Correct LinkedIn Group Usage

If you are not using LinkedIn Groups, not to worry, they ARE, still a thing.

In fact, I use them now, more than I ever did before, going so far as to create my own group focused around Software Driven Leadership for Technology Professionals.

If you have not been using LinkedIn Groups then I can only surmise you are not interested in;

  • Expanding your network by meeting like-minded individuals sharing their work as much as yours.
  • Receiving feedback on articles you post on LinkedIn.
  • Engaging in respectful discussion on topics that matter to you.
  • Receiving insight and alerts on topics you don’t have the time to research daily.
  • Connect with people outside of your immediate network that are working on, have worked on and can help with your problems.
  • Learning more about your field of specialty or pivoting into other fields and learning about them for free.

But if you are interested in all those things, than perhaps you should spend a little more investing in LinkedIn Groups and what they can do for you.

Some suggestions for success in using LinkedIn Groups;

  • Don’t sign up for everything (you can’t), but make sure you cull your groups every now and again so you are not learning from the same ideas and topics – branch out and learn.
  • Engage with people in the groups you have joined, recognize their contributions and yours.
  • Don’t blind connect with people that are members, personalize your message and make that connection into something that will last.
  • Don’t advertise the latest deals that you can offer.

That’s how it starts, from there it’s up to you, maybe not as flashy as Instagram and Snapchat, but always, continually useful.

Sharing your Work

I wrote a LinkedIn article about a month ago and then decided to share it across a number of groups – groups that had 70,000+ members associated to them.

As I wrote some clever summary I worried about how it would be perceived, what would people think?  Would they love it?  Would they hate it?  Would they tear it apart?

I could feel my brow furrowing and sweat starting to form as I clicked “Post”.

And then I waited…

Waited…

Still waiting…

Nothing happened, a few people liked it, but that was about it.

No viral sensation, no interviews, no public firing, nothing.

The world kept spinning, my day carried on and I’ve kept on writing.

Moral of the story – You’ll be okay, don’t over think it, just do it, share it, see what comes back – and move on.

Sharing your work to others the first time is never easy because we focus on the rejection first and the acceptance last.

Will everyone like your work?  No.

Now that you know the answer will you still share it?

Great, go do it.

 

Don’t Monitor LinkedIn

Do you monitor your team’s Twitter activity?

What about their Facebook posts?

Are you an avid fan of their late night snaps?

Or perhaps you think their Instagram stories are AMAZING?

Whatever the reason, LinkedIn should be treated no differently.

Don’t get flustered when someone on your team update’s their LinkedIn account, be encouraged that they speak so highly of your organization and want everyone to know.  If they are starting a new blog or putting up some demo code, share it out with the rest of the team and support them in their endeavors.

LinkedIn is the greatest tool to engage with your team in a professional manner outside of your organization and highlight their talents.

There can sometimes be a general concern that if you endorse or give recommendations to your team while they are still on your team that you are basically sending the message that they are great, please take them.

This could not be further from the truth, the real message you are sending is…

“I/We trust you, I/We value your contributions to our organization, I/We want you and everyone you know how much you are valued.

 

Microsoft and LinkedIn and SlideShare – Oh My!

I don’t typically write about industry related news, although I have a couple in my Trello that are waiting to be written so there could be a few coming.

However, yesterday’s announcement of Microsoft buying LinkedIn was something that I had to drop a line on as I heavily use LinkedIn on a daily basis and I practically live on Microsoft software.

LinkedIn was the first social media network I ever joined and have never looked back at the usefulness that it provides.  Money aside, there is an incredible amount of reach and power between both companies where they can now leverage the +/- of each other.

  • Contextual Office365 contacts linked to LinkedIn?
  • Document Collaboration from Office documents to LinkedIn
  • Call Notifications that display the user’s LinkedIn Profile along with their contact history in a popup toast.
  • Direct Dynamics CRM integration to LinkedIn users and customers – the possibilities are wide here.
  • Office365 Graph – I don’t even need to deep dive on that one.

But the Dark Knight in all this that I see would also have to be LinkedIn’s previous acquisition of SlideShare which is one of those incredible platforms built around the communication ideas and information in a more structured manner that cannot be delivered in quick soundbites.  Direct publishing to SlideShare from Powerpoint anyone?  Accessing slideshare content direct from Powerpoint instead of having to go to the site?  Analytics combined across all mediums?

It’s hard to say it’s a match made in heaven – not really sure what it looks like – quite a surprise though and it’ll be interesting to see what integration touchpoints come out of this between the Microsoft Cloud Stack and LinkedIn and it’s affiliates.

LinkedIn Invites Should not be about the Numbers

I used LinkedIn everyday – it is a great tool, but like any tool it sometimes gets abused and we start to develop bad habits around it.

I read an article a few years ago that you should reach out to whoever you want to be associated with, the kinds of people you want to know and meet and send them a connection request on LinkedIn so you can connect with them.

I’d like to update that request with a few ancillary points;

  • If you really want to talk to them, there are many other channels other than LinkedIn to engage with that person, perhaps they have a blog where you can contact them directly or send them a direct message over twitter.
  • Connecting with them and then not doing anything is a complete failure, all you’ve done is essentially thumped your chest that this person is now a connection.
  • The corollary for this is true, if I don’t know you, why I would accept this invite?

Random LinkedIn invites are a great way to connect with people, but that connection needs to come with a message – “Hey Greg, I saw your profile, we’re in the same program would like to chat a little more” vs “So and So wants to connect with you”.

It doesn’t mean anything.

The worse feature of LinkedIn is the new AutoConnect where it’s either a check or an X – there is no prompt to add a personal message.  Worst yet, we have promoted connections, as if the number count of my connections somehow defines me.  Sometimes I forget and I accidentally click the check on my phone, but I’m not connecting with anyone at that point in time, I’m simply upping my stats and theirs.

linkedin

What’s more valuable a smaller connected network of people you work with and respect or boasting that you have connected to 500+ people?  There are a lot of people in my LinkedIn profile that I don’t connect with but are there and really they shouldn’t be.

Getting to 500 connections is nothing, you could do it in a day, you want to impress yourself, go find 100 connections that you are going to interact with constantly, on an ongoing basis – now that is something of value.