A 10-Day LinkedIn Experiment [Case Study]

Are you using LinkedIn as effectively as you could?

linkedin experiment

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.
Linkedin profile views
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)

profile mar2

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.

profile mar9

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.

profile mar16

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:

  1. make sure your profile looks good
  2. like, comment and share selectively from the content that appears in your news feed
  3. follow influencers in your area of interest so that you have more great content to share
  4. 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)
  5. 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.
  6. 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).

This article is part of the Word Carnival, which this month tackles myths and misunderstandings plus a few other business-related topics (which is where my post sits). Check out the rest of the posts – you won’t be sorry!

30 thoughts on “A 10-Day LinkedIn Experiment [Case Study]”

  1. Hi Sharon. I noticed you were more active on LinkedIn. 🙂 You already know my support of the platform. I have often credited LinkedIn with being a big source for my work.

    I have seen a lot of changes and admit I haven’t adjusted as well as I would like to those changes. I got off to a slow start on my strategy for the year but LinkedIn is definitely in the plan.

    One of the biggest challenge for me has been finding the right Groups. When I first started using LinkedIn, I did a lot of participating in Groups. However, as the Groups grew, so, too, did the self-serving posts that added little. The effectiveness of the Groups relies very heavily on the owner and how well he/she manages it.

    I also recommend arranging regular (but not too much) contact with connections. And make it personal – not some canned campaign. I share articles, ask about a new job, “touch base”. Yep, networking 101. 😉

    You’ve inspired me to revisit my LinkedIn plan. Thanks, Sharon. I needed the kick in the rear. 🙂

    1. Identifying the right groups is tough, for sure, Cathy. The group I found has a policy on self -serving content – twice a week there’s a thread where you can share one of your own posts. That aside, it’s about discussion and answering questions. There’s no easy way to find other groups like that – I guess you just have to read the guidelines for each one.

      Thanks for the tip on networking – sometimes the old ways are the best ways. 😉

  2. Wow! I know my experiment has been working but now I have to go back and look at these numbers like you did. Great post!

  3. Can I just congratulate you here on how well you’ve documented your experiment? If more folks would do this with their marketing, they’d make much better choices about how and where to spend their time and money. (Versus just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.) I’m pretty sure that LinkedIn deserves a second 10-day experiment now — focusing on getting folks to your website and from there, to join your email list. OR, to call you directly to talk about working with you. Let us know when you do the follow-up!

    1. Will do, Tea. One thing I had planned to include, but didn’t, was more focus on publishing on LinkedIn with a CTA at the end. If I can get 5 articles prepped in advance, that will be my next LI experiment. Thanks for setting the challenge; I’m happy to have done this. 🙂

  4. Ditto what Tea said! You carried out your experiment and did a great job of documenting it. That way, readers can connect the results you achieved with the actions you took on LinkedIn. Thanks for some great ideas for improving my own use of LinkedIn.

  5. Hi Sharon,

    Your post is inspiring. Once I have the new website up I will repeat exactly what you have done. Re-do the profile, then the rest….

    I agree about the groups. Finding the right ones.

    It takes time to be active on LinkedIn, but your results speak for themselves.

    thanks for all the information

    Julia

    1. Thanks, Julia. Hope it works as well for you. One thing I’ll say is that it seems that you can get results on LinkedIn relatively quickly. It remains to be seen if that translates to new business.

  6. Melanie Kissell

    WOW-WEE, Sharon! What a difference a DDR experiment can make, eh? Great job on documenting your case study. You rock! 🙂

    I’ve been guilty of making LinkedIn an “afterthought” for too many years. I used to be much more active there but then things got out of hand. Just like Cathy, I started to notice more and more self-promotion and other sleazy activity. Promos and ads via LinkedIn were pouring into my inbox at a rapid pace. Boo-Hiss. Not cool. So that’s when I stopped visiting as much.

    What I’ve started doing lately is removing myself from LI groups that no longer cut the mustard. Like other social media platforms, I want to stick with smaller, more intimate groups that are truly active, helpful, and operate in the spirit of collaboration. I just can’t wrap my brain around participating in a group of thousands. Not my cup of tea and too difficult to keep up with.

    Thanks for the motivation and inspiration to keep LinkedIn on my radar! 🙂

    1. Collaborative, helpful groups are the key, Melanie. That’s part of the reason I belong to so few groups. Quality rather than quantity. 🙂 That said, I’m in the market for a couple more groups of that ilk – if you have good recommendations, please let me know.

      1. Melanie Kissell

        Duly noted, Sharon! I’d be more than happy to share LinkedIn groups that fit the bill for you/me/us. 🙂 Stay tuned.

  7. GAH, must admit LinkedIn is my red-headed stepchild when it comes to marketing. I do almost nothing there. I love the systematic way you tried something and looked at the results. This is one of the key points I try to teach people ALL the time. You can’t just say “LinkedIn doesn’t work.” Well, of course not – if you don’t use it! Or even if you use it haphazardly. You have measurable results to show that in your case, you got something out of it. Which is all you need to move forward. Also, I bet it didn’t take a billion hours and cause inordinate amounts of stress. Ok, now I want to try something new on LinkedIn 🙂 See how inspiring you are!

    1. I know what you mean, Carol Lynn. I used to think it wasn’t working for me, but some focused attention a couple times a day has made a big difference. And, no, it didn’t take long – you could probably get away with 15 minutes a day.

  8. Sharon, this is a great post. The stats are compelling to do something differently now in Linkedin. I’m a sporadic user (although once addicted to it and successful at getting business). Don’t know what happened, it all just got too much. Now I have a group of over a 1000 languishing for lack of care and a sort of guilty feeling that I have let them down and ought not to go back.

    However, some of my colleagues are having a great response to their blogging in Linkedin. Are you doing that and if so is it unique content that you have not posted on your site?

    Will follow your second 10 day experiment with great interest and also if the heightened interest turns into requests to do business. Thank you. Will need to revert to this one for certain!

    1. Hi Sandy, I’ve also been blogging on LinkedIn. So far I’ve posted: 1 syndicated article (previously published); a couple of edited articles (WordCarnival posts that I updated to be more general); a guest post from a fellow LinkedIn publisher and 3 (I think) original articles. I’m still working out what’s best, but I know one of the original articles got lots of attention and brought a client to me.

  9. I love this post! I’m always the first to say, “I’m sure LinkedIn’s cool and all, but I just don’t hang out there.” When I was more active there, the leads I was getting never panned out (email conversations would fizzle, and the lead would disappear).

    This post makes me think that maybe it’s time to do my own “experiment.” I love the idea of going into it with a plan to see if it can generate leads. If not, I’ll just go back to barely paying attention to it, which is what I do now!

    You’ve inspired me, Sharon! 🙂

  10. Ooh Sharon this is a fantastic post. I confess I too have made LinkedIn into this monster I keep avoiding. Thank you for your transparency in sharing your experience, and the results. I’m adding this into my schedule now, and hope to see you over there 🙂

    1. So glad you’ve got something from this, Nicole. I’ve continued to be active on LinkedIn since doing this and it’s continuing to pay off. The stats they provide on profile views also help me work out whether the people I most want to work with are seeing my profile – that’s the next thing (one of many) to work on.

  11. Hi Sharon,

    I really haven’t been active on LinkedIn because it’s really not where my audience hangs out the most. I admit ignoring my profile although I have kept it up to date because people are still connecting with me there.

    I’m more of a social butterfly and having spent time in there making connections I learned that most people just don’t respond to emails or comments. I realize it’s more business minded which of course is a good thing but that all has to do with making the right connections too. I guess that’s another reason I kind of got turned off by it.

    I love your results though and I’m sure if I gave it another go I might do better. It’s been a few years now since I’ve really been active there. I’m not ignoring it because I am part of a few groups that I really enjoy.

    Thank you for sharing your results with us and I know you’ll continue to do great moving forward. Have a great week.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Adrienne. So far, the people I’ve connected with have been very responsive. I’ll have to see if that lasts. Hope you have better luck the second time around.

  12. Janice Schwarz

    Excellent post! Shared everywhere!

    I’ve used LinkedIn for job hunting, but have only recently begun to get active in forums for both job hunting and business building. Thank you so much.

    And I love reading posts by people that have done something unique like this (case studies or research, for example).

    1. Thanks, Janice. Would be interested to hear your experience of using LinkedIn for job hunting. In my experience to date, jobs come about indirectly, though I know others have used the job search function effectively.

  13. Thanks for this, Sharon! I must admit… not a huge fan of LinkedIn. But I recognize there is untapped potential there for me. Your blog post here further emphasizes that! 🙂

    1. I wasn’t either, Brent! 🙂 But on the other hand, since I’ve started taking it more seriously, I’ve met some great people and it’s become more interesting.

  14. Thanks for this experiment Sharon. I’m such a fan of LinkedIn but I’ve been very remiss in my activity over there lately, life has just taken over. Your experiment has really shown that you get out of it what you put in so I will definitely be putting more effort in now.

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