Earlier this year, I was surprised by an email that indicated my LinkedInprofile was in the Top 5 % of accounts viewed. Recently, I achieved another LI milestone as my network is now 500 strong and growing.
To my network – Many thanks to all who have connected with me. I appreciate the interactions and look forward to continued knowledge share. I must admit that these connections are largely organic and the result of networking. I had not intended to reach this number. While reviewing my connections, many of them also have networks of 500 or more so I am in good company. Glad to be here with you.
Initially, I would connect with any and all on LI. My focus then was on growing the network in the wilderness that once was LI. That changed over time as it increased in popularity. The selection criteria was also a recent discussion topic in another network group I belong to. The most basic way to manage connect requests is to show the value provided in the connection. Don’t assume it is obvious and that I will accept. If I don’t see the value, I won’t accept. As part of the request, where possible, customize the invite message.
I have always been, and continue to be, active with my status and ‘check in’ multiple times each day. One of the features I like best about LI is the status updates. It is very easy to share what your are interested in and a great way to observe what is top of mind within the network Other useful features include :
potential new connections via the ‘People you may know’ pod,
joining groups of interest,
checking the ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ (c’mon, we are all a bit vain, aren’t we?),
viewing company profiles to research/learn about and
One change I did not enjoy was getting removed from groups. The message here is if you belong to a group, you should actively participate. If not, LI will remove you due to inactivity. Also, I noticed there is a limit to the number of groups you can belong to. Note – I use the basic ‘free’ account. It may be different with upgraded accounts.
I have a fairly robust profile that detail my career changes with recommendations from many people I have worked with the past. I certainly appreciate endorsements (a fairly recent feature) on my skills and expertise and enjoy reciprocating with my connections. I find the profile is better at conveying who a person is and their career achievements and skills. In my opinion, the LI profile is an improvement over the traditional resume. At the risk of repeat, I submit that this profile will have more impact than a traditional career resume. This implies many changes in recruiting need to occur before that is commonplace. It is a direction I encourage as we improve how to digitally communicate.
That’s been my journey on LI so far. Do you have a goal for network connections? What are your favorite features on LI?
In the past week or so, I have seen people share updates about a milestone that LinkedIn reached in terms of membership. The achievement was in recognition of reaching 200 million members. Definitely a significant achievement and kudos to them.
Now that I think about it, I have had a LinkedIn (LI) account for quite some time. So today I see an email from LI that indicates I am in the top 5% of accounts viewed. Out of 200 million. Top 5%, eh? Nice. That’s a lot of views, no doubt about it. I was flattered a bit by the note and maybe even a bit smug for a half-second.
Other LI members shared the same status with varying amounts (top 1%, top 10%, etc.). Maybe you saw the same status update from people in your network. I have shared this as a LI status as well. Even tweeted about this milestone. The optimist in me says enjoy it. My network is proud of me. I’m sure of it.
The cynic in me would say what else beside an email? Free Premium membership for 90 days? Coupons? Bring it on – I’ll be watching for that email. Talk about personalization!
So, that happened. And, yes, I know – this message does more to promote LI than my membership. I get it. And you know what? It’s OK. I don’t mind. I am active on LI – always have been since like, 2006. I plan to keep my network updated and look forward to them sharing with me.
200 Million is a big number, no doubt about it. But, like health club memberships, there is a difference between the total number and those that are active. I bet that the number of active LI accounts is a lot less. Maybe that’s why mine is in the top 5.
Makes me wonder what the cut-off is for the email notice. Top 10%? 15%?
Did you get the same email? What was your 1st reaction? C’mon – a bit flattered, right? Then? Did you share that as a LI status update? What other types of promotion will LI use this year? I’ll be watching and probably sharing that also.
Now that we have been practicing for some time, we are aware of good (and, bad) ways to employ social media. Opinions will vary about the ‘best of the best’. That is the beauty of the web, it always changes. From a book summary I read on social media, here are some of the best practices according to the author at this point in time. The full abstract about the book is available here. This is not an exhaustive, all inclusive list. The basics are covered and should align with your current techniques for using social media effectively.
There are multiple platforms* available for your content and they should be used relative to the target audience. Perhaps due to timing, one platform not mentioned is Goolge+. Having likeable content is a fundamental criteria for success. Get your customer to listen to you and then….
Listen first, and never stop listening – You want to know what customers think. Ask and they will tell you. Next, the most important thing to do is listen. Closing the loop by acting on what your customers tell you will prove that you not only listened, but that you understand and can do something about it.
Define your target audience better than ever – There are many tools that allow you can focus on your true demographics for your product/service(s). Define them and determine what will make them ‘like’ your content.
Think – and act – like your consumer – Remember, it’s about them, not you. Don’t sell them; instead, provide content this is of interest to them. Get them talking about topics of interest and find ways to integrate your wares into their lifestyle.
Invite your customers to be your first fans – Word of mouth (WOM) is key here. The more likes you get, the better your credibility. Be clear about your value proposition and define what is in it for them. Remember, there is no value add if only your employees are interacting with your content.
Create true dialogue with, and between, your customers – Related to listening and being genuine. Get them talking about you to leverage the WOM effect. When your customers share tips, tricks with others, it proves they are engaged. It also saves you from providing customer support directly. Help guide the discussion by acknowledging comments – and, correct where needed.
Be Authentic – Get connected by being demonstrating an interest in your customers. Personalize it by including your name.
Be Honest and transparent – You can spot a phony a mile away. Your customers can too.
Integrate social media into the entire customer experience – Another fundamental for success and canot be stressed enough. Make sure everyone who interacts with your customers has the same message and is aware of promotions and specials. Regardless of how they find you, it should be consistent messaging. The last thing you want is a dis-connect among channels and mis-managed expectations from your customers. If they are online, they can tell their network about you – the good and the bad.
Don’t sell! Just make it easy and compelling for customers to buy – They already found your content and are engaged. Don’t insult them with a bland sales pitch. State the (relative) value proposition clearly and make it easy to ‘Add to Cart‘.