Are you using LinkedIn as effectively as you could?
With more than 300 million users, LinkedIn is the premier business networking site, and it’s come a long way from the online resume it was a few years ago. But many people, myself included, don’t use the site to its full potential. That’s why I set myself the task of improving my LinkedIn use this year.
Today, I’m going to share with you the results of a 10-day LinkedIn experiment.
First, some background: I’m a member of the Digital Dining Room (DDR). Run by Tea Silvestre Godfrey, it aims to help you take a fresh approach to marketing your business. This month’s challenge: pick a social media site and focus our attention on it, carrying out a series of tasks spread over 10 days. The tasks included:
- improving your profile
- liking and commenting on content in your newsfeed
- liking and commenting on content within groups
- sharing your content on LinkedIn (including specific types of content)
- sharing others’ content on LinkedIn
All in all, pretty standard social media stuff.
I chose LinkedIn because like many of you, I’d like to connect with more like-minded people and win more business via the site. I’ve had clients approach me via LinkedIn – some of my best ones, in fact – but it’s all been haphazard.
Before the challenge, I reckon I was somewhere in the middle as far as LinkedIn usage went:
- I have a decent profile
- I participated sporadically in a couple of groups
- I’d shared a few updates
- I’d published a few articles on LinkedIn (contact me if you want me to write LinkedIn blog content for you)
However, the stats showed that I wasn’t really seeing the results. In February, where my participation was more sporadic than usual, profile views and general activity were down. The first week of March saw an improvement, but the next two weeks were where the results of the DDR challenge really showed.
DDR LinkedIn Challenge Week 1
As I mentioned, my profile was pretty good – this is essential because whatever you do on LinkedIn leads others back there. If you want to get your LinkedIn profile up to scratch, check out this guide from Quicksprout.
During this week, I carried out the DDR tasks and liked 25 updates, commented on 13 updates, shared 5 updates on my profile (and others in groups). I also checked out some of the connections I’d imported via email to see which ones were on LinkedIn and sent them connection requests.
Towards the end of that week, I also joined a new group at the request of the group owner and began to participate there, while continuing to participate in conversations on some of my existing groups. (I am a member of 13 groups, of which about 6 are active.)
DDR LinkedIn Challenge Week 2
The group participation really took off in the second week, where I liked 33 updates, shared 12 updates, commented on 20 group topics and added 13 connections. Some of these connections came about because of my participation in the groups. I also became a top contributor in two groups because I was so active there.
Analysis and Results
One of the things that changed as a result of the DDR challenge is that LinkedIn became a main focus for me, rather than an afterthought. Since starting the challenge I now visit the site three times a day (morning, lunchtime and late evening) to like comment and share. I also visit the two or three most important groups once or twice a day and the others at least once a week. And I have kept notifications on for discussions I’ve taken part in so I can respond to new comments in a timely fashion.
The challenge has resulted in:
- more profile views
- more conversation
- more endorsements
- several new contacts
- new followers on other social sites
- a $5 Starbucks voucher (for being an early participant in a particular group thread)
What did I learn?
- That I was making LinkedIn a bigger thing in my own mind than it needed to be.
- That finding the right groups to participate in will result in a better LinkedIn experience.
6 Tips on Getting More from LinkedIn
After this experiment, my advice to anyone looking to get more from LinkedIn would be:
- make sure your profile looks good
- like, comment and share selectively from the content that appears in your news feed
- follow influencers in your area of interest so that you have more great content to share
- use tools like Buzzsumo and Nuzzel to find content that is already getting traction on other networks so you can share it on LinkedIn (that includes images)
- identify groups that are likely to be productive for you (whether that’s people who are likely to hire you or people who are already working for the kind of people who hire you) and be active in them.
- repeat this Monday to Friday every week
From now on, I plan to be much more active on LinkedIn. What tips would you give on getting more from LinkedIn? Can you recommend any excellent, active groups?
Update: find out more about this experiment in 4 Things I Learned from my LinkedIn Experiment (plus 1 I Already Knew).