I was doing a little self-help this week and completed an audit of my social media accounts. I was disappointed to see how badly I had neglected LinkedIn! As a social media marketing professional, I was ashamed! But I got over the negativity and moved to positive action. First, I admitted I had a problem and came clean to The Marketing Therapist®, Lorrie Thomas Ross (which I sent via LinkedIn’s email to start using it better! Then I devised a plan to become a more active and social member of LinkedIn.
My therapy was a recent Social Media Examiner article titled: “5 Tips to Build and Grow your LinkedIn Network”. I used these tips as a guide while I set up a solid LinkedIn foundation and implemented steps to better management of my account in the future.
Below are the five key strategies I used:
#1 Update your status frequently and consistently. Eeek! It turns out the last time I posted anything was more than a year ago, so I used a recent Web Marketing Therapy blog post I created about humor in the workplace to update my account.
According to Social Media Examiner, only one third of LinkedIn members visit the site every day and another one third visit the network several times a week. Considering those statistics, here are some suggested best practices to becoming an active LinkedIn member:
- Update your status on the actual site itself at least three times a day, versus using third party tools. This allows for full control of your message and genuine engagement.
- Share and comment on the updates of your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections at least once a day.
- Send an invitation to connect to at least one new person per day.
- Start and/or participate in LinkedIn Group Discussions three times a week.
- Answer questions on “LinkedIn” answers three times a week.
- Comment on profile updates from the companies you follow once a day.
#2 Build Connections Constantly. The easiest way to do this is to click on the “people you may know” link at the top right of the page. You can message these people directly and invite them to connect. You can also see how many shared connections you have with that person. Since making that request, I have doubled my network!
# 3 Be Strategic about When You are Active on LinkedIn. Studies show that LinkedIn members engage more in the afternoons and in the evenings when they are more apt to use the mobile site. It is important to test the best participation times unique to you for highest visibility. Also recommended is to mix it up and track the results of most communication.
#4 Join and Actively Participate in LinkedIn Groups. Social Media Examiner suggests the rule of thumb is to pick three to five groups to be active in and join in the conversation. I have never used this incredible connecting tool before and yet, groups are a vital part of the networking experience. Statistics show that 81% of LinkedIn users belong to at least one group. Of these people, 52% participate in group discussions. Connecting is “key.” I chose a few groups to join that I knew I would engage in professionally. To do this, I clicked on Interests at the top of the page and typed in a few keywords that best suited my expertise and interests.
#5 What You Share Matters. This is most important with LinkedIn. To be successful, you need to consider what would be useful, relevant and informative to the audience you want to attract. Then tailor the content such as news, articles and insights to meet that need. Consider the goals of sharing to be the following:
- To become a thought leader whose content gets read.
- To become a great resource for your audience.
- To engage with your audience and create a dialog.
- To share content others want to share to their own network.
- To help increase visibility through the use of “share worthy” content.
- To use LinkedIn Today to gather popular, trending relevant content.
After implementing the 5 Steps, I did a little self-diagnosis and self-prescribed the following: log in three times per week and engage each time with connections and groups. After coming clean, it’s time for me to stay on the straight and narrow path of quality, consistency and frequency. Whether it be a business or personal account, if your LinkedIn story sounds similar to mine, we can help with a little intervention session. You may be surprised how fun the healing process is.
Ah, I feel better already!
Social Media Examiner post: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-tips-to-build-and-grow-your-linkedin-network/
Another Social Media Examiner resource: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/optimize-your-linkedin-profile-for-more-exposure/
LinkedIn Today: http://blog.linkedin.com/2011/03/10/linkedin-today/