Communication tools: LinkedIn and IFTTT

Who do you think you are? It is an important question to ponder.  Are you the person in charge of your post’s monthly newsletter?  Or maybe you are the lucky volunteer who keeps the post’s Facebook page updated. 

If you are either, I would I say you are the communications director of your American Legion post; you are charged to communicate to the members and to the community what is happening in your local post.  This is an important job and who you associate with and how you communicate to others matters.

To help you, LinkedIn and IFTTT (If This Then That) are two tools to place in your “communication toolbox.”

What is LinkedIn?

Think of LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) as the business version of Facebook. You won’t find family photos or silly quotes as you do on Facebook – the content on LinkedIn is geared toward people’s professions.  

How to use LinkedIn

Create an account by filling out a profile – your profile is your advertisement of why people should connect with you.  With LinkedIn you make connections; you don’t add friends.  This social media platform allows you to connect with like-minded people, whether it’s media professionals, veterans groups or people in your daily profession.

Start making connections by searching for people you may know or for groups that interest you, like NALPA.  Then begin searching for reporters and media professionals in your area to connect with. 

Lastly, like Facebook, write status updates, make comments, and provide content that is relevant to you, your profession, your Legion post or veterans.  This will help educate your connections and eventually people will want to connect with you because of your knowledge.

To learn more about LinkedIn, do a Google search for “Begin to use LinkedIn” and several links will appear for further assistance.

If you start using LinkedIn, or you already have an account, connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/markalansutton.

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT means if x happens then do y.  If you are like me you handle several social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and maybe a WordPress account.  Keeping all of them updated with current content can be a difficult task to manage. At www.IFTTT.com, you can create “applets” that automate many functions for different tasks.

For example, an applet can be created so that if you tweet a status on your Legion post’s Twitter account, that tweet can then be posted to your Facebook page automatically.  Or if you post a Facebook message, it can be tweeted out at the same time. 

Do you have a WordPress account?  If you do, then the content added to your WordPress blog can then be copied to your other social media outlets. 

I have found this website to save a lot of time in keeping content updated, and it eliminates me from having to constantly copy content manually to each of my social media platforms. Check it out; once you begin using it you will find other uses for it. And did I mention it was free?

Overall, technology can make our lives better or worse depending on how we use it.  Using LinkedIn and IFTTT has enhanced the work that I do for The American Legion, and I believe you will find this to be true, as well, as, as you become more efficient at using these communication tools.