Silencing the LinkedIn bore

chatterboxYou’re out with friends and yet you’ve bumped into someone who clearly monopolises the conversation when they’re talking to others. You can just see the person that they are talking to slowly shut down and do that tired nodding thing with the occasional “hhmmm, yes”, all the time looking to get away.

Ring true? Well, unsurprisingly, the exact same thing happens online on LinkedIn – see I told you that it was the nearest thing to everyday interaction, albeit on the web. We can, on occasions, find that the real information that we want to receive and read can get drowned out by all the other noise that’s going on.

In this instance, what some people tend to do is flood YOUR Update stream on YOUR LinkedIn homepage with … well, THEIR updates. That is what it’s designed to do in fact – allow you to share great information that you believe your connections will be interested in with them … but in moderation.

What some people so is fall into the “Twitter stream” trap and think that it’s important to keep a constant stream of information going out, often using automated tools. The trouble is that LinkedIn isn’t Twitter so that’s not the goal and certainly not the best way to “win friends and influence people”. Believe you me, people don’t want hundreds of updates, banal or otherwise – it’s not the way that we use LinkedIn apart from anything else.

Please, at so many levels, don’t confuse LinkedIn with Twitter – they are different, with different audiences … so approach them in different ways. The proliferation of Content marketing (of which I’m a great fan by the way) has had a downside in this respect with people often deciding that “More Content is the Key” rather than the more appropriate truth which is “(More) Quality Content is key”.

So two pieces of advice today for the price of one:

1. Firstly, don’t flood your Update stream with lots and lots of information, whether you consider it useful or not – drip feed it out by all means and share stuff that you genuinely consider valuable, but don’t just flood it out there just because you can. I can guarantee you it will do you more harm than good and that’s not at all what we want;

2. Secondly, if you find that one of your contacts is blindly avoiding Piece of Advice 1 (as mentioned above), then “hide” them , or at least their updates. Hover over their update and a link labelled “hide” will appear on the right – click it and “poof”, their updates will vanish, in the immortal words of Tommy Cooper, “Just like that!”.

At the end of the day it comes down to the same thing – online just as in face-to-face networking, do as you would be done by. If you don’t like being in a group where someone is blindly dominating the conversation and boring the pants off everyone, don’t then turn the tables and fall into the same trap on LinkedIn.

However, do enjoy and read those relevant updates coming through – just remember all of the stuff that you’re sending out as well.

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