Previously we looked at connecting with others on LinkedIn, the second step for a successful LinkedIn campaign. Now we’ll look at being active on LinkedIn.
I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees that one of my colleagues jokes that I need an intervention. Not for use of an illegal substance; no, an intervention for use of… LinkedIn. Too much use.
This little joke elicits laughter from my attendees, but I secretly wonder if there’s truth to his words. If using LinkedIn 365 days a year, including holidays, is considered abnormal; then I might benefit from an intervention.
This post is not about refraining from using LinkedIn often. To the contrary, this post is about the necessity of being active on LinkedIn. How many hours should they dedicate to LinkedIn many of my workshop attendees asks me.
There’s not a set number of hours or minutes you must dedicate to LinkedIn; but to be be productive on LinkedIn, you can’t sit idle. Here’s what you must do:
1. An obvious way to be active is to communicate with your connections by posting Updates. How many you post is up to you, but I suggest at least one a day. This is when I get remarks from my attendees about not having time to make one update a week.
To prove this is not a tall order, I show my attendees how I update providing tidbits of job-search advice, asking a question, or sharing an article I find educational. I tell them it’s important to share relevant information with their connections; that’s what good connections do.
2. Another way to be active is to “Like” what your connections update; or, better yet, comment on your connections’ updates. Liking their updates is great, but it takes very little effort to simply click the link. Be more creative and add a comment which can generate discussion, or reply to your connections privately.
3. I’ll visit my connection’s profiles–with full disclosure–many times a day. My connections will visit my profile many times, as well. When they “drop in” and have disclosed themselves (not Anonymous LinkedIn User or Someone from the Entertainment Industry), I’ll show my appreciation by writing, “Thanks for visiting my profile.” This will also lead to a discussion.
4. You’ve probably read many opinions from people on the topic of Endorsements–here we go again. Add me to the list of people who prefer receiving or writing thoughtful recommendations as opposed to simply clicking a button. And I’m not alone.
But, in fairness, Endorsements have a purpose greater than showing appreciation for someone’s Skills and Expertise; they act as a way to touch base. In other words, they’re another way to communicate with your connections.
5. Let us not forget your groups which give you another, significant way to be active. Participating in discussions regularly is a great way to share ideas with established and potential connections. I’ve gained connections because of the interests we shared revealed by discussions.
Did you know you can communicate directly with anyone in your group? That’s right, you don’t have to be a first degree in order to communicate directly with even a third-degree member. Trying to get the ear of someone out of your network? You may want to join a group that person is in.
6. If your connections blog and share their posts on LinkedIn, take the effort to read their blog posts and comment on their thoughts. This is an effective way of creating synergy in the blogging community. Now you can express your thoughts using LinkedIn’s Publishing feature. Take advantage of this if you have the ability to write and enjoy sharing your ideas.
Sharing blog posts on LinkedIn and making thoughtful comments in your groups can promote you as a thought leader in your occupation and industry. Don’t be shy about sharing your expertise. Employed or unemployed, you have important information to share. LinkedIn is not only about connecting; it’s also about information capital.
7. Pulse is one of the best ways to stay abreast of news in your selected industries (or channels), influencers, and publishers. LinkedIn delivers news to your homepage every day. And you choose which news you want to receive. When my workshop attendees wonder what they should update, I tell them sharing articles of common interest is a great way to start.
8. Companies feature. I saved one of the best features for last. Companies epitomizes networking on LinkedIn. It allows you to find people who are in a position to help you. It encourages you to be proactive. In my workshops I show people how to find people who have the authority to hire them by:
- Selecting a company for which you’d like to work;
- choosing second degree connections;
- typing keywords in Advanced Search;
- choosing “current” for currently working there;
- typing the person’s title, and;
- indicating the company’s geographic location.
Once you’ve located the person with whom you’d like to communicate, you can ask for an introduction from one of your first degree connections who is connected to said person.
These are some ways you can be active on LinkedIn. The first step is to create a presence with your profile, followed by connecting with others on LinkedIn, and finally being active. Combining all three will lead to a successful LinkedIn campaign.