So You’re among the Top 5% on LinkedIn. Now What?

Brent Skinner, LinkedInUse it or lose it. That’s the saying, but recently, I learned that it’s possible not to use something and still not lose it. Are you confused? Just keep reading. …

One morning several weeks ago—after brewing my coffee, of course—I skipped over to my computer, fired it up and gleefully opened my email.

OK, that’s not exactly true.

That same morning several weeks ago I woke up at 4 o’clock and lay there very much enjoying my horizontal-ness and the cocooning aspects of my blanket. About an hour later, I finally got vertical, brewed the coffee, shuffled over to my computer, powered it on and logged into my email program. There, at the top of my inbox, was a curious message from LinkedIn displaying the following subject header:

Brent, congratulations! You have one of the top 5% most viewed
LinkedIn profiles for 2012!

 

Huh.

“Wow,” I thought to myself. “Well, I do I have more than 500 connections there. But I rarely post in groups. So what’s the deal? Heck, I rarely post there. When was the last time I logged into LinkedIn?”

The next thing I wondered was, “How do I cash in on this?” And I immediately posted a snarky status update to Facebook, where I spend much more time, mostly for comic and other relief during the course of a typical workday.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, social mediaThen, reality reared its ugly head: You don’t cash in on social media presence; you make it work for you.

Actually, reality’s head isn’t ugly. That’s a sidebar we’ll cover some other time. In the meantime, here’s the point and paradox of my apparent success in LinkedIn:

Social networks won’t work for you unless you work them, yet they may grow with little or no proper care and feeding. That’s the story with my LinkedIn presence. I don’t really work it there. Some people work the LinkedIn scene like a dance floor, but I don’t. Most of my professional-related social media activity is concentrated on Twitter.

If you’re flying solo, by the way, you may want to fly your professional freak flag mostly on just one of the three major social media networks. I’ve seen plenty of highly successful people jump into the deep end of more than one, but if you want to stay sane and have a life outside your work life, choose just one. And choose LinkedIn.

Yes, choose LinkedIn. Truth be told, yeah, I’m a Twitter guy. That’s so largely because of #HRTechChat, which is fine. I’m happy on Twitter, and I get by; people there know who I am. But I’m kinda thinkin’ about shifting focus to LinkedIn. A late-February article in The Wall Street Journal rifles through the reasons behind the interest in and success of LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s steadily impressive stock numbers of late fly counter to the story from Mark Zuckerberg’s world and force us to take note. I sure as heck have, and LinkedIn’s friendly email message to me, bearing the good news, sure did help.

Trust me: If someone who tends to LinkedIn like I do can enter the pantheon of that social network’s top 5 percent of users, someone like you can definitely see results there. The trick is to work LinkedIn so LinkedIn works for you. That means joining and commenting regularly in groups there pertinent to your career goals. It means regularly posting status updates to LinkedIn. It means keeping your profile current and easily accessible. Endorse people. Recommend them. Connect with everyone you meet in real life, at networking events. There’s a bevy of stuff  you can do. LinkedIn works.