar

And, finally, once you build an online reputation I’m sure you’d want to parlay that into a great job. Sindhu quotes my good friend Lindsey Pollak on how financial professionals could get noticed using LinkedIn. There’s a lot of subtle netiquette explained, so read on.

For example: how about not spamming every potential hiring manager with generic messages on LinkedIn.

“Too many people think it’s about reaching out to strangers,” said Pollak, who cautions against inadvertent spamming. Start by connecting with people you already know, such as fellow alumni. “Then you can start to look beyond, at people who work for the company you’re interested in.”

Not hearing back? Follow up with a personalized email or a phone call. “Finance, like most all professions, are heavily about communication,” said Pollak. “So don’t neglect that.”

Simple, often neglected netiquette tips. I try to keep my weekly “Top of the LinkedIn” posts down to three quality articles on tips you may not have heard before. Now go out there and have a great weekend! If you’ve other categories you’d like me to cover more, feel free to leave a comment.

For more LinkedIn goodness, tips, tricks and news subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter!

Filed under: Linkedin, LinkedIn in the News

Previously on LinkedIn: Plotting career success and more tips

Another week goes by and a lot of great LinkedIn tips unearthed as well as cool coverage about our Data Analytics team at LinkedIn. As Sr. Social Media Manager at LinkedIn, I monitor the social media airwaves for business networking tips, tricks and news so you don’t have to. Here’s this week’s awesomeness!

Ask me questions or @mariosundar me on Twitter

1. How can LinkedIn help you become a CEO? by Quentin Hardy

In a recent interview, Deep Nishar (who runs product at LinkedIn) shares some interesting insights into LinkedIn “data maps” that can help you identify your career path based on goals you’ve set for yourself. For e.g.

If you aim to be a chief financial officer of a 5,000-person company, for example, the data show you need to get an M.B.A. within nine years of starting work. Graduate from college with a physics degree and there is a 22% chance you’ll be a software engineer in two years.

The article also shares some interesting insights that only a site like LinkedIn can offer, such as:

He gets insights into American economic history (job switching almost doubled between 1970 and 2000, to 3.1 jobs a decade), résumé tips (“proven track record” is an overused phrase) and thoughts on fate (chief executives tend to have short names–like Jack, Amir and Boris).

Reminds me of a couple of our recent LinkedIn blog posts around the financial fallout as well as another post we did on job titles and ninjas.

2. Tips on networking right using LinkedIn by Lou Dubois

A rather lengthy, yet useful post on how best to transition all your old-school networking smarts to work for you on LinkedIn. Most of the tips may have been said before, but an often under-utilized yet highly effective tip is to use LinkedIn to check up on people when you attend events or conferences:

“When I go to a conference or networking event, I’m able to research the speakers and attendees online and see who I’m most interested in talking or listening to,” says Darling. “In years past, you were stuck with a pamphlet and a three-line bio of folks, but now you can find out so much more. If it’s someone I’m really interested in, I’ll send them an email ahead of time with the header ‘Look Forward to Meeting You at the Conference’ and try to set up a time to talk.”

I think LinkedIn (more than either Twitter or Facebook) is a great way to showcase the speakers and their recommendations on an event or conference site. It’s always been one of my pet peeves and something I’ll continue bugging Hugh Forrest at SXSW about, the next time I see him 🙂

Another great example of similar usage would be LinkedIn integration on sites like Plancast or EventBrite. I love both these services and use it all the time. Thought, they use LinkedIn as one of the three key social networking sites to share event info. I think LinkedIn profiles  would be far more valuable in the attendee listings.

Including LinkedIn profiles in the sign-up would be very useful

It’d be even better if they could pull in LinkedIn mini-profiles when you mouseover the LinkedIn profile id of the attendees. That’d make my job connecting with the right folks even before the event, a cinch.

LinkedIn mini-profiles that mouseover when you browse attendee listings would be awesome!

But, I digress. I should probably write a separate post on this topic sometime soon. If you’ve thoughts on this, please leave a comment.

3. The mega LinkedIn tips and tricks section by David Spark and Kristin Burnham

This 5 page article covers a broad swath of LinkedIn tips from proper connection etiquette to LinkedIn and Twitter (to sync or not to sync – something I covered here). It feels like a collection of recent tips and tricks and I’d recommend you bookmark the piece for reference, though you may tend to get lost in it. My favorite tip is around Company Follow, a recent feature that I’ve seen professionals increasingly adopt given its obvious benefits.

LinkedIn announced a new feature that lets you “follow” companies on the professional networking site and keep track of their key developments, potential business opportunities and job leads. This tool is especially helpful for job seekers who want to keep tabs on businesses to which they’ve applied, and for businesses looking to monitor their competitors’ announcements.

Imagine a feed of information around a company minus all the noise, with relevant info on key developments, bizdev and job opportunities only. Learn more on LinkedIn’s Company Follow here.

Bonus Tips: 5 ways PR pros can use LinkedIn, 10 unique ways to craft a LinkedIn status update

If you find other posts that share unique tips on leveraging social networking for your career or business, feel free to share or leave a comment on this post.

If you like similar content you should subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter!

Filed under: Linkedin, LinkedIn in the News

How to keep your business contacts synced across social networks

I just read a great post on “Work Awesome” last week that asked the question: “How do you pick your friends on social networks?“. I thought I’d share some of my insight into five key business networking hubs  that professionals need to keep synced with their business rolodex. Feel free to bookmark this post and share with your colleagues who wonder how to get the most from social networking sites from a business angle.

How to pick business friends on social networking sites

How to pick business friends on social networking sites

Every professional should approach the art of friending strategically and with greater seriousness like your career and reputation depends on it. And, trust me – it does. I think “People you may know” is a great place to start on all three key social networking sites but the webmail importer is a far more strategic way to approach “friending”:

1. LinkedIn: Without doubt, this should be the CENTER of your business networking universe as it contains the most accurate information mass resume / rolodex / conversation ecosystem you could find. 75 million professionals, millions of companies and tons of opportunities for professionals from finding jobs to collaborating on business. You want to make sure your LinkedIn network is an accurate reflection of your real world professional connections.

The easiest way to do that – find your business connections from your email. LinkedIn has a feature called webmail importer that makes it trivial to find and add your business contacts in your email client to LinkedIn. Fact is, most of them are likely to be on LinkedIn already. Also, all the remaining tips in this post will work more effectively ONLY if your LinkedIn graph is maintained accurately.

LinkedIn's Webmail Importer

Once you’re done with that, try to check the “People You May Know” widget on the top right hand corner of your LinkedIn homepage on a daily basis and add 2 – 3 relevant business connections that are recommended. Click “See more” once every week, to do a more serious update and you’ll be surprised to see a faceted search module on the left that lets you zone in on the most valuable connections for you to add. Just adding folks from your current job alone is priceless!

Faceted Search in LinkedIn's PYMK

Most importantly, make it a habit, to add folks you work on projects with on LinkedIn right away. To me it’s a daily ritual at the end of the day or week to add folks I’m newly working with on projects to LinkedIn. And, the best place to find them would be LinkedIn’s advanced search.

2. Microsoft Outlook / Xobni:

Pulling your  business rolodex (in this case – from LinkedIn) into your email client of choice is equally important, because it’s a great way to enhance the value of your email client. Your LinkedIn graph of connections and conversations can be pulled into Microsoft Outlook through LinkedIn’s Outlook Connector. Download it here.

As soon as LinkedIn and Outlook are connected, Outlook will start bringing in information about your LinkedIn network.  You should then start seeing profile photos and LinkedIn activity for any connection that e-mails you.

Xobni does the same through their plugin that works on Outlook and even in mobile – Blackberry. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with the iPhone, but chances are greater that your company has provided you a Blackberry at work. And, I’m guessing you’re also stuck with Outlook.

I haven’t tried it, but TechCrunch claims that the difference between Xobni and MS Outlook connector seems to be that “it does email search a lot better than Outlook and can resolve different identities to the same person in your contacts list.” If interested, check it out here.

LinkedIn information on Xobni tab

3. Google Contacts / Rapportive:

As a Google contacts user, I find myself increasingly syncing my gmail contacts to my iPhone and find it challenging that Google contacts doesn’t sync with constantly updated professional information on LinkedIn. Enter Rapportive, a browser extension, that pulls LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook information of individuals from the gmail address. It’s like Xobni, but for Gmail.

Rapportive features brings your LinkedIn Graph to Gmail

4. Twitter:

I’ve shared this before, but sync your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Now, this allows you to do two things. One cross-post from LinkedIn to Twitter (harmless) and from Twitter to LinkedIn (careful, I’d only recommend bringing over the #in tweets).

Secondly, you can auto-create a constantly synced Twitter list of all your LinkedIn connections. Oh, yae! Read more about that here.

5. Facebook: Personally, I keep my social and business contacts separate. I love using Facebook to keep my friends and family up to date and there may be the one-off business peer who I know socially, but it’s the exception. That said, if you’re a consultant type who uses Facebook for everything I guess you could still try the same tactics I recommend above for LinkedIn. It’s your call, but beware.

Do location sites matter to professionals? I added this since Work Awesome mentioned Foursquare, but frankly sites like Foursquare don’t offer any value to professionals – today.

That said, I do see value in knowing the location of my business contacts. You can already see this on LinkedIn’s Tripit app (for e.g.). Feel free to leave a comment on how YOU sync your business contacts across multiple social networking sites?

Disclosure: I work at LinkedIn, blog here (subscribe) and tweet @mariosundar.

Filed under: Linkedin

The only Twitter List a Business User needs

One of the biggest challenges using Twitter lists is that there’s no way to auto-update those lists. What this does is that very soon it loses value since its no longer an accurate representation of the folks I intended to follow on this list. What if I told you that starting today, you could add all your business connections to a list that also auto-updates every day.

Enter the latest avatar of LinkedIn's Tweets App

Adam Nash just announced the latest version of LinkedIn’s Tweets App, which allows you to do just that by automatically creating a private Twitter list (let’s call it Business List for now) of all your LinkedIn connections that dynamically updates each day. Connect with more folks on LinkedIn and they automatically get added to your Business List on Twitter. Remove connections from LinkedIn and they drop off your Business List. I may go as far as calling it “magical”. But, I won’t, cos that would be hyperbole.

So, here are three quick steps to set up your Twitter Business List via LinkedIn:

1. Have you connected your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts?

If you haven’t done this yet, I’m not sure why you would want to try out Twitter lists, but I digress… Get your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts synced so your friends can find you when they create their own Business Lists.

It's as easy as 1-2-3. Click. Go.

2. Find and install the Tweets App on LinkedIn

Find LinkedIn’s Application Directory under the “More” header tab.

Find LinkedIn's Application Directory

Clicking on the Tweets app (via Application Directory) will take you to the Tweets Homepage.

Connections tab on the Tweets homepage with Business Lists

3. How can I create a Twitter list of my LinkedIn connections?

Adam’s post describes the feature set in detail, but let me just say that there’s something for every user in this release.

a. LinkedIn users who are just getting started on Twitter

Try the “Connections to Follow” widget on the Tweets App homepage. Left sidebar.

Source: The LinkedIn Blog

b. LinkedIn users who are starting to get Twitter

Try the “Connections” tab for a longer list of your LinkedIn connections’ Twitter ids to follow.

c. LinkedIn users who can’t live without Twitter

Try the “Dynamic List” option, which creates the private auto-magically updated Twitter List that you can then access from Tweetdeck and a host of other Twitter clients. It’s the “Save as Twitter list” widget on the left sidebar of the Connections page.

Source: The LinkedIn Blog

As I said, you may notice that following your business connections still doesn’t include either media brands or just brands in general that you’d like to follow. That’s why I’ve created a public list of carefully nurtured Twitter list of Tech blogs / news outlets to complement my private Twitter Business List.

Filed under: Linkedin, LinkedIn Features, Twitter

Are you hurting your business relationships by syncing Twitter and LinkedIn?

Quick Update: Chris Brogan just posted his tips on using LinkedIn effectively. Sheds light on best practices he follows, some of which I’ve outlined below. Read more on Chris’ blog. And, here’s another on how to use LinkedIn status updates. Priceless.

I noticed my good friend, Chris Brogan, seems to have come down with a case of Twitter overkill, on LinkedIn. Let me explain. Recently, we started letting our users sync up their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. That lets you stream your status updates from LinkedIn to Twitter and vice-versa. You do have the option to selectively update your LinkedIn account with only those tweets tagged #in or you could let the whole fire-hose of your twitter imagination run riot on LinkedIn.

Keeping Business and Social Connections separate

Keeping Social and Professional unique and separate. Pic Source: nutmegthepuppy, flickr

Would you take your vacation pictures and paste it in your cubicle. No, you wouldn’t. So, why does it seem ok to let in your entire twitter stream directly to LinkedIn. That said, I’m sure you’d love to show off a picture of  you standing next to a business celebrity you may have stumbled upon and paparazzi’d while on vacation. The problem with these auto twitter streams is that folks like Chris start seeing a relentless twitter stream when they log into their LI homepage.

Of course, this is dependent on the # of friends you’re connected to on LinkedIn, as well as how twitter friendly they are. In Chris’ case, since he’s both a best selling author and marketing expert he probably has a ton of connection invites (most of which he accepts – more on that later) who also have a lot to say on Twitter. Unfortunately, some of them chose to stream all that Twitter to their LinkedIn accounts.

Chris Brogan's LinkedIn page with Tweets

So, here are three quick tips for those of you who are interested in nurturing your business relationships on LinkedIn via network updates but would like to avoid annoying your business connections with a meaningless interfering Twitter stream:

1. Control the flow of tweets in your stream:

As Chris recommends, go to your LinkedIn-Twitter sync Accounts and Settings and turn down the Twitter faucet. Secondly, make sure the tweets you bring in to your professional LinkedIn ecosystem are hashtagged #in and have a business context.

For e.g.

vs. the random LOST tweet that popped in to my LinkedIn stream today.

2. Hide the noisy twitterers in your stream:

Secondly, increase the quality of your connections (keeping it business) and spring clean your LinkedIn accounts every once in a while. Many times when I see persistent, random tweets come in from people I don’t very well recognize I use that as an opportunity to weed out the connections that may have sprung up inconsequentially.

When you see someone spam you with their tweets, all you’ve to do is mouseover the right of each status update, which will pop up the HIDE button. Click on that and you won’t receive updates from that user no more. You can also do this on your Facebook feed, if you’ve a noisy friend, for e.g.

For a more granular control of the updates you see on the homepage, click through to this Update Settings page where you can then tweak updates by either connections or Type.

Let’s not forget, LinkedIn is a business focused networking site, so letting in all your tweets – all personal and business – will have the exact opposite effect you were hoping to achieve by using the site. And, by that, I mean it’d end up hurting the same business relationships you were hoping to nurture.

Plus, be thoughtful while you send out those LinkedIn connection invites. My rule of thumb is to invite folks I’ve met a few times, talked to and who can recognize my personalized invite right away. What is yours?

3. Time your status updates for maximum effect:

Now that you’re no longer that noisy neighbor everyone’s calling the cops on. Learn how to use your LinkedIn-Twitter sync to maximum effect for your business. Time your relevant, most impressive tweets or status updates for maximum effect. By that I mean scheduled updates at the most effective timings. Here are some tips on what’s the best time to tweet. There are a slew of services that allow you to tweet information to select services. Three that come to mind – Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Seesmic – all of which allow scheduling your tweets.

Tweetdeck’s new update in particular has me wowed since it allows me to not only shorten and track the effectiveness of links through my account, but it also let’s me schedule tweets across LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

One last tip: If you’re a small business owner or the social media manager who runs your company’s official Twitter account (like I do here), I’d recommend tying that to your Twitter account. If your company does not have a Twitter account but you’d still like to share the latest happening at your company with your LinkedIn network, then consider adding your company’s blog to LinkedIn. More on that here.

These tips are just the beginning. I’ll continue to blog on ways you can use social media effectively at work and for your business, right here on this blog. Please consider subscribing to my blog or following me on Twitter.

Questions or comments are also highly appreciated. Fire away in the segment below.

Filed under: Linkedin, Twitter