Selena Larson, writing for ReadWrite, hits the nail on the head in her post, “The Unbearable Sameness of Social Networks.” She shows screencaps of her profiles on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn, all of which have embraced the “cover photo” (to put it in FB language). Maybe this explains my recent disenchantment with social networking sites; and the increase in social media “hiatuses” I’ve seen popping up from “friends” and “follows.” Or maybe we’re seeing an acceptance of the visual. But more likely we’re seeing a troubling uniformity in how we engage with one another on social networking sites.
Social media connects us. After all, the premier attraction of social media outlets is how they let users meet people, share information, and learn new things. Websites like Facebook help individuals communicate on a variety of commonly-held interests; Instagram and Twitter promote the spread of pithy rhetoric and visuals through character limits and image-emphasis; niche sites like Goodreads and Bandsintown bring people together over their favorite books and music groups.
But what about professional connections, like the kind of relationships that encourage job growth, career planning, and resume building? No, Pintrest is not going to help you find a job at Boeing, but Linkedin will. Nearly three-hundred million people utilize Linkedin to establish their professional identity and commiserate with employers, professors, job seekers, and start-ups. All users of social media are encouraged to join Linkedin to help find their future dream job; yet even with all the transparency and usability, many find the website’s capabilities to be challenging.
Luckily for Linkedin users, the website’s CEO is here to help. Reid Hoffman has come up with six strategies with which new and experienced users can take advantage to improve their online identity. Elements of Hoffman’s recommendations include understanding the technology trends and discerning the customer’s needs and wants, among other useful tips.