I received the following as part of an email from a client:
“I understand your comment about being more active on LinkedIn, but how often should I be linking, sharing or commenting on articles from my network (or other articles of note) to be most effective? And what are some other quick ways to be more active?
In response, I sent the following:
"Good questions. There are no hard-and-fast rules for how engaged you need to be on LinkedIn, but I’d say you probably want to be logging in for a few minutes 3 or 4 times a week, and build from there.
You can think of networking on LinkedIn like healthy eating and exercise. Nutritionists suggest snacking through the day instead of binge eating. Health experts recommend frequent, short periods of activity over isolated, marathon sessions of exercise. In the same way, regularly logging into LinkedIn for 15-30 minutes of activity can be more effective and less daunting than a couple of hours once or twice a month.
Six simple ways to be active:
- Share interesting (professionally relevant) articles. These could be items you’ve found on other websites, or that came up on your LinkedIn homepage (a Pulse article, a news piece shared by a friend, or a post written by another connection). When you share, write a few words to introduce what you’re posting (a takeaway, your opinion, a quote that hit home for you). Be careful though about oversharing; limit shares to 2 (or 3 at a stretch) each time you visit the LinkedIn site.
- Like a few updates and shares from your connections. When you like things, they also appear on your connections’ feeds. This means your connections benefit from what you’ve seen or read, and increases engagement and impact for the post's originator. The originator gets notified of your like, which gives them a little shot of “somebody-loves-me” adrenalin, and builds positive social capital.
- Comment on anything you find particularly interesting (if you have something to add, or an anecdote to illustrate the point, or a “devil’s advocate” opinion). When others comment on the same post, you’ll be notified, and the comments thread can turn into a rich conversation in which all participants learn, and share their knowledge and wisdom.
- Drop by your connections’ profiles and endorse them for skills you know they have; that’s another great way to build positive social capital (and may result in them endorsing you for your skills in return). I try to do this every Monday morning first thing, while I’m transitioning from “Weekend Me” to “Worker Me.” Others do this too, to the extent that this practice even has a name: Endorsement Monday.
- Update your profile. If you’ve attended a training, developed a new skill, started a new volunteer role, or just thought of a better way to present yourself, go into your profile and make changes. This will ensure that your profile is fresh and up-to-date, and resembles your resume (that’s likely evolving, too). Make sure if you’re making a lot of changes that you turn off the notifications feature on your profile page so you don’t flood your connections’ homepages with updates!
- While you’re on the site, make sure you check for connection requests (especially if you’ve made some new live connections recently), and take a peek at who’s looked at your profile since you were last on. If you notice that a recruiter or hiring manager has visited your profile, see if you can contact them back (look for contact information on their profile page - top right - and connect by email or telephone rather than LinkedIn connection request); they may have a role to fill, or at least have an interest in connecting with people with your skill set.
These are just a few ideas for being actively engaged on LinkedIn. Engaging briefly and regularly will keep you visible to your connections, and also present you positively to your network and potential employers. It will put the emphasis back on connecting, and not just connections, which is what networking is for in the first place.
Hope that helps.
This article was originally posted on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/snack-your-way-linkedin-success-eric-pye/.