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LinkedIn, Quick & Dirty*

May 1, 2014 Bradford Group Administrator

LinkedIn has a lot of people befuddled.

I blame the site’s unwieldy interface and its singular sharing mentality. (Wait, it’s “social sharing,” and not “personal sharing?” But, it’s Thursday—I can’t post my #tbt pic from high school running camp? #fail)

I receive emails like these at least once a quarter.

Hi Erin,

My wife works on the back end of our business and is starting to use LinkedIn, and has a couple of questions about how to use it most effectively. Would you please be able to help her with this?

Hey Erin,

I’d love for you to provide your recommendations about our participation on LinkedIn. There are a lot of best practices and industry “must-do’s” out there, but it’d be nice to have a list of recommendations from you. It’d be especially valuable to see the list in terms of priorities—the sorts of things we should be focusing on right away versus the things we can ease into. For one thing, I know we can beef up our recruitment efforts on LinkedIn, so I imagine I’ll be sharing some of your recommendations with our people development team.

There are so many best practices. So many things that you could do, but don’t need to do—in Andy Bailey’s words: WTF? Where’s the focus?!

Here’s your focus—my LinkedIn guide, quick and dirty.

Let’s start with some stats.

  • 277 million users, 84 million of which live in the U.S.
  • 41% of LinkedIn visits are from a mobile device
  • 40% of users check LinkedIn daily
  • 3 million LinkedIn company pages
  • 2.1 million groups
  • 200 conversations per minute occur in LinkedIn groups

According to LinkedIn’s marketing report, if you post 20 times a month, you’ll reach 60% of your audience. That’s one post every weekday. That’s it. Sound easy enough?

What should I post about?

  1. Industry insights
  2. Company news
  3. New products and services

According to LinkedIn, 60% of its members are interested in industry insights, 53% in company news and 43% in new products and services.

Should I post on my company page or personal timeline?

Both.

Posts to your personal timeline will get you the most bang for your buck in terms of engagement, thought leadership and visibility.

Posts to your company page will impress inbound traffic, aka, job applicants and competitors.

LinkedIn-penWhat about groups?

Groups can amplify everything else you do on LinkedIn. They can also be a colossal time suck. My advice, stick to the one or two groups that most represent your ideal client persona and/or peer group.

For example, if you run a technology service company that’s tied to a specific geographic region, while it might be an ego boost to be frequent commenter on a national or international technology group page, it’s not going to sign you any new accounts. In Nashville, the Nashville Technology Council or Chamber of Commerce LinkedIn groups would be better bets.

What about recruiting?

Post job openings on your company page and personal timeline and ask for referrals on LinkedIn group discussion boards. Leave the profile stalking and messaging to professional recruiters who can get away with being creepy.

*My real quick and dirty LinkedIn advice: Join it. Link to everyone you can. Work it like a Tuesday night cocktail party, but with less small talk.

 

photo credit: TheSeafarer via photopin cc

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