There has been a love/hate thing going on with LinkedIn Endorsements for some time now. You know what they are, those boxes that ask if someone you met at a networking meeting 18 months ago knows a particular coding language?
I have always found them frustrating for a variety of reasons
1. They are annoying to the user who feels obliged to click on them to get rid of them.
2. You find yourself being endorsed for skills you don’t actually have or want.
3. It can be hard if you’re changing industry as they can look out of balance.
4. They’re not nearly as useful as recommendations but somehow people think they are.
However, I’ve learnt to love them a little more recently.
You can edit them. No really, you can. Go and have a look.
No longer do you have to be saddled with endorsements for “Empathy’ when you very clearly don’t possess any.
Now, simply edit your profile and scoot down to the ‘Skills and Endorsements’ section. Click on the Add Skill button. Then you are free to add or remove any skills that you do or don’t want. Take away ones that you don’t really have, and add ones that people haven’t thought of yet.
You can even request not to be endorsed, not be prompted to endorse others, or turn off you notifications.
There is a way to learn to love Endorsements though. If you have taken the time to edit them they are a great snapshot of your skills and expertise, as they were always designed to be. They are quicker to read than recommendations and having lots at least shows that you are respected, no matter what for.
Giving people endorsements is also a lovely way to share the love with your connections and possibly even draw attention to yourself in a non-pushy, “hello I’m here kind of way” – like favouriting on Twitter but with added high fives. Someone not answering your emails? Endorse them for Leadership and make them feel guilty!
Like all social media platforms, there are many aspects that feel cumbersome or pointless until you learn to use them properly. More often than not, a little training can pay dividends.
If you were to make one social media resolution this year, I would suggest learning to love Twitter Lists.
In any business, making the best use of your time is key. One criticism of Twitter is that it takes too long to wade through your stream of tweets, or you worry about missing the important ones. This is where Twitter lists are your best friend. They provide focus to your Twitter activity, and also make it easier to keep track of vital tweets. Many people don’t even know that they’re there at all, let alone make use of them.
How Twitter lists work
Twitter lists allow you to filter your newsfeed and organise your activity – drowning out the noise of all those other people you follow but are not sure why. Ever have days where you just want to know what you clients are up to? You need a list for that. Ever want to use Twitter as a go to for news items/information? There’s a list of that.
You can create as many lists as you like, then add followers to the relevant list (or lists). Then, when your timeline is too noisy, or you want to concentrate on a particular group of tweeters, you can select your list and see only the tweets from those people. Think Google+ circles, but on a platform people actually use 😉
They can be public or private.
You can add people to as many lists as you like.
You can subscribe to other people’s (public) lists
Other Twitter users can subscribe to your lists
You don’t have to follow someone to add them to a list.
Why you should use them
This means that they can be an incredibly powerful weapon up your sleeve.
Be More Efficient – Organising your followers into groups and categories makes it easier to focus
Get Yourself Noticed – Each person you add to a public list receives a notification. A great way to share the love.
Be Useful – Public lists are a great resource for your clients, prospects and business community.
Learn Something – Following other people’s lists can be as useful as creating your own.
Be Task Specific – Go to Twitter with a purpose, whether client servicing, prospecting or cat pictures.
The Five Essential
In an ideal world, our Twitter following list would be beautifully organised with every person neatly labelled and filed. We’re not all built like that. However, these are 5 lists that you really shouldn’t be without.
Client List – Make sure you add all of your clients into one list so that you can keep up to date with their latest developments, and have a better chance of engaging with the posts that matter (keep this private)
Prospects List – Add target clients to a list so that you can gain valuable information and start to build on a relationship. When they become clients, swap them over. (also keep this private)
Competitors List – Again, another one for the private list – and also saves you having to follow them to spy on what they’re up to!
Events List – If you’re attending an event, or have done, then add the exhibitors and attendees to a list, making it much easier to keep track of what they’re going – even when they don’t use the right hashtag
The ‘aren’t I handy’ List – Whatever business you’re in, building a list that your customers will subscribe to and use is always well received.
And while we’re at it, here’s another 5
The Distraction List – Pick your most entertaining accounts and keep them in one place. Then allow yourself the odd 5 minutes now and again.
The Expert List – Keep a list of blogs, industry websites and magazine to keep you up to date
Networking List – All those people you meet out and about, or maybe in Twitter networking ours
Local Lists for Local People – Connect with those around you and keep tabs on what’s going on
The Interest List – If you have a particular interest (both professional or personal) keep those grouped together
How To Build Your Lists
If you’re starting from scratch, select the lists option from the drop down menu at the top right hand corner. You will then see the option to ‘create a new list’
Keep doing this until you’ve created all the lists you want.
Now you can add tweeters manually by typing in their names as you think of them, but it’s far easier to hot foot it over to your followers list, or following list, and select people from there. Add them to as many lists as you like or, if you’re suddenly inspired, create a new one from here.
You can also add people to a list directly from their profile.
How to use your lists
Now you can decide to visit your lists as and when you need them. If you have lots of lists however, it might be worth managing them through a third party platform. Tweetdeck or Hootsuite will both do this well.
This means you can monitor lots of them at the same time and will go along way to making you a social media ninja.
Lists in Hootsuite
If you see a list on someone else’s account that you like the look of, you can subscribe to it and annexe it as your own. The list creator will get a notification that you are a subscriber, and you can follow this list as if you’d created it. You can also see anyone who subscribes to yours (as thousands undoubtedly will).
Lists can also be a valuable source of accounts to follow. It’s easy to list the members of any list, just switch the view from ‘Tweets’ to ‘List Members’ to view. A word of warning though, don’t go following everyone on the list all at once. Twitter can get a bit shirty about this and accuse you of spamming and suspend your account until you say sorry.
So there you have it, an introduction to Twitter lists. Give them a go and see how you get on. If you’d like to learn more about the tricks of the trade, take a look at my Social Media Training and other services.
Do share your best uses of Twitter lists in the comments below. Gold stars to be awarded.