LinkedIn might be the best example of a largely disconnected social network. Very few people actually use it as a day to day connection.. with the exception of LinkedIn Groups – some of which are pretty effective. Of course, some are largely a jumble of “Look at me” parties.. Another topic for another day.
This past year, LinkedIn introduced “Endorsements.” That is where you recognize a connection for skills they have. Basically, you are offered a list of skills that you can click on as an endorsement.
FYI: In the above image, taken from my “endorsements” page, I know 2 of those connections personally and can whole-heartedly endorse them. But when I do, I write about them and link to their work.. That is how you know I’ve endorsed them..
This generates a message to the contact who can then, respond in kind, by endorsing you. It is all the rage it seems but, in the end, similar to Facebook likes, largely useless in advancing your business, career, or true social clout.
Why LinkedIn Created Endorsements
LinkedIn, like every brand (and this is a hint for you), wants eyes on its website/page. They are hoping/banking on the fact that while on their page, clicking on a word or two to “endorse” someone who has “endorsed” you, that you will help them monetize their efforts. Facebook has been the best at this, keeping people on their website – although their more recent “Suggested Page” ads are a bit confusing and too obtrusive in my opinion.
To date, LinkedIn has not be very effective at keeping people on their site. Most people go, connect, and then leave until the next connection. They’ve enabled a status feed and just today I got an email introducing new video and image galleries. We’ll see if this helps them.
The danger with endorsements is similar to the danger with Likes on Facebook. Individuals and brands are still focusing on the quantity of theoretic eyes on their page rather than the impact and value of the content they share.
Content is King… … still
I’m speaking with a new social media coaching client. They are being told many things.. Be on Pinterest. Be on Instagram. Be here, be there.
Here is the hard truth. You (they/any brand/individual) would be better served to have 20 connections who share your GREAT content on their networks/pages, then having 1,000 likes or endorsements, who are simply “drive-by clickers.” People clicking a skill or a like is nearly valueless.
In fact, it reminds me of visiting garage sales. There are garage sales where I look and do not even get out of the car.. I simply drive-by.. those are the useless “Likes” and “Endorsements.” Then, there are those garage sales that entice me to stop the car, get out, and walk around. MUCH GREATER CHANCE OF A PURCHASE… OBVIOUSLY.
People taking what you’ve posted, re-posting with some type of attribution, now that is powerful!
What is our take away?
Think about your content! Create something of value. I keep repeating, educate or entertain! Better yet, do both…. EDUTAIN or ENTERCATE. 😉
And I’ll repeat this as well. That does not mean educate them about why they should buy your product or service… Educate them more broadly and they will learn to trust you. They will look at what you are doing more earnestly. They will share, connect, engage, and ultimately buy.
Someone clicking a skill – ie: Matthew Moran knows “Blogging” is far less important than someone using one of the “Share” buttons below and posting a message like
“Hey everyone, you should be reading this article about how to truly engage readers.”
That was a not so subtle hint – do with it what you wish.
If you want people to truly endorse you, engage them with true value.