How To Read Through People in LinkedIn


This post is not about reading what is stated in the profile. And it is not teaching you how to hack into one’s profile – for heaven’s sake even if I could, I wouldn’t tell you that :D

Nope, this is also not about getting clients from LinkedIn or landing a new job. You can find hundreds if not thousands of those if you google them. But it is about reading them before you hire them or investing on them.

What this post will give you is to identify a person’s personality and behavior – and to see how good they are with their self awareness and social skills are through their chosen words and behavior and also through the evidences & patterns left in their accounts.

#1 Peek into Recommendation; Dont waste time to Skill Endorsements (Sorry LinkedIn!)

Skip endorsements. It’s too easy to give it then it would make this not credible at all. Instead, Recommendation takes more effort from the network to post about someone. Rules in credible communications, it is more trustworthy when it doesn’t comes from your mouth. You can claim anything you are, but if other people says the other way around then you know which one they will take into accounts. However, as you learn whom to listen, here are few things to take into account when checking Recommendations:

  1. Look who’s talking. Check the credibility of the people, do they newly created account to then recommend? or do they have years of experiences supported by evidence and other recommendations. Are they credible enough to provide a review of this person based on their skillsets? Do people as well recommend how they trust this person?
  2. Look at years or time-frame. Check if the time-frame given in recommendation shows consistency behavior of a person from time to time. Behavior is not easily changed and once it is become the patterns in a person then it becomes a definite quality as well mightlikely showing values. One of the common shows is how this person shows positivism, can do attitutdes, and resilience. You may found certain traits that fits your needs.
  3. Look at specific evidence. Particular time and situation frame given as in ‘when we were working on…’ or ‘manage to handle our customer to a higher level..’ This reveals the quality shown
  4. Look at inconsistency. Yes inconsistency in spelling – chosen words – passive/active – of recommendation between one and another reveals the authenticity of the recommender. This will avoid any chance that the recommender just post based on request. Close your eyes after you read them and see if those were unique recommendation specially made for this person.
  5. Look at the relationship when it happens. Yes, who was this person who recommend in what role to the one who are being recommended. And when was this recommendation given. I respect my boss that he asked me recommendation when he moved and as well give me recommendation after we have no working relationship. Cause that’s the ones unbiased.
  6. Ignore templates or general reco without specific details given. If any recommender using templates from LinkedIn for sure it’s not worth to look at. And I would even consider questioning why would a person accept such recommendations.

#2 Check on connections.

Yes, you are at the average of 5 person closest to you! sorry but that’ the fact. People surrounds this person as connections reveals the interest and focus of this person. Check their connections vs the area that they claimed they are an expert in.

If you want to check on your own profile, you can see those venn diagrams showing where your area of expertise is. And see if you are in the right pool of people as where you want to be, or you are still transitioning.

#3 Check on their profile 

You might go figure this already. But here’s some cheatsheets available on utilizing LinkedIn properly. What they might also know or dont when they do their linkedin profile will provide you a good basic checklist on how a person convey about themselves. Though you need to note that some great people are not into linkedin, so you might as well crosscheck and not only do sole investigation based on 1 social media only. Do your homework. Callibrate.


I do wonder if you can add up to these lists, based on your experiences, what surprising things you found from someone through their linkedin? and what would be your screening criteria like ?





8 Tips to Transform your Customer Service to Social Media Careline

This is a following answers from my presentation Sociabakers’ Social Media Insight 2014 in February. Apparently I gave all the WHYs but not enough WHAT TO DO. So here it goes to complete the Pillow Talk :)

Remember how Pillow Talk works? It’s authentic & personal. So the challenge would be how to create an authentic and personal Social media Careline? Does it come with the package from the agency ? NO. Definitely No.

Does it come naturally in each careline as human to have human conversations? Unfortunately, NO. Our Carelines are built by the industry to become a robot – at most becoming a scripted telemarketer. To all contact points – Social Media, Calls, SMS, and even Emails. So how should we make it human?

Here are 8 simple tips of what I can share based on my experience in Danone-Sarihusada:

1)       Kill the time limitation in responding questions.

Seriously, time can be seen as an effective measurement but not to limit communication.

People who came from the Contact Center industry know how the call agents are given limitation of time as part of the service level. But if you’re giving an added value of Consultation and Engagement towards your consumer, don’t limit your time. When your consumer speaks to you, spend time wisely to listen. Like a pillow talk with your wife, listen to her attentively until she has nothing to say but to give you a kiss. Or put it this way, when you come to a friend’s house, how would you respond if she say ‘Ok I will have 5 minutes with you now.’ I’d rather go to my other friend who is willing to spend times with me. Simple rules in life applied in Social Media engagements. Measure the time to get better but not to limit.


2)       Review and if necessary Redo all the trainings, communication guidelines, FAQ documents that are using brand’s language. Simplify to consumer daily languages.
The one who knows the consumer language best are those who talked with them everyday. This is not an easy one understanding how Indonesian raised with memorizing and following things in order instead of coming with an initiatives. Give them the confidence – and remind them that the careline knows best what our consumer’s buzz these days.


3)       Keep reminding the carelines & agencies that we’re human talking to another human. They are us and we are them. Never copy paste script!
Encourage your careline to talk in their own personal manner. Let them talk as if they were talking to a friend. The same rules with writing in social media. Being Human meaning being personal. Treat people the way that we would like to be treated. Listened to people as much as we like to be listened. Be sensitive with their worries and be flexible to laugh at silly things they cherish everyday. We all like friends who are not only understanding but true to relationship.



4)       as human, interact with people and other communities. Talk and answer. Curate information that is useful and relevant.
The function of Social Media is not on the brand’s likability – most of us like the brand already before we like the fanpage. So think about the connected word of mouth – the sharing ability. And what would people love to share most? Information and Entertainment. Talk about things that you see in daily life that are very local, like the upcoming presidential election , how to get away with floods and horrible traffics. Be part of the present. Be connected with other communities that will help to strengthen your brand personality. Remember that one can be seen from who her friends are.
Be useful to their lives. Give the what they need and they love sharing, and yet to be responsible for what we share as we are talking to large social presence. I always asked myself if ever I would give misleading information to my daughter.


5)       Communicate to your community on the people’s profile who works behind the screen. And why they are credible for what they communicate.

I remember when I first handle a community social media account 6 years ago, I created a personification in the profile along with the coffee she likes and the type of music she listened to on the way to work. For like few months then the brand prefers to have it as the ‘brand’ profile. This is the official accounts of blablabla.. I found it Cold. But perhaps that’s the rule of the Organization and the boring rule of a brand.
Find the hole in between, there’s gotta be room to make things happen. Do it as campaign if you can not do it naturally – anyway campaign works as well to educate.
Our carelines are specially recruited from mothers, nutritionists, midwives, and psychologists to assure our consumer that they are credible to give advice on motherhood. But most of our consumer doesn’t understand that, they thought that these carelines function only as to answer complaints. So we put a profile of our carelines and give a credible topic where our consumer can ask questions on our social media. Takes times, but now we receive more health & nutrition related questions (which is very general and not related to products) that question about promotion. We help to educate the communities in social media that brands in social media does not necessarily do promo or contest all the time. This is the real place to have a meaningful conversation.


6)       Be a good reminder that Social Media can be the soul and behavior of your brands & company. Keep reminding the team, agency, and the management for these rules. We’re changing years of manner in the industry to a digital behavior

People are forgetful and hyper-connected with priorities. We all need to be reminded and that’s very human – and that’s why they hire us. So that we can remind each others like friends do.
Social media gives a soul to a brand. A voice and a personality and even a set of behavior. It makes us know the brand more in a human level.
If I were the consumer, I’d be happier seeing a profile of a person behind the brand. Knowing that I feel understood as a human. And education about this human sense through communication with your consumer is a massive behavior challenges on human level, organization level & industrial level. This is why I always say – Digital is a behavior.



7)       Do your game smart and fast. Play and reward your best team. Let them do this instead :)

Let the carelines gives feedback one to another. If they’re to shy to talk straight facilitate a forum or a channel. Use chat messaging group, or lunch session with cross function team and management. They are human too, they share more as we properly have conversation.

Let them blend with the consumer also at the ground level, invite them to the factory, brand events, media launch, consumer gathering, even  to do market visits. Give these activities as a reward for them to become better and better in engaging with our consumers. Then we’re leveling up their capabilities through daily gamification :)


8)       Lastly, learn from my biggest mistake. I trust people easily and assume they know the game plan and on the same speed with me. Assumption is a big mistake.

At the end keeping a team who is not at the same pace and understanding is the least neither effective nor efficient thing. Need to keep your best and your most to make the team remember WHY you’re doing this and check on them. Execution is what makes it real. Check on your grass-root team periodically and constantly for their understanding. Be a good reminder even when at worst they sue you for being micro manager :D


There goes 8 pieces that is left out in my previous pillow talk on how to transform from consumer service to care in social media.

By the way – I’m not a contact center expert; the first time I do this was when I joined Sarihusada. And after 2 years operation, we won GOLD for the Best Operation Contact Center by Indonesia Contact Center Award in 2013. Why, because we’re helping the industry both FMCG and Contact Center – to change its course of business. I believe someone out there may have much more professional opinion on this.


Hope you learn something,




a Pillow Talk in Social Insight 2014

In Feb 27th 2014, I was invited to speak in Socialbakers’ Social Media Insight 2014 in Singapore. At first I was wondering why we’re invited to speak there, not that I’m aware that our Facebook Fanpage Aku Anak SGM & Mama Care had been in the top of Most Devoted Brands of FMCG category or perhaps the fact that we synergize our carelines which brought us GOLD from Indonesia Contact Center Award in 2013. I think we still have a lot to learn on how to excel in it, yet I guess we can always learn from what we share…

So my mission is tell the story from the other side, of reason why we are unique at the first place. Because I think that would be the foundation on how you can transform your careline into something that is more powerful — a power of nurturing a relationship and a personality of your company.

Check on my presentation here

Of course, after a big reason why, people came to me and still ask me the steps on how to do the transformation. And I owe you one to write them here. They are go to one simple recipe. Be Human.