LinkedIn has recently opened a beta service to everyone called Signal, which amounts to an entirely new social network based on your LinkedIn network and Twitter. So, even if you have never used any of the previously available LinkedIn features, now there’s a brand new way to use LinkedIn which might just pique your interest.
How To Get Started With Signal
Anyone can join the Signal LinkedIn Beta – just head over to Signal and log into LinkedIn.
To get your tweets to appear in Signal, you’ll need to add Twitter to your LinkedIn profile. If your Twitter account isn’t professional enough, maybe consider starting a new one to add to your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t want your tweets showing up in Signal then disconnect your Twitter account from LinkedIn entirely. You can still view other people’s updates even if you’re not sharing yours.
Now at this stage Signal seems to be limited to Twitter and LinkedIn status updates. However, the main bulk of LinkedIn currently offers an “Activity Stream”. What appears in the LinkedIn activity stream is based on your LinkedIn activity, including your LinkedIn connections and your applications, such as your imported tweets, Amazon books and your imported blog posts. It’s quite probable that the next step for Signal is to incorporate all of your activity stream and allow people to filter exactly what they want to see.
I would therefore advise you to update your LinkedIn activity feed visibility to whatever you’re comfortable with. Keep in mind, this is probably going to get quite public.
Using Signal Filters
The beauty of Signal over using Twitter directly is the many filters it offers, especially those based on the people you know already in LinkedIn. It allows you to expand your business network with one click, rather than searching for people one by one.
Signal also shows a preview of some URLs in-stream, and a summary of popular URLs from your chosen collection of people on the right, in a similar style to the Twitter newspaper services. You can also click on these and see who shared them.
To begin with, you’re given a Signal stream made up from all of your direct LinkedIn connections. That is, ONLY your LinkedIn connections. This is likely to be a collection of people you have actually met or worked with in some way, so that’s already filtered your network’s updates into something manageable and professional compared to viewing Twitter normally.
If you want to network a little, you can click on the “2nd Connections” option and see all your LinkedIn “Friends of Friends“. It’s a lot of people, but it could quickly open your eyes to people you want to be introduced to “” in one click!
For narrowing down the Signal stream, try out the other checkboxes. There’s plenty of choices, including company, school, industry, location, hashtag topics and how recent the update was. If you filter by a sub-category, Signal will let you add your 3rd-level connections too. You can also add a search term in, filtering results by whatever checkboxes you like. The icing on the cake is that you can save your searches for later!
Just think how useful your favourite Twitter hashtags will be when they’re filtered down to just the people you and your friends trust! Or simply filtering by the general industry people have listed themselves in on LinkedIn. Not every tweet will be on topic, but a general picture will emerge which could be good for news-gathering or networking.
Pros & Cons
Signal has opened up the possibilities for Twitter, so if another Twitter client, Twitter itself or Facebook were to do the same thing there’d be a little bit of competition. However, LinkedIn’s Signal has a few things going for it that most other Twitter clients can’t get just yet. The LinkedIn network provides regularly updated industry, education and location information, plus a tiered network of people built on two-way authenticated connections. So the only downside I can see is that not everyone has linked their Twitter accounts and blogs to their LinkedIn account yet. Time to spread the word!
LinkedIn’s Signal is an incredibly powerful way to access Twitter and LinkedIn statuses, plus has the potential for much more. With just a few clicks I had filtered to one industry-filtered corner of a wide network and could see updates I was interested in and people offering relevant jobs to their network. Signal is very powerful, simple and well worth a look.
If you’re looking for work or just looking to make Twitter more organised, you might like these articles:
- 8 Sites For Beating The Job Hunting Blues
- How To Maintain a Professional Reputation Online
- 3 Great Twitter Tools To Simplify Your Twitter Reading
- 8 Top Twitter Track Tools to Organize the People You Follow
If you’ve decided to give Signal a go, let us know your best tips and tricks for filtering your network. Have you used it to find work? Let us know in the comments!
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