We’ve said it before (and we’ll probably say it again), LinkedIn is all about connecting. But, leveraging LinkedIn for business requires more than simply building your professional network. It’s not the one with the most connections who wins, but the one who nurtures their network with interesting content on a regular basis.
After you’ve taken the first steps to create a LinkedIn presence including a robust LinkedIn profile and a compelling company page, it’s time to get strategic and intentional about engaging your network.
Here are three powerful habits to adopt for boosting engagement and becoming more visible on LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn “status update” may very well be the most underutilized and the most abused tool on the professional network. Abused because there are right and a wrong ways to use status updates, underutilized because many LinkedIn users don’t take advantage of the benefits of “updating” the right way!
Put simply, status updates are the fastest way to get in front of your network. Your updates appear in the LinkedIn News feed (or “Updates” feed) on the Home page of every one of your connections, and also show up toward the top of your personal profile. The same goes for business status updates; when you post a status update from your company page it not only appears at the top of the page, but followers see it in their Updates feed.
When you share an update on LinkedIn, make sure it’s interesting and relevant to members in your network and that it links to a reputable source. Here are some easy ways to start sharing:
- Share links. Find an interesting article, website or video that members of your network might appreciate? Pass it along and add a comment about why you found the piece interesting! Need some inspiration? Check out LinkedIn Today for trending news and insights.
- Share content from your connections. It’s amplification in action! When you see compelling content posted by someone in your network or a company that you follow, share it across your connections to boost your own visibility and tally up some LinkedIn karma points.
- Share what you’re up to. Did you just attend an event, conference, or have a great meeting that your network might find interesting? Share it! You could spark a great conversation or discover something new about someone in your network. Of course, don’t confuse professionally relevant updates with purely personal sharing… If it’s not something you’d share in conversation with a new business connection, LinkedIn is not the place.
While it’s tempting to post an update and move on with your day, interacting is critical to fully leveraging the power of LinkedIn. And, LinkedIn makes it easy! It allows you to comment and “like” status updates and shares, opening the opportunity to start relevant conversations and stay at the top of your connections’ minds. Plus, most everyone loves when others share or comment on their post.
When you use LinkedIn to interact with your network, be sure the conversation is adding value and is not purely self-serving. Here are a few great ways to spark relevant, compelling conversation on LinkedIn:
- Prompt your network with a status update. Pose a thought-provoking question that your connections may have an answer to or opinion about. Conduct an informal poll of your network related to a professional topic of interest. Encouraging users to engage on your profile will amplify your visibility and lend you some LinkedIn street cred. Example: Can anyone suggest a favorite small business blog to follow?
- Like, share, and comment on updates from your connections. When you interact with content generated by a connection, your conversation is amplified into their network, boosting your visibility and opening the door to new connections! Like other activities on LinkedIn, there are right and wrong ways to go about this. You should always be respectful, add value to your network, and avoid self-promotion.
For busy professionals, this is the hardest part. But if you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn reveals the length of time since your latest post (e.g. 8 m = minutes, 11h = hours, 12m = months). Who wants anyone to know their last post was 12 months ago? If this isn’t enough motivation, consider this: your most recent activity on LinkedIn now shows up toward the top of your profile or company page, as well as in the Updates feeds of every one of your connections. This is valuable real estate. If you are not consistently sharing and interacting with your network you are missing powerful opportunities to boost your visibility on LinkedIn.
Fortunately, LinkedIn has created some tools to help you find the conversations and content most engaging for your network. You can more easily and efficiently share, engage, and add value to your network.
- Use your ‘Notifications’ feature. Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of tracking all of the updates from your entire network of connections? LinkedIn’s Notifications feature makes it easy for you to review the most recent interactions from your network and track conversations that you’re a part of.
- Filter your Updates feed. Since it houses the activity and interaction of your entire network, the Updates feed on your Homepage can feel overwhelming. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to filter the feed, so you can direct which types of content populate to your homepage. Filter by “Shares” to find what’s trending in your network and take advantage of the opportunity to contribute to the conversation!
- Schedule it. Consider incorporating LinkedIn into your morning routine, or schedule 15 minutes sometime in your day. Consistency will not only improve your visibility and rapport, but also make you extremely effective with navigating the tool.
Leveraging LinkedIn for business means more than having a robust profile, compelling company page, and vast network. It means contributing consistently valuable and timely information with your connections that positions you as a thought leader and go-to resource. It means making yourself visible, and keeping you and your company at the forefront of your network’s mind.
Want to learn more about how to leverage social media for business growth? Follow Kinesis on LinkedIn to stay up to date with our latest marketing insights.
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