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How to: Use the LinkedIn @Tagging Feature

Back in the day, many of us whiled away our primary school lunch breaks engrossed in a game of tag. The objective was simple: run around like a maniac for 30 minutes and try to catch and therefore tag the next person to be ‘on’. The concept which inspired a feature we have all come to know and use on many social networking sites on a daily basis. Read an article Johnny would enjoy? Tag Johnny and share it. Seen a cute LOLcat picture Holly would adore? Tag Holly and share it. It’s how we communicate on a regular basis.

Now like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ before it, LinkedIn has newly implemented an in-status tagging feature, set to revolutionise the way we connect to others on LinkedIn. Announced recently on their blog, the new feature enables you to tag a person or a company in your LinkedIn updates just like you do using the @ symbol on Twitter for example and is heralded as the “new way for you to engage with your network”.

So how does it work?
All you need to do to start using the feature is to start typing the name of a company or member you want to tag and LinkedIn will automatically show you a drop down box where you can select the profile you’re talking about. Choose the correct profile, then finish your message. Then all you need to do is share your update with the tag included, and all your connections can directly click that link to view the profile you’ve mentioned. Simples!

But how does this benefit us as recruiters?
The tagging tool is an excellent and simple way to start a conversation, and get a dialogue going between you and your chosen tag. Every time you mention someone or a company in your post, they get a real-time notification. Mentioning and sharing someone’s latest blog post or Tweet is a fantastically subtle way of connecting with them and grabbing their attention. By showing you are enthusiastic about someone’s work or a point they have made, you are engaging with them and prompting a reaction. Also, the tag is a hyperlink, allowing those reading through the post or discussion to visit the tag-ee’s profile and further their network. I know from experience, that I’m much more likely respond to a personal shout out or a message that is aimed right at me, than a general update or announcement. Then, after initial contact has been made in this way, approaching them as recruiter should be a lot easier and viewed more favorably.

What do you think of LinkedIn’s new tagging system? How would you react to a mention? Is it something you will use to connect with potential candidates in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 🙂

 – Siofra

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