All generations are guilty of this: Not knowing how to leverage social media for career purposes. On CNN Money, Ryan Holmes puts the dime on Millennials for this lack. But we Baby Boomers, who have worked so hard learning to navigate Facebook and LinkedIn, can be equally naive. Here is the CNN Money article.
The professional reality is that the platforms for connecting are just tools. As with any tool, that's a blank check. The value comes from very specific knowledge how to reach decision-makers in our field and then communicate to them what could advance our careers. On LinkedIn, I am just learning that myself.
For example, for about eigth months I used the InMail feature to inform prospects for my service that I am out here. Most ignored the mail. Those included Steve Fulop the mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey, which was once my hometown. I offered to volunteer for his communications needs.
What I learned is to back off approaching prospects so directly. To begin with, I re-did my LinkedIn profile. Then I invested lots more energy into how I responded to help-wanted ads and how I created e-direct mail not transmitted via LinkedIn. Those two tactics paid off. The next step for prospects was to check out my LinkedIn profile. Often they then invited me to join their LinkedIn network. That made our relationship on the social media platform a mutual decision.
Another challenge with social media is that it's continually changing. What was effective last year may be considered a nuisance in 2014. Therefore, we have to stop what we have been doing and observe the dynamics.