To each their own. That’s a common saying I believe, in many ways, needs to be accepted a little more in today’s society. Politics, religion, lifestyle. For many of us in the social media community and anyone with a brain, it’s no one’s bees-wax what social media site you should choose or don’t choose. If you’re not feelin’ it, you’re not feelin’ it. I totally get it.
Every once in a while, though, don’t you find yourself or someone else “missing the mark” with a great opportunity they gave up? Chris Brogan is one of the titans of tech, social media, and blogging. I read every blog entry and value his comprehensive knowledge of his industry. In reading his blog post from May 21, however, I got the sensation even Chris missed the mark this time.
It’s been said ad nauseum Linkedin is the go-to social networking site for professionals trying to grow their online brand, connect with people in their industry, and contribute to the discussion through updates, Groups, and personal interactions, among other great features. Maximizing your personal brand on Linkedin takes time. It takes commitment. Not everyone necessarily feels they have that kind of time. It’s just unfortunate we, including myself, don’t spend as many hours on Linkedin as Facebook, Twitter, or our blog. Just think of the benefit and production resulting from that kind of consistent care!
Chris cancelled his Linkedin profile. I know what you’re saying, “OOOOOOH, so what. He cancelled his account. No big deal. It’s not worth a blog post about it.” I think it is. It’s not about Chris HIMSELF cancelling his account. Sure, we’re adults. We can make our own decisions. But we call Chris Brogan an influencer for a reason. It’s about people just like me who listen to Chris, value what he says, and consider his actions for their own.
Now, my aim certainly isn’t to nit-pick Chris’s reasons for cancelling, but I hear these issues a LOT when talk of Linkedin comes around. “I don’t have the time.” “It hasn’t done anything for me.” “I don’t understand it.” In my book, that’s not good enough when it comes to a social media site that can do so much if given the attention. You rarely hear someone deleting their Facebook or Twitter profiles because “it didn’t do anything for me,” especially when they’ve been investing in those sites regularly. I believe Linkedin, if given the same dedication, can become a major benefit to one’s online brand. In my opinion, Chris’s following four points are less-than-positive precedents to set for the legions of people investing in him as an influencer.
Chris mentions he had problems with the “Agree To Connect” button from contacts asking to connect. The UI wouldn’t allow him to confirm connections. I understand the frustration. It’s one of the primary functions of Linkedin, pressing the “Agree To Connect” button with followers and create an online relationship. It is not, in my opinion, enough to up and cancel your account. If you, Dear Reader, are having a tough time with a Linkedin tool, widget, or other feature, it’s not hard to contact Linkedin, explain the situation, and work with them to fix it. Your account is much too valuable a resource to outright cancel simply because of a wonky button. Facebook has crazy-ridiculous interface issues all the time, but we don’t kill our accounts because of it.
Has Chris (or yourself) actually TRIED? I don’t mean “tried” as in a 5 year-old “trying” to eat his peas at dinner. We’re talking about truly investing time in reaching out, connecting, and contributing his vast knowledge of digital media, tech, and blogging to his connections and the Groups to which he belongs. It’s amazing what a few valuable words can do to draw attention to you and your business. An individual, or a business, might see your excellent point or philosophy, ping you, then propose a business opportunity. There are a million ways to maximize connections on Linkedin. You just have to give an honest and CONSISTENT try.
“Me? Maybe I’m using it wrong.”
The only way to use it wrong is to not use it at all. This statement, or “I don’t get it,” are the two I hear most. All it takes is an open mind and the motivation to MAKE it work for you. Maximize the tools it offers. Again, it takes time. It takes nurturing. Most of all, you have to WANT to make it work; MAKE those opportunities come your way. I myself am not working right now. I can tell you though, I wouldn’t have received near as many interview possibilities if it hadn’t been for Linkedin’s “Shared Connections” feature. My connection knows this contact at X company.
“See you on Google+ or wherever business gets done.”
I think Chris’s post was written in frustration. Whether he will regret deleting his Linkedin account in the near future, I don’t know. I just believe if utilized correctly, nurtured, updated, and maximized, Linkedin can be a social networking tool unlike any other. For all you Brogan-ites out there, including myself, think before giving up on your Linkedin network. A future lifetime opportunity might be waiting right behind that unforeseen corner.