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Todd Mintz

LinkedIn Endorsements: The New “Poke”

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Like most in our industry, I use my Facebook account for business. In a business context, there really isn’t any legitimate rationale for “poking” somebody. Yet occasionally, it still happens to me.

I guess the “poker” is trying to get my attention for whatever reason, but they’re doing it in a way that comes across as extremely awkward and borderline offensive. When this happens, I would like to tell the giver of the poke something along the lines of:

WTH man. Facebook, like all social media, is about communication. If you want to communicate with me, then communicate. Send me a message, share some content with me, or comment on my content. That’s how people get to know each online. I find “getting poked” as attractive as smelling someone pass gas in an elevator…

Most Search Engine Watch readers already know the basic ways to use either Twitter or Facebook to communicate with people they wish to get to know better. However, LinkedIn has given people a new way to “poke” somebody…one which isn’t awkward for anyone involved, benefits the recipient, and gets the giver noticed by their intended target.

The LinkedIn Endorsement.

How does this work? Easy.

First, you need to get LinkedIn to the person (if you aren’t already). In our industry, most everyone I know accepts LinkedIn requests from anybody that’s not either an obvious spammer or an MLM marketer (apologies for the redundancy). So long as you’re not perceived thusly, your request will likely be accepted.

Now, most people who are serious about LinkedIn have added a list of skills and expertise they possess to their profile. You are allowed to add up to 50 such skills; here are some of the ones listed on my LinkedIn Profile.

todd-skills-and-experience

When you're a first-level connection of somebody and land on their LinkedIn profile page, you are presented with a list of five skills from that person’s profile and asked if that person has these certain skills. You then have the ability to endorse any or all of these skills in the box.

david-mihm-skills-and-experience

I clicked “endorse” and my endorsements are added to David Mihm’s tally. I’m not limited by the choices that LinkedIn has given me…I can choose other skills if I think they are more relevant. Further down on Mihm’s page, you’ll see the following:

david-more-skills-and-experience

More importantly, each time you endorse somebody, the recipient of your endorsement gets a notice in their LinkedIn inbox (and also in their email) saying that you endorsed them. That’s the type of virtual “poke” that benefits both the giver and the recipient.

After making that initial endorsement, you're then given the option to give single endorsements to other LinkedIn connections of yours.

more-linkedin-connections

craig-sager-tieMost people who have endorsed me have done so for one or two skills.

However, if you want to get somebody’s notice, go for the “Full Five” endorsement by endorsing all five skills presented to you. Few do this, which is why it’s so much more effective.

Doing so is as subtle as a Craig Sager tie. That’s why it will get you noticed.

Please remember that this technique is only one step taken in the positive direction of relationship building.

If you make a sales pitch two days after you give someone a LinkedIn Endorsement, you’ll (deservedly) get shot down. Combine this approach with a normal course of Twitter conversation and retweeting, Facebook sharing, and blog commenting, and you’ve laid the groundwork for a potentially mutually beneficial business relationship.


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