Sometimes the social-media world can feel like a whole other planet with its own unique etiquette, customs and language. If you’re an advisor just starting to explore this strange new landscape — or an old pro — you need to be familiar with certain words and phrases. Enter the Financial Social Media dictionary, a list of need-to-know social media lingo, broken down by platform. Here, we cover LinkedIn terms.

  1. Connection: A LinkedIn user with whom you have a connection.
  2. Degree: The number of people linking you to a specific user. Contained in LinkedIn users’ information is the number of degrees (first, second, third, etc.) separating you from them.
  3. Endorsements: A tool on LinkedIn allowing users to create a testimonial for their connections with the click of a button. (Be mindful of compliance when using endorsements.)
  4. Group: A gathering place for members with common interests or in similar industries designed for sharing information, engaging in discussions and making new contacts. Participation can help distinguish an advisor as an expert in his field.
  5. Influencer: An industry thought-leader selected by LinkedIn to share insightful content to the LinkedIn community.
  6. Recommendation: A comment written by a LinkedIn member to commend or approve of the performance or skill-set of a connection.
  7. Sponsored update: A paid update sent to an audience beyond your network.

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and President of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.