If you’re one of those who signs into your LinkedIn account less than once a week, this article just may open your eyes to how you can use LinkedIn everyday. Let’s set the stage for the case for integrating LinkedIn into your daily work life.
First, understand that LinkedIn recognizes that busy professionals need a reason to use LinkedIn everyday, other than searching for a job. LinkedIn is a mature social network and a viable business, reflected by their stock price growth.
LinkedIn has evolved into a top tier content channel and the reason is obvious. You’re a busy professional. You run from meeting to meeting or conference call to conference call. The limited time you spend at your desk is dominated by email and/or another business critical application used to manage your primary responsibility such as a CRM, or an operations-centric application. At the end of your workday, your busy personal life leaves little time to sign into LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has figured out that by being an aggregator of business content, we busy professionals can stay engaged with each other and with companies that interest us. And, the more we use the LinkedIn content channel, the better for LinkedIn’s business.
According to LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner approximately 38% of LinkedIn users worldwide access the app from a mobile device. In some regions of the world (outside the U.S.) it is already over 50%.
In case you missed it, LinkedIn now has six (6) mobile apps. Yep, 6 mobile apps! They are:
- LinkedIn Mobile – This is the LinkedIn network you use on your desktop available on Android and iOS devices.
- Contacts: A separate app that allows you to manage your contacts, including last touch and next steps.
- Pulse: A news aggregator app acquired by LinkedIn that integrates news from many sources.
- Recruiter: This app emulates the desktop recruiter app for paid subscriptions to talent acquisition used by corporations.
- Intro: Perhaps the most useful and the most controversial mobile app. Intro is from Rapportive, another LinkedIn acquisition. It is currently limited to the Apple Email app on iPhone. It displays LinkedIn contact info for anyone in your email database.
- Cardmunch: This mobile app allows you to take a picture of business cards one at a time and upload them to this app, then view the person’s LinkedIn profile if you are already connected. Otherwise, you can send an invitation from the app to connect on LinkedIn.
How I Use LinkedIn Mobile
I usually start my weekdays at the gym around 6am for about a one-hour workout. Part of my workout routine is a 30 minute session on a cardio apparatus such as the elliptical machine or stationary bicycle. With my iPhone in hand, I tap the main LinkedIn app and head over to the LinkedIn Today section. I scan current news articles according to the categories I’ve previously set up:, Technology, Business, Design, IT, Publishing, etc., or from news sources such as WSJ, USAToday, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, etc. I read 2 or 3 articles of interest, and I select one to share with my LinkedIn network – all before 7am. Sharing an article as a status update via my smartphone shows up in the news feed of those connected to me on LinkedIn. Often, people like, comment and share the articles I post.
I follow the 90/10 rule of content sharing on LinkedIn. Generally speaking, 90% of the content I share on LinkedIn is from other sources. And, about 10% of the content I share is content I’ve authored. This is an effective content sharing strategy for a logical reason. The 90% of content I share is congruent with my professional platform and consequently it contributes to my brand. Therefore, when I share my own content, I’ve earned the right to do so. Additionally, all the content I share has a common purpose, which is to educate or inspire.
In addition to the articles I share I also scan my LinkedIn news stream to look for articles shared by others in my network. I often find articles from others that I may like, share or comment on. Altogether, I share 3 to 5 articles each day on LinkedIn, mostly from my iPhone. Time spent ranges 15 to 30 minutes each day, during times I am not in meetings or conference calls.
Company Page Content
Next I head over to the Companies section of the LinkedIn mobile app to scan the articles shared by the companies I follow. Some of the companies I follow are on my prospect list because I would like to someday have them as a client. I carefully study the articles they post to understand the topics important to them. I also watch to learn which employees of those companies are actively sharing articles or liking or commenting on their company’s status updates, or status updates of their own. Those employees often represent an opportunity for me to engage around the content they share, which has led to viable introductions to influencers and decision makers.
As I encounter people at companies that interest me, I look for an opportunity to influence them. One such way is to find a group he or she belongs to that I also belong to, or might consider joining. Being in a group is one of the gatekeeping criteria to send an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. When I send in invitation to connect, I ALWAYS include a personal note that explains why I would like to connect. More than half the time, my invitation is accepted. Once I have a new LinkedIn connection, I often save them as a “contact” and they appear in the Contacts app on LinkedIn desktop and on the mobile Contacts app, where I can create to-do’s, reminders and even send a private message, which is LinkedIn’s version of email inside the LinkedIn network.
Once I have connected to someone, I DO NOT aggressively pursue him or her for a sales conversation. The relationship is only just beginning. I look for opportunities to get and stay on the radar of people with whom I want to explore a business relationship. And, I do this through a content driven approach over a sustained period of time.
Influencing Decision Makers
If you accept that everything in business is a “marathon, not a sprint,” then hopefully you can begin to realize how a few minutes each day allows you to build influence with your network on LinkedIn. In the end, it boils down to leveraging relevant content to get onto the radar of the people you want to influence. As some point, you might earn the opportunity to start a conversation offline to explore a business relationship.
LinkedIn understands that we are busy. They understand that we are not all looking for a job and that most of us are looking for opportunities to grow our business, in part through the experience we have on LinkedIn. By embracing the modern marketing paradigm of content marketing, LinkedIn continues to expand their model so that we can leverage content to make relevant connections that have potential for new business opportunities.
I’ve provided more than five ways to use LinkedIn everyday through mobile engagement. How many can you see? Join us on November 20th for a webinar on this topic.