We still meet people who lump all social media together, don’t get how it works, and leave personal involvement out, as though you could outsource a handshake. Maybe they think social is for kids, or they think it’s up to their boss to manage it for them. There isn’t a single social media platform where this is wise, but on LinkedIn it’s downright non-existent.
Here are some reasons to get involved in LinkedIn, if you’re not already:
LinkedIn Does a Brisk Daily Bit of Networking
40% of LinkedIn users log in daily. This is actually *less* than most other social networks, but it does speak volumes about the willingness of older, professional people to utilize digital tools. 41% of millionaires are on LinkedIn. It’s doesn’t mean that the only topics are business and wealth, or that there’s a correlation between these and Linkedin, but there is at least a coincidence of successful people making brisk use of the tool for networking. With the average engagement time being 2hrs/week, it’s hard to think they’re wasting it on the non-existent games and completely absent baby and cat photos.
LinkedIn is Way Ahead of the Kids
While the fastest growing demographic across all major social networks is Boomers and Gen-Xers, there are technically more numbers among Millennials. That’s not true of LinkedIn. Only 13% are millennials. The vast majority of recent high school graduates don’t yet get it. In other words, LinkedIn is the place where maturity gets it, like it gets the need for insurance and investments, even if the savvy has a wide range of depth. The kids will catch on one day. Meanwhile, bask in being ahead of them.
There’s No Followers Arms Race on LinkedIn
Other social networks are notorious venues for purchased followers and likes. Besides it being stupid on Facebook and Twitter, it has no ineffective place on LinkedIn. LinkedIn caps public connection counts at 500, after which it simply adds a “+”. Meaningless bragging rights fail. The emphasis is not on number of followers, but quality of connections.
Profile Views Aren’t the Measure of Success
Sure, if you’re committed to being a W-2 employee in a traditional job, where the lifespan is about 3 years or less, and you need to be recruited frequently, you want profile views. If you’re an independent professional or entrepreneur, though, it’s about engagement – in short, the content you put out that shows up in *other* people’s stream of updates. You’re trying less to be studied and more to be listened to, at least as a first step. The burden is on you to be active. Passive networking sits around hoping to be ‘found’, and occasionally ‘checks’ its social media to see if it was. Active networking participates, contributes, and reaches out to people. LinkedIn makes that decidedly easy and non-creepy. But it’s not for people who are committed to a Yellow Pages model of business association. In other words, it’s great for the middle aged, but not if you’re living in the middle ages.
You Need a User-Managed Contact Database
Aside from being an excellent publishing platform, LinkedIn is a pretty good contact database. Of all the user-maintained contact options, LinkedIn is the best. You may have contacts in your Google account or your CRM but, with LinkedIn, your connections are constantly updating their own contact info with extensive profile information, including web site, social profiles, recommendations, and recent content. If you don’t already have a user-managed contact system, it’s silly to avoid LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is How We Stay Connected Digitally
Merely being “on” LinkedIn won’t do much for you, but even that will do something. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, there’s no digital way for other professionals to stay in your orbit. E-mail is obsolete for that purpose; we get too many messages to stay current with everyone, the moreso if we’re busy building professional alliances. Likewise, we don’t generally go sifting through our contact database for what someone is up to, because new info isn’t there. The longer we have the information, too, the less current it is. Bookmarks end up being clutter, and likewise stop working; we stay connected by staying connected, not by saving static references in our browser, contacts, or e-mail.
At a minimum, even if you can’t bring yourself to actually interact with people on LinkedIn, do add a profile photo. Not having one is like saying “I’m terrified of connecting with you” or “I am completely out of touch”. If that’s off the mark, don’t let it stand. If it’s spot on, let’s get you past it.
For guidance in social media success, contact MadPipe.