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Be a Social Superstar: The Unofficial Guide to LinkedIn Etiquette

 

The world of social media has only been around for about 15 years. From MySpace and LinkedIn to Instagram and Snapchat, there are a variety of social platforms to suit every person and every purpose. Younger generations not only accept that much of their day-to-day lives aren’t private, they willingly “live tweet,” or share up-to-the-moment play-by-play details – which is an entirely foreign concept to those who reached adulthood pre-Instagram (or likely before).

 Perhaps the most interesting aspect of social media is the differentiation of the roles for each platform. While Facebook is the largest and most widely-used platform to share content, opinions, and thoughts with friends and family instantaneously, Instagram acts more like a family photo album updated for the digital age to allow for interaction.

 LinkedIn stands out as it was launched with a different purpose–helping professionals connect. Today’s professionals can easily be divided into two groups: those that have integrated social media into their existing careers, and those who entered the workforce already having built a social network. Newer candidates just completing their academic career and entering their chosen profession have likely already amassed numerous connections across multiple platforms, and merely establish these same connections on LinkedIn – but is this the smartest approach? Conversely, established professionals and those labeled as experts in their chosen field with a decade or more of experience may have fewer connections, though not always. The chances are that these connections hold greater value, simply because of the time and energy invested in each relationship.

 The concept of integrating social interaction into the professional world is far from new; however, digitizing social interactions revolutionized how business is done, and in nearly every industry. It’s also safe to assume these groups of professionals view Internet etiquette – or “netiquette” – differently.

 

Performing a quick Internet search will return hundreds of results on “how best” to represent yourself digitally. Beyond just having a profile, sharing content, and relishing each Like and Share, professionals look to LinkedIn as a resource to further their careers. Organizations share this approach, though through a lens of lead generation.