Engaging with your connections will help build your personal brand on LinkedIn and enhance your network. If you build a large and smart LinkedIn network and never engage, it is the equivalent of compiling a rolodex and never reaching out to anyone. Your goal should be to find leads and accelerate the conversation to ultimately connect with prospective clients or COIs via phone or in person. Here are some tips on how to engage connections to build your personal brand on LinkedIn.
The best time to be active on LinkedIn may vary from network to network, but ideally you want to post content around noon or early evening. With this in mind, focus your activities during the times where you have the best chance to be seen. Experiment and record the results over the course of a week or a month to track how many new connections you gain and how many engagement opportunities you created. For example, at The Covenant Group, we have found that engagement within our industry and target audience is quite high between 5 - 6 pm, so we make our LinkedIn update the last stop of the day.
When you log into LinkedIn, notice each time who shows up in your home feed. Frequently, you will see the same few people. These individuals are getting more visibility because they are more active, and you can do the same if you commit to consistently engaging your network. This is a subtle and powerful way to build influence across your connections. It takes time, effort and dedication, but the payoff from staying top of mind can be significant in developing new introductions, deepening relationships, identifying business opportunities, and build.
Here are some ideas on how you can share updates on LinkedIn:
As you scroll through your news feed, make a few comments on statements or articles you find interesting. A comment is a hundred times better than a ‘like’, because your picture will feature next to your comment. People in your contact’s network, might be curious to have a look at your profile. At the same time you’re building or maintaining a relationship with the person who shared the article.
Here are some other ways you can engage with you connections on their updates:
Simply joining a group on LinkedIn won’t get you anywhere. You must jump into the new and popular conversations and add value as a member! Be careful not to over commit to too many LinkedIn Groups. Pick three to five groups that make sense for you to be actively involved in. LinkedIn has just made it much easier to find groups within your network that might be valuable for you to join through the new LinkedIn Group Search feature.
Every time you publish a blog post, every connection in your network with receive a notification. It is a significant opportunity for you to demonstrate your thought leadership and remain engaged with your network.
Topic: Know what you want to be known for and stay focused on that topic. Be relevant.
Frequency: Choose quality over quantity, but commit to regularity. Even if you decide to post only once or twice a month, stick to it. It will build recognition and memorability with your audience.
Length: There is no limit to the length, but LinkedIn suggests posts that are at least three paragraphs long. Find the right balance; you need to deliver more depth than a tweet but fewer details than a book.
Title: Choose a catchy title. It’s the gateway that helps people decide if they want to read on.
Images: Include a great photo. Images increase views.
What you share on personal updates or blogs does matter. This is what will define you as a trusted authority within your industry and within your target audience. The key is to share news, articles and insights that are relevant to your connections if you want to engage with them.
Creating and sharing your own content is extremely important for establishing yourself as a thought leader. Avoid phrases such as “check out my videos” or “check out my latest blog post” because honestly, no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care about them. Be a resource and be helpful to your connections in addition to finding ways to create dialogue with them. Consider the benefit to them of reading your updates or posts.