Editor’s Note: Practice makes perfect. So does reading the manual. In our instant-on and always-on age, learning the hacks (which used to be buried in the print handbooks we despaired having to read) is essential to putting social media to work for you. Blane Warrene taps the expertise of LinkedIn expert Emily Miller to explore optimizing your LinkedIn homepage content experience.
Like anything from playing a musical instrument to cooking or gardening, it takes time, focus, and patience to see your efforts come to fruition. Living in the digital business model within financial services is no different. Especially when it comes to social media.
The numbers prove out from nearly every survey of our industry – LinkedIn is the kingpin social network for us. Any business built on relationships, referrals and mining the “six degrees of separation” we know in the modern world can benefit from use of LinkedIn.
You’ll learn a lot on The DigitalFA about using LinkedIn effectively. From the fundamentals of getting started, a service offered in conjunction with David Fisher, to advanced techniques and a multi-week plan for successful use of LinkedIn.
It is also important to understand how LinkedIn works behind the scenes and make sure you are not making your experience unproductive. To examine this better, I caught up with Emily Miller, a LinkedIn expert in the United Kingdom, who offered up some great insights.
It all starts with the stream – what LinkedIn calls your feed. It is a mashup of news, contributors to LinkedIn’s content (Influencers) and your network status updates (from your connections).
This feed can be an overwhelming fire hose of seemingly unrelated content. However, you can take some steps to make this experience better.
According to Ms. Miller, the news you see is driven by your preference settings. Otherwise you may find it irrelevant.
“Make sure to go to Pulse (found in the ‘Interests’ menu) and tick the influencers, news topics and publishers that do interest you,” she said. “This will effect a better source of relevant business information for you.”
Likewise, you have some filtering options for the homepage as well. “If you have a connection who shares annoying content, you can hide their status updates (they will not be notified),” according to Ms. Miller. “You can choose whether you want to see new connections, jobs opportunities, updates shared by connections, trending news, group discussions, profile changes and application updates via your settings page.”
You can also establish at least some control over the advertising you see. Ms. Miller notes you can hide a sponsored update if you don’t want to see it on your LinkedIn homepage.
“The bad news – you can only hide specific sponsored updates not all sponsored updates from a specific company,” she added.
Finally, something we cover frequently is the accuracy of the LinkedIn profile. Miller advises that, for example, the jobs shown on your homepage that might be of interest to you, are not just based on the job and geographic history you retain in your profile.
“They analyze where you might want to work next based on data from others in similar positions and what and where their next role was,” she said. “Their (LinkedIn) algorithm will also suggest jobs that are lateral or a serious promotion based on your career history.”
As you can see, with just a few tweaks to your LinkedIn account, your homepage and what LinkedIn ‘thinks’ you’d like to see can become far more relevant. A great chance to maximize your use of a power tool for financial advisors.