By Sarah Santacroce, LinkedIn Consultant and Strategist
Happy 2018! A new year, new resolutions. LinkedIn keeps growing (and changing), now more than 500 Million users and if you haven’t used it much so far, then 2018 will be the year you give LinkedIn the credit it deserves.
Maybe you have participated in the LinkedIn Challenge in November and have decided to make LinkedIn a priority in 2018. Congratulations! But even if you have missed my signature event, this post will give you 11 ideas for new habits to pick up on LinkedIn in 2018!
1. Always personalize invites
If you haven’t done this yet in 2017, please make the effort in 2018. I know, LinkedIn doesn’t exactly make it easy for us, since the only place you can do this from is directly from the profile. Any other button you find on the platform will send the automatic invitation with the very impersonal message ‘I’d like to add you to my personal network on LinkedIn’. LinkedIn is about professional relationships and just like you wouldn’t be rude at a real-life networking event, a polite message in the virtual world that is LinkedIn is of key importance. If you don’t know how to personalize invitations on LinkedIn, read this post that will show you how.
2. Share content – balance Personal & Professional Interaction
It’s one thing to build your network, it’s another thing to be pro-active and position yourself as an expert. A simple profile, even if optimized, will not achieve that goal. You need to regularly share relevant and valuable content that might be interest to your connections and that at the same time positions you as the go-to person in your area of expertise. If you don’t create your own content you should consider creating your own content aggregation strategy so this task becomes a regular part of your personal branding.
This year we’ve also seen a major shift in the way people interact on LinkedIn. There’s a tendency to more personal interactions, less stiff corporate communications. Read this post on ‘How to Balance Personal & Professional Interaction on LinkedIn‘ or watch the video on this page.
3. Use video
LinkedIn has finally introduced native video on LinkedIn. In the early days my newsfeed was packed with low quality videos, but now things have calmed down again and I think you can really stand out if you share your video content on LinkedIn. Watch the video on this pagewhere I explain how to use video in your LinkedIn strategy.
4. Use video in a connection request
5. Use the LinkedIn Messenger to engage
My favorite tool of 2017 has definitely been the LinkedIn Messenger. Its new version is so much easier to use and I love the fact that you can now even see when one of your contacts is currently active on LinkedIn. I use it for example to share articles and updates with my contacts or reaching out to fellow group members.
6. Add a Personal Note to your LinkedIn Summary
If you haven’t picked it up yet, the theme of 2018 is to ‘Humanize your LinkedIn Presence’. So far, we have talked about your interaction on LinkedIn, but as you might now, on LinkedIn all roads lead to your profile.
So, I recommend you add a little personal note, something that has nothing to do with you as the professional, but with you, the person, the human being. For example, on my profile I say, ‘I’m an introvert, bookworm & love traveling & different cultures.’ This tells the visitors of my profile something about my personality traits and my values. What could you add?
7. Review your listed skills
When’s the last time you looked at your skills section? It’s very likely that some of them are no longer relevant to your current profile, or maybe you can add some new ones.
Thanks to John Gray for suggesting this tip!
In 2018 skills will become even more important as LinkedIn is rolling out the new LinkedIn Magnet.
What’s the LI Magnet? It’s a new feature that’s based on AI to increase engagement for your posts. So, as you write a post, a little magnet icon shows up and suggests up to three skills (or you can choose them yourself) to push your content to an audience who has those skills (which you also need to have on your profile and need to have a certain number of endorsements for it).
8. Don’t be afraid to start a discussion about something you don’t know
A true expert doesn’t know everything but asks his community for help if he doesn’t know the answer. I love this idea, suggested by Manu Goswami to use the power of the collective knowledge of your LinkedIn community.
9. Include contact details / call-to-action in your summary
Great reminder from David Petherick. Some people don't know that your contact details are hidden in the right column of your profile. It's always a good idea to include them in your summary. As well as a call-to action. What do you want your profile visitor to do next? Read this post for some other hints on why you don't get contacted on LinkedIn.
10. Build a bigger, but still relevant network.
My friend and colleague Greg Cooper suggest to also continue to increase the size of your network, and I agree with him. You need to have a strategy in place in order to really build a network of relevant connections.
11. Apply a 'Social Serving' approach.
Jeremy Nicholson got it right: "Approach potential new contacts with a mindset of what you can do for them, not what they can do for you." Apply empathy & listening skills and put yourself in your customers shoes.
Thanks LinkedIn community! That was great team work! Check out all the comments
Although our club does not use LinkedIn, many of our members are, or should consider, using this powerful professional-level social media platform.