Are you hurting your business relationships by syncing Twitter and LinkedIn?

Quick Update: Chris Brogan just posted his tips on using LinkedIn effectively. Sheds light on best practices he follows, some of which I’ve outlined below. Read more on Chris’ blog. And, here’s another on how to use LinkedIn status updates. Priceless.

I noticed my good friend, Chris Brogan, seems to have come down with a case of Twitter overkill, on LinkedIn. Let me explain. Recently, we started letting our users sync up their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. That lets you stream your status updates from LinkedIn to Twitter and vice-versa. You do have the option to selectively update your LinkedIn account with only those tweets tagged #in or you could let the whole fire-hose of your twitter imagination run riot on LinkedIn.


Would you take your vacation pictures and paste it in your cubicle. No, you wouldn’t. So, why does it seem ok to let in your entire twitter stream directly to LinkedIn. That said, I’m sure you’d love to show off a picture of you standing next to a business celebrity you may have stumbled upon and paparazzi’d while on vacation. The problem with these auto twitter streams is that folks like Chris start seeing a relentless twitter stream when they log into their LI homepage.

Of course, this is dependent on the # of friends you’re connected to on LinkedIn, as well as how twitter friendly they are. In Chris’ case, since he’s both a best selling author and marketing expert he probably has a ton of connection invites (most of which he accepts – more on that later) who also have a lot to say on Twitter. Unfortunately, some of them chose to stream all that Twitter to their LinkedIn accounts.

Chris Brogan's LinkedIn page with Tweets

So, here are three quick tips for those of you who are interested in nurturing your business relationships on LinkedIn via network updates but would like to avoid annoying your business connections with a meaningless interfering Twitter stream:

1. Control the flow of tweets in your stream:

As Chris recommends, go to your LinkedIn-Twitter sync Accounts and Settings and turn down the Twitter faucet. Secondly, make sure the tweets you bring in to your professional LinkedIn ecosystem are hashtagged #in and have a business context.

For e.g.
or

vs. the random LOST tweet that popped in to my LinkedIn stream today.

2. Hide the noisy twitterers in your stream:

Secondly, increase the quality of your connections (keeping it business) and spring clean your LinkedIn accounts every once in a while. Many times when I see persistent, random tweets come in from people I don’t very well recognize I use that as an opportunity to weed out the connections that may have sprung up inconsequentially.

When you see someone spam you with their tweets, all you’ve to do is mouseover the right of each status update, which will pop up the HIDE button. Click on that and you won’t receive updates from that user no more. You can also do this on your Facebook feed, if you’ve a noisy friend, for e.g.

For a more granular control of the updates you see on the homepage, click through to this Update Settings page where you can then tweak updates by either connections or Type.


Let’s not forget, LinkedIn is a business focused networking site, so letting in all your tweets – all personal and business – will have the exact opposite effect you were hoping to achieve by using the site. And, by that, I mean it’d end up hurting the same business relationships you were hoping to nurture.

Plus, be thoughtful while you send out those LinkedIn connection invites. My rule of thumb is to invite folks I’ve met a few times, talked to and who can recognize my personalized invite right away. What is yours?

3. Time your status updates for maximum effect:

Now that you’re no longer that noisy neighbor everyone’s calling the cops on. Learn how to use your LinkedIn-Twitter sync to maximum effect for your business. Time your relevant, most impressive tweets or status updates for maximum effect. By that I mean scheduled updates at the most effective timings. Here are some tips on what’s the best time to tweet. There are a slew of services that allow you to tweet information to select services. Three that come to mind – Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Seesmic – all of which allow scheduling your tweets.

Tweetdeck’s new update in particular has me wowed since it allows me to not only shorten and track the effectiveness of links through my bit.ly account, but it also let’s me schedule tweets across LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

One last tip: If you’re a small business owner or the social media manager who runs your company’s official Twitter account (like I do here), I’d recommend tying that to your Twitter account. If your company does not have a Twitter account but you’d still like to share the latest happening at your company with your LinkedIn network, then consider adding your company’s blog to LinkedIn. More on that here.

These tips are just the beginning. I’ll continue to blog on ways you can use social media effectively at work and for your business, right here on this blog. Please consider subscribing to my blog or following me on Twitter.

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