Spam Factory, AKA LinkedIn

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Nice so nice and clean anymore…

Is LinkedIn considered social media? I think it wants to be…

Because of the enormity of Facebook (over 1 Billion Registered Users) and the ever-increasing size of Twitter, LinkedIn may have slowed only a bit but remains a strong recruiter’s tool.  Most of its functionality resembles Facebook, as of late.  But has it truly crossed over?  Are there unspoken  rules about its use?  Should there be?  On LinkedIn, I used to connect with anyone and everyone who wanted to connect with me. That has changed, today I often reject connections.  Work-arounds have been discovered.  Individuals have manipulated the system, disregarded unspoken rules and have found ways to get around the once towering security of LinkedIn.  The security and strictness, the rules to which members were expected to adhere always held great appeal.  I thought LinkedIn was the perfect place to do business, because of its strictness – because of its level of security.

The absurd truth is that I get LESS spam on both Facebook and Twitter combined!

System Abuse

Certain individuals and groups abuse the system.  Now, to avoid the mannerless trespassers, LinkedIn is forced to change continually, but will not return its once-strict business paradise.  At least once a week, I learn a new maze, discover new buttons, devise new ways to use this tool that has been such a reliable part of my work life for so many years.  The access offered to a free membership is extremely limited.  Even if you have a significant number of connections, rights to use the network broadly are severely limited.

I am eager to pass along requests or introductions.  I am happy to share information and help job seekers to build a profile completely.  I am openly enthusiastic about the professionalism sometimes offered on LI.  Thus, I have come to expect the changes but I hate the LinkedIn spam that daily fills my inbox. There is still incredible information share, as well as sincere requests to connect and the odd thank you’s, like this one:

“I recently reached out to my LinkedIn network in search of talent for a Technical Writer in the Kansas City metro-area. It is no surprise that your responses and referrals generated a strong candidate pool, with which we are moving forward and conducting interviews. As such, I owe you a huge thank you for your time and referrals.”  

Take Control

It works, sometimes.  Here’s the thing about LinkedIn: YOU have to be in control and monitor your groups or the spam and other abuses will drive you away from it.  Check your settings consistently.  Follow up.  Reply to those who sincerely seek you out through your network.  Send thank you’s and greetings.  But always, Always, ALWAYS think about the ground you are stepping on.  Think about whether or not you might be overstepping, you might be spamming, you might be irritating, you might be driving fingers to the delete button.

Permission Marketing

Permission Marketing still allows the targeted individual to take away that permission by clicking unsubscribe or simply delete. Abuse is abuse, even if it dressed up to look like glorious information about you or your company.  Spam is spam.   I have deleted certain contacts because their communications or shameless self-promotion became excessive.  I have left groups due to the continual barrage of needless information share.  I have also taken the time to go back into my group settings and alter the amount of updates I wish to receive.  Joining a group as a favor to a friend is no favor if membership to that group fills your inbox with unnecessary details or bothersome fellow group members.  Don’t be that guy.  Don’t be that group.

Unique and Thoughtful

Make your offering unique by making it worthwhile and worthy.  It doesn’t take too much thought to be thoughtful.  There’s a fine line between being intrusive or helpful.  On what side are you?
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