Here’s the advice I offer to college students (when they ask):
Enter College using Facebook 95% of the time and LinkedIn 5% of the time. By the senior year, flip that.
Facebook will not get a student a job. It could, however, cost someone a job. Quick: have you heard about the person that wasn’t hired because of their LinkedIn post?
No, you haven’t. But there are people who haven’t hired college students because they didn’t have a LinkedIn profile.
How to care about LinkedIn.
Step #1 is caring about your profile. Your profile should be your best foot forward. Assume people looking at the profile are considering doing business with you, or hiring your for your business. Add details of your wins at school. If you were the president of a club, add it. Write a description of your duties. If your club accomplished something, take some of the credit.
Just don’t lie.
Step#2 is connecting. LinkedIn offers LinkedIn.com/alumni, a truly magical place of discovery. At LinkedIn.com/alumni, people can search LinkedIn by city, company or category. Or, you can click all three and narrow it down to the developer at Google in San Francisco, or the HR manager at Google in New York City.
Connect with the people who went to your school. There is a mutual reward in this connection: you can tell them what ii is like a their school now – believe me, alums want to know what is going on at the school. They want to reminisce with people who are in the moment. They will be able to tell you about the category, the city or the company that you are interested.
It can be mutually beneficial, if framed correctly.
So go out and use LinkedIn instead of Facebook. The worst that could happen is no one cares. The best is someone does.
Neil deGrasse Tyson came to speak at Colgate. He was awesome. Here are three reasons why:
1. He can tell a story. The presentation was funny, but at times poignant. In those times, he created drama with props or just his voice. There was one moment where he stopped talking and walked to the back of the stage to get a chair. He pulled the chair to the front of the page, sat down, and sighed. THe theatrics helped make the point about scientific illiteracy.
2. He stood the whole time (with the exception of above) It seems obvious that when presenting one must stand. Indeed, it isn’t called sit down comedy. If you want to capture a room, you must stand up. True story, a marketing firm recently came to present at Colgate and they sat down for the whole thing. They bored us all because it is impossible to be energetic sitting down. Never sit down to present. Ever.
3. His slides had no more than 10 words and were mostly pictures. Slides should add to the presentation, they shouldn’t be the presentation. Never read off a slide. Always use a slide to add to what you’re going to say. If you find yourself reading off a slide, then you will find yourself with a room that pulled out devices and checked e-mail.
Your turn. What makes a good or a bad presentation?
Facebook is a powerful tool for connecting young people to interesting things. When Facebook came into my world. it helped me reconnect to friends from the schools I attended.
I used Facebook to reconnect to my high school friends, and have a different relationship with them now than I had ten years ago.
At the college I work, I can say with confidence that Facebook is making Reunion an entirely different experience. Facebook keeps recent graduates connected, and reconnects older graduates.
For the college-bound student, Facebook offers a chance to connect to new friends, but to stay connected to their high school friends. The college student now comes with a built-in community of their past and present.
That won’t go away. When they get to college, I think it is smart to use Facebook and stay connected. The 2017 class Facebook group is a group filled with people who will be a huge part of the next 4 years. Connect. Engage. Make friends IRL.
Then create a LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is part of what students get from a degree.
If Facebook is the platform of your past, LinkedIn is the platform of your future.
LinkedIn is the place to connect to people who went to your alma mater. The smaller and more intimate your school, the most alums will help you get ahead in your career.
To see them, click here.
Alumni of a small intimate Liberal Arts college have something a students want – connection to the real world. But current students have something an alum wants – connection to their alma mater.
So here’s the rule: in your first year of college, spend 90% of your time on Facebook and 10% of the time on LinkedIn. By senior year, reverse those numbers.
Upon graduation, make LinkedIn be the thing that proves you’re an expert at what you know. Connect to alums who would care about said proof.
And occasionally use Facebook to find friends to celebrate your success.
In my current position, I get to watch people make the claim that they want to be content creators. They want to start a blog, or a Facebook page, they want to “spread the word”.
So they start something. And they call me to spread it, because I do social media things, and most of the time they want to use social media things to spread the word.
I usually sit with them and talk about the words they want spread. Strangely, even though many people like images and sites like imjur and Reddit are exploding because of images, they rarely want to “spread the image”.
I don’t tell them the things I’m about to tell you, I use much different language. But this is the gist of it. Here are ten reasons people don’t care.
1. You aren’t targeting the right people. This one is actually quite simple. When people say they want to spread the word, I ask to whom? What people? If you don’t ask what people, people who accidentally find your site through some sheer force of you posting a lot will leave because they weren’t ever the right people.
2. The right people don’t care. When spreading the word, the word has to be something worth spreading. The message needs to resonate to the right people or your wasting your time.
3. Someone told you to post once a day or once a week. See, here’s the thing: you should post when the content you post resonates to #1, ergo #2. If you post for the sake of it, you’ll make Google happy, but then you’ll just attract more of the wrong people. And your traffic will look big but not full of people coming back.
4. If you’re doing it on Facebook, 70% of the people who like your page don’t care because they don’t see it. That’s right, a post goes to about 30% of your ‘likes’. Sometimes it is more: we once had a post go to almost double the amount of people who like our page. It went viral! Did I mention that happened once? Yea. Good times.
5. It is even less if you’re doing it on Twitter.
6. Back to Facebook: lets say someone in the 30% sees your post, it is surrounded by cute pictures or personal posts from friends. It is doomed to be seen but not seen. I like Facebook for certain things, but not for “spreading the word”. Incidentally, Facebook should be about “spreading the image”.
7. You focus on SEO and not people. SEO should be called search engine optimization for the people who want to see my content. SEOFTPWWTSMI is way too long. So it is SEO. And you do headlines and pepper your posts with keywords to be found. This impacts #2. Unless it doesn’t. It doesn’t have to. Nail #2 and you’ll nail SEO.
8. Use more pictures than words. Not because people don’t read, because images and moving images look better on mobile technologies. People read. Ask the New York Times.
9. You’re not the New York Times. You’re not a professional writer so write short. Get to the point. Use short sentences that get to the point. The point? I’m not a professional writer. This is the longest my blog posts should be. There probably should not be a #10.
10. Instead of creating something new, find content about your thing and engage with the person who created it. Unless you’re really awesome, there is someone out there doing what you want to do, and they’re doing it better. Find them. See if you can find ways to get their content on your site.
The other day, my four-year old son asked me what sound a giraffe makes. I don’t know, I responded.
“Can you ask your phone?” he said.
At four, he is keenly aware that the answers to all the questions in the world are in my phone.
I tell you this because it makes me think about how school will be for him. When we went to school, we were essentially tested on our ability to memorize information. We would ‘study’ content, then recite it on a test. The higher the grade, the more it was about memorization.
But we didn’t have a device in our hands that give us the answer. Back then, we had to know the answer – someone needed to have that information memorized. Now, it isn’t as critical.
Aside: I know my parent’s phone number, but I still need to look up my new phone number because I use my cell phone and just say call home.
So how will my son be tested? Knowing that the answers are in the device he’ll inevitably have in the classroom, how can teachers test on memorization?
I think we need to radically rethink the definition of learning. I do think we need to teach the basics – reading, writing and arithmetic. I also think we need to work on diction, grammar and sentence structure.
However, I really think we need to focus on story telling. I think we also need to teach students how to talk into cameras and tell stories. They can do papers using video. We can and should teach them to tell stories using YouTube, Facebook, a blog or Google Earth.
We should also teach them to think about anonymity online.
Communication will be the most important element of the next 40 years. It will be crucially more important than the ability to memorize who won the war of 1812. Instead, teach students how to use Google Earth to show how people fought the war.
The obvious problem is that for my son, technology will be a way of life. For his teachers, this is all new. They learned through memorization. The only device they had at their disposal was the calculator – and some were old enough to not even have a calculator in the class.
Here is a look at technology in College.