The problem with ubiquitous services like LinkedIn or Twitter is that people often feel their work is done after just signing up.
Savvier users, of course, know nothing could be further from the truth, but since maintaining your account is such a matter of personal preference, it can be tough to know how to use these networking tools most effectively. For those unsure how to schmooze digitally, Elhmurst-based digital marketing firm Desert Rose Design has issued a list of six handy pointers that you may or may not agree with.
Some of the tips are a clever way to make use of LinkedIn's more social aspects, like becoming an "answers expert" by "answering questions in your area of expertise." But the firm warns to "be cautious that your responses reflect information sharing and not hard-selling... [which] can do irrevocable damage to your reputation."
One suggestion that seems a little unusual is connecting digitally with someone you know you're going to be in a meeting with ahead of time -- that way you have an icebreaker when you meet up in person.
Sure, you can scour their profile for personal information to bring up, but it seems a tad premature to hook up with someone's account before you've actually met. But hey, if you've got the charm to pull it off, go for it.
Desert Rose's co-founder, Kathy Steele, also suggests integrating LinkedIn networking as part of your day to day, which makes a lot of sense. Just like anything else, you need to put in the effort to reap any benefits. You can't just make an account and expect to be instantly as well-connected as Kevin Bacon.
Read Desert Rose's full post over here.