Social Media in Public Works 101 — LinkedIn Update
LinkedIn recently upgraded their site to offer more tools and features. The company also changed the layout to a more visual display with streamlined navigation. Below is a quick rundown of the major changes and how you can leverage them to enhance your usage of the site.
Larger and more visual "Updates"
Updates are shown on the home screen with large photos and text. This type of display emulates what's offered through sites such as Google+. Users still have the ability to comment, like, or share the posts. To make the most of this change, share headlines of articles you know will be useful to those in your network. And, if possible, choose a photo to display that grabs attention. If the link is to an article on your own site, use a headline/photo in the article that you know will interest your connections enough to convince them to click on over.
Simplified top navigation menu
The menu at the top of the screen has been reduced to five choices (Home, Profile, Network, Jobs, Interests), with headings from the older layout such as Groups and Companies now listed under Interests. Influencers — a page highlighting posts from the individuals in LinkedIn’s Influencer program — is also listed under Interests. Contacts are included under the new Network menu. And email, notifications, and your account settings can be accessed by the smaller display in the upper right corner. Below is a screenshot showing the new layout.
Profiles allow for uploading of media
Users can now upload photos, videos, audio files, or online links to the Summary section, to individual positions within the Experience section, and to entries within the Education section. To access this feature, go to “Edit Profile” and click the symbol just to the right of the word “Edit” in either the Summary, Experience, or Education sections.
The use of media is particularly beneficial because an interesting photo might cause someone to spend more time checking out a specific position or entry. A photo or video can also be used to better illustrate your achievements or accomplishments. Some people have also uploaded videos to allow for a more personalized introduction and explanation of their background. You can access "Approved Providers and Content Types for Work Samples" on Your Profiles page to see what formats and types of links are supported. Below is an example from my own profile (showing how media is displayed within a position of the Experience section).
Positions and Sections can be moved around
Using the up/down arrows next to each section and position, you can move your individual job posts into any order you want. You can also move each section up and down. This is useful if you want visitors to see specific positions or achievements at the top of your page.
While LinkedIn previously allowed you to add your organizations, interests, honors, and awards, the company has recently included sections where you can list Projects, Courses, and Volunteer Experience & Causes. These areas can be used to share charity work or other community groups where you donate your time and expertise. Because LinkedIn is considered a professional business site, not all causes, projects, or courses might be appropriate.
Keeping up with the changes
As social media evolves, we'll continue to see changes rolled out through online sites. One way to keep abreast of what's going on at LinkedIn is to check the LinkedIn Blog. If you prefer to get updates through Twitter and Facebook, you can follow the links on the blog to LinkedIn's other social media accounts and then follow them there.