What makes a good LinkedIn status update?

Last week, I made a case for the LinkedIn status update being a better way to tell your story as a professional than the profile. As I mentioned in that post, status updates have a much better chance of being seen (since they appear in your connections’ news feed on the LinkedIn home page) and digested (since they’re brief).

Not all status updates are created equal, of course. Even as short as they are in length, it’s important to make them worth reading. What are some of the possibilities? Here are a few ideas:

  • Mention what you’re working on. One of the best status updates is a simple mention of the most interesting thing you’ll be working on each day. Over time, mentioning different aspects of your work will help your connections understand how you can be a resource to them.
  • Share what you’ve read. Being a resource to your connections isn’t possible if you’re only interested in self-promotion. To avoid this trap, position yourself as a go-to person when it comes to the latest thinking in your industry. If you’ve read something that’s worth your audience’s attention, tell ‘em about it (and link to it, if possible).
  • Share advice/opinion. You have expertise to share—why not summarize it and share it? Even if you think it’s simplistic, there’s probably someone out there who would benefit from your knowledge. And if your status is more opinion than fact, just be aware of how your audience might react. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging a little debate—as long as your side is defensible.
  • Ask questions. A question mark is the only punctuation mark that demands feedback. Phrasing your status in the form of a question is a great way to engage your audience, tap into their expertise, and show them you care about their opinion.
  • Mention events you’re part of. Location-based social networks  aren’t the only way to tell people where they can find you. Tell your audience what events you’re part of and you’ll be better positioned to connect with them not just online, but also face-to-face. There’s also a halo effect associated with examples that show you’re investing in improving yourself or interested in connecting with others.
  • Share content from other sites. Think of your status updates as a distribution system for content you’ve developed elsewhere, like blog posts, photos, and videos. What have you created that’s worth sharing?
  • Share job opportunities. Is your company hiring? Why not inform those you trust first? And don’t just limit this to jobs with your employer: help your contacts find talent, and help job seekers, by promoting others’ job postings. It’s a great way to be a resource to those in your network.

When you consider the possibilities, there will be a lot of days when it’s harder to know what to omit than to know what to say. Shoot for one status update per day that represents the best thing you have to say or share, and you’ll be well on your way to strengthening your connections and being top of mind for the work you do.

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Quick Tip Tuesday – LinkedIn Board Member Connect helps nonprofits build new relationships

Board members and other volunteer leaders are critical to the success of most nonprofits. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to find volunteers with the right skills or attributes.

That’s where LinkedIn Board Member Connect comes in. The tool leverages the power of LinkedIn’s Talent Finder service to help nonprofits find potential board members. As part of the program, nonprofits also become part of nonprofit peer network that allows them to share questions and best practices.

To learn more, plan to attend LinkedIn’s next Board Member Connect webinar on March 12. Just click here or on the image below to visit the registration page.

LI board connect

Want to learn even more great ways your nonprofit can make the most of LinkedIn? Register for “LinkedIn for Nonprofits: How to Connect With Current & Future Advocates & Donors” from 6 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5. Registration is just $45 per person. Click here to learn more or to sign up.

“LinkedIn for Nonprofits” scheduled for next Tuesday

LIFNP

On Tuesday, March 5, I’ll be presenting “LinkedIn for Nonprofits: How to Connect With Current & Future Advocates & Donors” from 6 – 8 p.m. at Indiana Data Center. The session will focus on how to improve the relationships every nonprofit organization depends upon: with board members, committee members, donors, and other advocates. You’ll leave with a thorough understanding of where LinkedIn can fit into your communication and marketing strategy, even if your organization has limited dollars and time to spend on social media.

The agenda will include these topics:

  • Using Linkedin to tell your organization’s story
  • Using Linkedin to improve your existing relationships
  • Using Linkedin to build new relationships
  • Tools & groups especially relevant to nonprofits
  • Putting what you’ve learned about Linkedin into action
  • Resources for learning more
  • Q & A

Registration is just $45 per person. Click here sign up.

Celebrating six years on LinkedIn

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Sunday will mark my sixth anniversary as a LinkedIn member. Obviously, I’ve become a pretty huge fan since then, but I don’t remember much about my early days on the site. I don’t even remember what spurred me on to join LinkedIn. All I know is that I’m glad I did.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. When did YOU join LinkedIn? Why did you join? Have you been active on the site? Why or why not? Drop a note in the comments.

P.S. Don’t know how to determine when you joined LinkedIn? Just log in, mouse over your name in the upper right hand corner (see image below), and click settings. Your join date will appear just below your name, as shown in the image at the top of this post.

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Sponsored Posts coming to LinkedIn

“Your Ad Here” by KarenLizzie on Flickr

The ever-observant Ashley Motia called my attention to this one during the crazybusiness that was last week: sponsored posts are coming to LinkedIn. Like they can with sponsored posts on Twitter and Facebook, companies will now have the chance to reach their LinkedIn followers with promotional messages. And as is also the case on Facebook and Twitter, these messages will get priority real estate in the user’s feed in hopes that advertisers will get their money’s worth.

Sponsored posts are not yet available to most brands on LinkedIn, but they will be soon. As you consider whether they’re right for your company, ask yourself this: have you taken advantage of all the free opportunities available to you via your LinkedIn Company Page? If so, then a sponsored post might be worthwhile. If not, your time and resources would likely be better spent building out your Company Page and getting traction organically.

And if you’re wondering how you can get the most of out of LinkedIn Company Page, join me for “Building a Standout LinkedIn Company Page” on May 7 at Indiana Data Center.

Why LinkedIn status updates are more important than your profile

status

If you ask most LinkedIn users what’s most important to them from a personal branding/networking standpoint, they’ll likely mention the profile. After all, your LinkedIn profile is where you make a case for your expertise and talents based on your education, work history and recommendations, right?

Well, the profile is certainly a good start, but it’s just a start. If you truly want to get the most out of LinkedIn, updating your status is the key.

Why shouldn’t you depend upon your profile alone? For your connections to understand what you have to offer based on your profile, several things have to happen:

1. They need to think of you

2. They need to search your name

3. They need to digest the information in your profile in enough detail to understand what you do

Now compare that to the status update. First, status updates are automatically fed to your contacts’ news feed whenever they log on to LinkedIn, so they don’t have to think of you or seek you out. Just as important, since a status update is brief, it’s much easier to consume than a profile, and because status updates encourage you to “show, not tell,” they generally convey more meaning than titles, job descriptions and other information in your profile that many be a little harder to understand.

It’s important to remember that status updates are only effective if they’re used consistently. The key is striving for repeated impressions, day after day, that help your connections understand what you have to offer and how that’s relevant to them and/or their connections. If you’re disciplined about updating your status once a day (and that really is often enough to get traction), and you focus only on your professional life, you’ll stand a much better chance of securing mind share among your connections than if you wait for them to visit your profile.

Now, what might you say in a LinkedIn status update? I’ll share some ideas next week.

Quick Tip Tuesday – How to track your sent LinkedIn connection requests

Last week, I was asked this question:

How do I know if I have sent a connection request to someone? How do I see all of the unanswered connection requests? How do I know if they turned me down?

Watch the video below for the answer. It’s all a function of your LinkedIn Inbox.

Do you have a question you’d like me to answer in an upcoming Quick Tip Tuesday? Just drop a note in the comments.