Business social media platform, LinkedIn, is popular. It has over 760 million users, with more than 260 million monthly active users. (source Kinsta). In the year to November 2020, users grew by over 60 million.
So, how are you using your account? In our experience, many users have concerns about engaging on the platform. They worry that if they get it wrong, it might adversely impact their professional reputation. They are concerned about how they’ll come across to their colleagues and fear that others may think they are looking for another job.
We’d like to set the record straight and give our thoughts on how to develop your use of LinkedIn, even if you feel a little unsure about it.
The first stage
First, take a moment to reflect on how you use the platform:
- Do you have a LinkedIn account?
- Does your account have a picture and completed profile?
- Do you like other people’s posts?
- Do you comment on other people’s posts?
- Do you write your own posts? Do you add photos to your posts?
- Do you write articles?
- Do you upload video content?
How far down the list did you get before the answer was no?
We find the majority switch to no at commenting on other people’s posts. Our goal for this blog is to encourage you to increase your yeses to those questions.
This isn’t about taking you right out of your comfort zone; instead, it’s gradually stretching that comfort zone, in increments, over a period of time.
The thing to remember is that everyone on LinkedIn, no matter how great their number of connections, how inciteful their content, started with one post. Even the most prolific contributor probably had doubts when they started.
If you have shied away from engaging on LinkedIn, you can start gently by liking some posts you find interesting. Once you get comfortable with that, try adding a comment or asking a question. Next, you can think about generating some content yourself. If you don’t know what to post, consider topics on your self-development and awareness, congratulating or thanking others. Finding ways to celebrate success is an easy and comfortable place to start and will always be received positively.
We all know a picture is worth a thousand words. Include one wherever possible. It will catch people’s eye when scrolling and encourage them to stop and have a read of your post.
Once you’ve made a few posts, you’ll probably find your engagement increases, and that will make you feel great, and hopefully give you the confidence to go a bit further with your content. Engagement is key – so when someone comments on a post of yours, you can respond with a thank you or add to the conversation. Everyone involved starts to feel good about the process and a little more involved in the conversations going on around their network.
The final stage
In the final stage, if you’ve given a few likes and comments, written a couple of posts, added a picture and maybe had some connections engage, you can push yourself a bit further. Think about writing an article about something you know a lot about.
People want to benefit from your expertise, so don’t feel shy about sharing it. Or maybe do a little video—just a few seconds. At the same time, do not feel pressured to do this; you can be active and effective on LinkedIn without reaching this stage.
Our point is that wherever your current LinkedIn bar is, you can raise it a bit higher at a rate you are comfortable with. Your aim is not to become a social media influencer but to stand out amongst your professional network. Step by step, at a rate that feels right for you.
Why not give it a go? And if you are already on your LinkedIn journey, let us know how it’s going.