How to become more engaged in one of the world’s largest social networks

 

Are you part of the 87% of LinkedIn members who use one of the world’s largest social networks passively?

Probably (based on the statistic above).

Then I encourage you to read this blog and start participating!

LinkedIn has over 500,000,000 members according to its official counter*. However, only 13% of people use it regularly to post updates on their news feed or engage with their connections, companies and brands. I heard this statistic while watching Viveka von Rosen’s LinkedIn Learning video called LinkedIn For Business**. This figure lags behind the engagement with other dominant social networks, like Facebook and Instagram. Why?

I have a couple of theories:

LinkedIn is a professional social network and, consequently, people may not be as spontaneous as they are on their personal networks. Members are probably more strategic in what they post and who they connect with. I know I am.

Also, in the past I’ve found the user experience on LinkedIn unfriendly. It took me a while to get familiar with the unfamiliar. Then, at the beginning of the year, LinkedIn had an overhaul and everything changed! Well, not everything but the biggest change was to the homepage where everyone lands when they first arrive. Just when I had learnt where to find things, I had to relearn where things lived. Groups was one of them. For people who were already struggling with LinkedIn’s functionality I think this overhaul could have scared some members off.

LinkedIn has been one of the best tools I’ve used to promote and prospect for my new business, Working Bee Productions, since its official launch in May. I was sure that LinkedIn was going to be beneficial but at the start of my journey I wasn’t sure exactly how. So, I embarked on upskilling myself and becoming, in my opinion, a bit of a LinkedIn Whiz!

I have three tips for anyone at the start of their journey, or members who have a new professional objective whether it is optimising your profile, developing a business strategy or creating marketing content. I shared these tips (and some) at a LinkedIn workshop I ran for the New Zealand Business Women’s Network this week. It was an opportunity to share my knowledge and experiences, and the feedback I’ve received has encouraged me to write this blog.

My three top tips

1. Try Premium for free

Once I had become familiar with LinkedIn’s new functionality and knew how I was going to use LinkedIn as part of my new business strategy, I signed up to try LinkedIn’s Premium account – free for 30 days!

There are four different Premium accounts: Career helps job seekers; Business focuses on growing your network; Sales can help identify sales opportunities; and Hiring for those looking for talent. I signed up for Business so I can only comment on this Premium account but I’m sure some/most of the functionality and tools overlap.

My Business Premium account allowed me to communicate with anyone on LinkedIn. They didn’t need to be a 1st level connection. I could message them through InMail by using my InMail credits. Very handy if you are prospecting for new business.

Also helpful was being able to see more LinkedIn network profile information when I conducted advanced searches, and seeing exactly who had viewed my profile and how they had arrived at my profile.

But, for me, the best feature by far was access to LinkedIn Learning.

2. LinkedIn Learning

What a fantastic online learning resource! I started by viewing two videos. The first, LinkedIn Learning, provided basic but essential tips on optimising my profile, building my network, using LinkedIn day to day, and managing my account. The second was LinkedIn For Business and advised on how to develop my LinkedIn business strategy, find my audience, create a dynamic company page, content marketing and recruitment.

But the learning didn’t stop there. I found a (lengthy but very detailed) video that showed me how to build my company website in WordPress. Once I’d done that I viewed another on Google Analytics. I watched videos on grammar, marketing, PowerPoint, InDesign and Acrobat DC. The library is extensive and I’m sure everyone can find something worthwhile to watch and learn.

3. Just give it a go

Most importantly, just give LinkedIn a go! Get into a habit of accessing your account each day and see what’s happening. You will see how members and companies are using it and how one of the world’s largest social networks could help you build your professional and/or company brand.

If you have a new or small business you may consider creating a company page to give your business extra visibility. Showcase pages are linked to company pages and can be used to promote products or services, an upcoming event, or a recent project or case study.

In addition to posting updates and images, you can write articles. I’ve used articles for various reasons; I’ve shared experiences, thoughts, opinions and knowledge. I also find writing can be very therapeutic. It’s helped me on my path to become more emotionally agile^.

Start participating

If you’ve got to the end of this blog and you’re part of the inactive 87% of LinkedIn members, my call to action is to ask you to start actively participating on a regular basis.

 

Footnotes

* https://press.linkedin.com/about-linkedin Last accessed 16 July 2017.

** https://www.linkedin.com/learning/linkedin-for-business/welcome Last accessed 16 July 2017.

^ https://www.nzwomen.co.uk Review of June’s Business Book Brunch written by Bee Christie, Emotional Agility: Get unstuck, embrace change and thrive in work and life by Susan David. Last accessed 16 July 2017.

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