Tag Archives: Sharing Posts

6 ways to be engaged on LinkedIn, not just active?

For many years I’ve been telling job seekers that engaging with their LinkedIn network is one of the three important pieces required to be successful using this professional online networking platform. I explain that simply being active is not as effective as engaging; there are differences.

Being Polite

An analogy comes to mind: you’re being active if you’re simply showing up for a party you were encouraged to attend. You nod hello to the people there and have superficial conversations. You know the feeling; you don’t really want to be there.

Carrying the analogy further; you arrive at a party, immediately greet everyone with enthusiasm, make some small talk with five or six people, then join a group of people who are deep into conversation about a current event. You add your input when appropriate. The conversation stirs some emotion in you. You are engaged.

Being active vs. being engaged

It’s possible to be active on LinkedIn, while not being engaged. We’ll look at certain activities that illustrate this. The first two examples are reacting to what others post.

1. Liking what others write

Active—Many have complained that just Liking an update and not commenting on it is not enough. I’m guilty of doing this on occasion, leaving me with a feeling of being lazy. It’s so easy to press that Like icon and not giving the post another thought. This is the ultimate example of simply being active, not engaged.

Engaged—To be engaged, you must read the post, interpret it’s message, and then Comment on said post. Do this first and then Like it. The poster will appreciate that you took the time to read their post. This can lead to further communications between you and the poster.

2. Writing comments

Active—You Liked an update and wrote a comment, but your comment just didn’t have the oomph the “author” deserved. Here’s an example: “Great post, Susan. Thanks.” This shows very little engagement and makes the poster wonder what you really thought about the post.

Engaged—When you’re engaged, you elaborate further and demonstrate that you read the post, processed it, and respond to it in detail. For example:

“Great post, Susan. Your statement about a company lacking a social media campaign being akin to living in the dark ages really resonated with me. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other platforms can create that ‘like, know, and trust’ relationship between the company and its’ customers. You’re also correct in stating that all platforms should be connected, as well as linked to and from the company’s website.”

Note: always remember to tag a person with @name so they will be notified in LinkedIn’s Notifications. I was scolded once for not doing this.


The next examples of engagement are being proactive, rather than reacting to what others share.

3. Sharing posts

Active—Sharing posts for the sake of sharing posts is being active. Your connections will see what you’ve shared, but if the content is shallow and provides no value, your posts will not leave an impression on your connections. You won’t get the Likes you so desire.

Engaged—To stay top of mind, your shared posts must show engagement. LinkedIn encourages you to share an article, video, photo, or idea. Take the opportunity to engage with your network by providing valuable content to them; content that elicits responses. A sign that you’ve succeeded would be the number of Likes and, more importantly, Comments you receive.

One type of update I find successful is asking an illuminating question. If you’re going to do this, be diligent in replying to your connections’ and followers’ responses. Failing to reply to your connections who answer your question does not demonstrate engagement. I am impressed with people who take the time to answer every reply they receive. I try to reply to all the feedback but, alas, I am only human.

4. Sharing articles

Active—Sharing articles without explaining why you’re sharing it is an example of being active on LinkedIn. Some people will share an article and leave it at that. I’ve been guilty of doing this and feel lazy when I do it. For the most part, I go a step further.

Engaged—Going a step further means you share others’ articles with a short synopsis on the message it delivers, showing engagement. This says, “I’ve taken the time to read the article, understand its meaning, and will elaborate on it for the benefit of the readers.”

5. Writing and sharing your articles

Active—Using LinkedIn’s Write an article, feature is a great way to demonstrate your expertise. However, using this feature to advertise an event or for promotional purposes is being active. You’re not thinking about the value, or lack thereof, your article holds.

Engaged—Writing an article with unique and fresh content takes engagement; it shows you’ve considered what your audience would benefit from. My primary audience is job seekers and career coaches, so I write articles focusing on the job search and using LinkedIn in the job search. I know I’ve been successful when people react to what I’ve written.

Note: refrain from only sharing your own articles. This gives off the sense of superiority.

I include creating and sharing videos under being engage. This is a fairly new concept—probably a year old by now—but it’s catching hold among LinkedIn members. If you are going to share videos, make sure you’re consistent and produce videos your network will appreciate.

6. Sending direct messages

Active—The “One and done” message is the ultimate example of being active. Sure, you’re going through the process of writing to your new connection, but there’s no intent to develop the relationship. An example is, “Hi Claudia. It’s great being connected. Perhaps we can be of mutual assistance.” That’s it; there’s no interaction beyond this. Sound familiar?

Engaged—On the other hand, if you send the initial message and reply back to the recipient. Or if you continue to send messages but the other person doesn’t respond, there are two thoughts. First, you are trying to engage with your connection. Second, take the hint and stop sending messages.


Going beyond

Engaged—I’m brought back to the party analogy, where the person simply shows up and makes no effort to engage. I’m talking about going beyond the conversations you have with your LinkedIn connections. Yes, they constitute engagement; but there’s no effort to solidify the relationship.

Truly engaged—To truly show engagement, you must follow up with your connections. I have developed many relationships by reaching out to them via telephone, if they live a distance away, or meeting them, if they don’t live that far away. One of my connections and I had been exchanging discussions via LinkedIn. Yesterday we had our first phone conversation. Although we will not do business together, it was great finally “meeting” her on the phone.

Photo, Flickr, www.flickr.com/photos/jfravel

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LinkedIn status update etiquette. How often should you update?

man-walking-with-phone

I posted a status update asking LinkedIn members how often they update. Asking a question, after all, is one of the many updates you should post. The response wasn’t as great as I would have like, much like when I ask my 14 year-old son how his day went.

I did, however, receive answers like “once a day,” “four times a week,” etc. But I didn’t get the answer I wanted to hear: “four times a day.” Do I hear a pin drop? I can hear some of you thinking, “That’s crazy, dude.” And, “Get a life.” Perhaps, “I’d hide* that guy.” And I’m sure I have been hidden.

Some of my workshop attendees tell me that posting even once a week is too difficult. They also say that they don’t know what to post. (I refer them to Hannah Morgan’s great infographic of what you can update. Yes, one of them was posting a question.)

I’ve read from some LinkedIn pundits that once a day is the limit. How did they come up with that arbitrary number? Why not two updates a day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon for a total of 14 updates a week? Wouldn’t that make more sense?

I posted an article awhile back called 11 reasons why I share LinkedIn updates so often in response to an article called 6 Bad LinkedIn Habits That Must Be Broken, in which the author writes with conviction that one must update only once a day. He states:

“People don’t check LinkedIn nearly as often as Facebook or most other Social Networks for that matter. So I recommend that statuses are updated no more than once or twice a day. This is more for your benefit than for your network. Oversimplify here and focus on sharing much less frequently, while trying to find highly interesting content that will benefit your connections.”

In my counter article I explain that I update for nine reasons, two of which are to make LinkedIn a better place. I know that sounds conceited but I figure I manage to accomplish this 20% of the time. And the other times because I really enjoy it.

In my opinion, you should update as much as you like as long as you’re adding value for you connections. What defines value? Quite literally it means, according to Webster’s II dictionary, “A standard or principle regarded as desirable or worthwhile.”

Educational articles you share add value and can earn you the illustrious title of “curator.” In a long post on LinkedIn, I list 14 of my connections who do a great job of educating their networks, as well as write great articles themselves. Great industry advice adds value. And asking illuminating questions or even making intelligent statements also add value.

Another reason why you should update as much as you like is if you’re not annoying your connections. One barometer I use to determine if I’m annoying my connections is when they see me in public. If they say, “I see you a lot on LinkedIn. Good stuff,” that’s a good sign. But if they say nothing after telling me they see me a lot on LinkedIn, I figure that’s a bad sign.

Recently I hid one of my connections because her face appeared at least ten times in a row on my timeline; she was really annoying me. Worse of all was that the information she was sharing was inconsistent with her industry; it was all over the map. I imagined her clicking on every post or inspirational quote/photo that popped up. In this case, more is definitely not better.

Finally, if you are treating LinkedIn like Twitter, where there are little or no reasons why you’re updating, it’s time to take stock of why. If there’s no strategy, it would probably be best to develop some strategy behind your updating activity, or chill for awhile.

Do you remember when you LinkedIn’s status updates and Twitter’s tweets were synced to each platform? LinkedIn did away with Tweets migrating to its platform; people were tired of reading about what Twitterers were doing on the beach or eating for breakfast. We still get tweet-like updates on LinkedIn.

I can’t say for sure how often I update a day, but I haven’t been told to my face that I over due it. In fact, I receive compliments for what I share. When I’m told more than once that people are sick of seeing my face on LinkedIn, I will curve my action. By how much I can’t say. I’m just having too much fun.

*To hide someone, just hover to the far right of his/her name and a dropdown will appear with the Hide option.

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Photo: Flickr, Tom Waterhouse