Do you ever notice that “What are your working on now?” question on your LinkedIn Home Page? The one that appears under your Inbox and at the top of your Network Updates section? Anything you enter here, which I will refer to as a “Status Update”, will not only get broadcasted on your profile right underneath your Profile Headline but will also appear on the Network Updates on the Home Page of all of your connections should you have allowed your updates to be sent and your connections are viewing them. What on earth do you enter here?
For those who can remember, this is a fairly new feature on LinkedIn, and at the time everyone thought they were basically trying to mimic Twitter. Facebook has also had this functionality, which will appear on your “Wall”. But all three of these social networks have a different demographic as well different things that people use them for. What do you do with your LinkedIn Status Update?
Some Sample LinkedIn Status Update Ideas
I ask this question today primarily because LinkedIn updated their own official blog with what Craig’s List Founder Craig Newmark uses his own Status Update for. In essence, he utilizes this feature to support the causes he believes in and to, in essence, call people to join him in his support. Very cool and respectful.
But what about YOU? If you update your Wall on Facebook, the subject matter may be a little more playful than LinkedIn. You may tweet on Twitter a few times a day, but if you update your status in the same way they would only be visible on LinkedIn until you update it. That’s right, the fundamental difference between LinkedIn vs. Twitter/Facebook is that your Status Updates are not archived and cannot be seen past your most recent one. Therefore, the first consideration is that whatever you put in your Status Update should be something sticky that can potentially remain on for an extended period of time.
As for the subject matter of the Status Update, it really comes down to what your objective for social networking is. Are you trying to show that you are an expert in something? Talk about your latest presentations, exhibitions attended, etc. Looking for a job? I personally wouldn’t advertise the fact that I am looking for a job on my Status Update, but use the space to promote yourself in a way that you can’t do in your more static profile. Are you studying something new, trying to obtain a new certificate, networking, flying somewhere for an interview? These things could definitely add to your brand and add value to boot. If you are a recruiter, sure, if you have one high value hard-to-find candidate that you are looking for put it in your Status Update. But, as you can see, putting something creative in your update can help you both reach your objective as well as provide a way of broadcasting something in a timely manner that LinkedIn does not allow for in its rigid format.
As for myself, I use my Status Update to broadcast my newest blog post, which I do a few times a week. If people want to find out more about my Social Media side that is not apparent in my Profile, which is based on my experience in leading companies in International High Tech Sales, I want them to go to my blog to read more about what I have to say about LinkedIn and Social Networking. Yes, I do use my blog as one of my three websites in my profile, but the Status Update is displayed in an area of prime real estate and thus will have more impact at leading people to my blog.
Everyone will have a different way of using this feature, but think hard as to what you are trying to achieve with LinkedIn and what your brand is. I am sure, with a little bit of creative thought, you will be able to think up something that is perfect for you. If you can’t, do what Craig does and broadcast for a good cause!