The lines between your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may be blurred, but your career and business rely on you keeping LinkedIn sharp. Follow this advice to keep it on point!
Comment, like and share
LinkedIn is a two-way street. If you want to gain more engagement with your own posts, you need to do the same with others. Taking part in conversations will increase your visibility, so taking part is key. Silence won’t get you anywhere!
And, by interacting with other posts, you’ll find that people are more likely to do the same for you. Some of this is down to human psychology and the behaviour of ‘reciprocation’. You can thank Steve Martin, CEO of Influence at Work, for that one; we were taking notes during his awesome session at The Business Travel Show in 2018.
It shows common courtesy – if somebody says ‘thank you’ to your face or starts a conversation with you and you ignore them, they’re less likely to bother again. And it’s the same online, so DO DO DO show appreciation.
Replying to a comment extends the life of the conversation because your reply can appear in followers’ feeds, prompting others to join in.
Don’t forget to respond to messages in a timely manner, too.
Read ‘the question’
Okay, not every post you comment on is likely to be a question. But if you ever sat an exam, an important bit of advice would have been “read the question”. Applying this to LinkedIn terms, means making sure you’re aware of the full context of a post before you comment. Who is the author, why is the post in your feed (it may be there because one of your own contacts has liked or shared it)? This is one we’re passionate about and here’s why…
LinkedIn isn’t immune to the nastiness that can appear on other social media such as Twitter! We recently spotted a post from a marketing professional, Carrie Rose, who had shared the fantastic quick thinking of ASOS, the clothing brand. (Note – ASOS spotted a Tweet from a customer who was criticised on a dating app for a picture of her in one of its outfits. It used the picture on its website to promote the dress. And social media hysteria ensued – with praise for the brand.) Carrie was sharing a fantastic example of #marketing, because that’s her area of expertise. But some keyboard warriors were quick to judge her post without looking at it’s context.
You’ll probably see disgruntled LinkedIn users commenting ‘post this rubbish on Facebook, not here’, but don’t be one of them. LinkedIn is a professional tool, not a ‘social’ media channel for sharing holiday snaps and proud parent moments. So, be respectful of other users at all times. And don’t jump to conclusions – you won’t come off well, and you don’t know who’s watching!
There are users who fire out connection requests ten to the dozen, without any care. You’ve probably already received (and ignored) some. If someone sends you a connection request without a personalised message, you have no idea why they want to connect. And like we said already, LinkedIn is a two-way street. So, if you’re being savvy and building your network, don’t send connection requests without a message. If you met someone at an event, don’t assume they remember who you are or where you met – remind them!
If you’re looking for a way in to connect with someone, check out their profile. Firstly, it’s possible they’ll check your profile in response. And secondly, you can see their ‘Activity’, meaning you can find out what interests them and what is likely to get their attention.
Update your personal LinkedIn profile
This pointer isn’t really about etiquette, it’s more of a freebie ‘get your basics right’. As an absolute minimum you need the following for a good profile:
Photo: A picture is vital. Profiles photo get 21 times more views than those that don’t, according to career expert, Blair Decembrele. And good quality images don’t have to be costly professional jobs. A smart phone pic will be fine. But make sure that it’s not grainy/fuzzy when you zoom in.
Make sure it’s only your face in shot – you’ve only got a small space and you want to help people to recognise you at networking or industry events. If you really want to stand out, give yourself a bold background photo. This could be one relating to the brand you work for, or your area of expertise.
Summary and experience: Completing these gives people an at-a-glance view of what you do. What are great at? Why should people follow you or trust your opinion?