Social sharing and conversations on LinkedIn can provide career confirmation, amplify your personal brand, and build, maintain or renew relationships.
When considering your personal brand on the social web, it is important to think about how to get others to notice, engage, and remember you and your desired personal brand identity.
In a previous blog post, I asked the question: Is LinkedIn a Place Where Your Resume Goes to Die?
There I explained the importance of going all-in with social sharing on LinkedIn to confirm a career focus, build and amplify a personal brand, show others what you are learning and/or thinking, and to connect and develop professional relationships.
This blog post presents “what to social share” on LinkedIn.
Variety is the Spice of a Social Life.
“When social sharing for a personal brand, variety of content is the refreshing spice for a social life.”
My social media marketing students regularly ask: “what do I share on LinkedIn?”
My answer: “share what will get you noticed and remembered, while offering added value for your connections.”
Then I get on my digital etiquette soap box about how sharing the personal and private on Facebook is much different than the professional and public that you should share on LinkedIn and other social media.
What is commonly shared on social media can have many content purposes, to: (1) educate, (2) inform, (3) inspire, (4) entertain, (5) self-promote, (6) converse/engage, (7) persuade/sell, and/or a combination.
When personal branding, there is one more and very important guiding content purpose to add to the mix: to career confirm.
“A primary purpose of social sharing on LinkedIn is to confirm a career focus and define the value of your personal brand to important others (connections, clients, and career stakeholders).”
However, too much of the same could be seen as boring or enough already.
While LinkedIn is a place for professional social networking, it is important to keep your connections interested and mix it up by varying the content you social share there.
9 Ways to Refresh Your Social Activity on LinkedIn.
Personalized invitation to connect.
Your first opportunity for a digital conversation on LinkedIn comes with the invitation to connect.
This conversation should begin with more than just a click of a button.
You should always send a personalized invitation to connect rather than the robotic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” This is particularly important if you are seeking connection with someone that may not know or remember you.
The first sentence of your invitation should briefly state your potential relationship and/or why you want to connect. For example: “I enjoyed meeting you at last week’s ____ club meeting.” Or, “I enjoyed your presentation at ____.” Or, “I loved your recent blog post about ____.” Or, “as a future alumnus of _______, I see we have similar career interests.” Or, we have connected on Twitter and I would like to learn even more about you on LinkedIn.”
The second sentence: continue with the request to connect.
An optional third sentence could add a sincere conversation starter as a question related to your reason to connect. For example: “What you said about ___ was quite interesting, can you tell me where I can read more?” Or, “where and when is your next presentation?” Or, “while at ___, did you take a class with _____? She is my current favorite professor.”
Advanced tip: Always go to a potential connection’s LinkedIn profile page in a browser to request a connection (and never from the “People you may know” recommendations or from the LinkedIn app). Otherwise, you will not have the opportunity to include your personalized message. Unfortunately, if a potential connection does not know or remember meeting you, they may press the “I don’t know” or “this is spam” button (a ticket to LinkedIn jail).
Personalized response to a new connection.
When a LinkedIn connection request is accepted (from you or to you), this provides a refreshing opportunity to reinforce your personal name and personal brand with use of a conversation starter.
Just send a short non-selling and non-self-promoting direct message thanking your new connection for initiating (or accepting) the invitation. For example: “Thanks for connecting. I am happy to connect and look forward to further review of your LinkedIn profile and seeing what you will social share.”
Then, based on a quick review of their LinkedIn profile, add something that shows that you really did read it with interest and curiosity. For example: “You have had an interesting career path. How did you go from an accounting degree to work in marketing?” Or, “when you studied Engineering at ___, did you have ___ as a professor?” Or, “wow, your LinkedIn blog posts are great. How do you get so many ideas?”
Career confirmation educational.
Show others what you are learning and thinking.
If you currently learn to benefit and advance your career, then with a Chrome browser and the Buffer extension, you can social share the best of what you are learning from your favorite bloggers with just a few clicks. Then show others what you are thinking by adding comment in the form of an opinion, insight, and encouragement to follow the link to read, listen, or view this shared content, too.
Advanced tip: Use Feedly to subscribe, organize, and manage RSS feeds to career-related blogs (find at AllTop.com), videos (search for career focused channels on YouTube and Vimeo), and podcasts (see postcastdirectory.com).
Career confirmation content curation collections.
What is better than a social share that adds value for your connections?
Answer: a social share that adds even greater value for your connections.
This is accomplished with a single share that links to a collection of the best content you have found (and organized) on a career focused topic. I call this a content curation collection.
If you regularly tweet and retweet great content on Twitter, you can now collect these best tweets on a career focused topic, add a cover graphic and description, and share this Twitter Moments as a web link on LinkedIn.
For example, this blog post is part of my All-In LinkedIn series collected as a Twitter Moments.
If your career focus is social media marketing, then a Moments (or content curation collection) could be the top ten tweets recently found on the topic of using Facebook for Small Business. Or, a career focus on Advertising could share a Twitter Moments on the best Global Ads of 2016 (so far).
Of course, the ability to social share a content curation collection is not limited to an active use of Twitter. If career focused on Sports Marketing, then you could social share a web link to a YouTube Playlist where you have collected videos of the best sports marketing events of the year. Or, if career focused on Management, you could share your Pinterest Board collection of quote graphics on leadership and self-motivation.
Advanced tip: keep your content curation collections career focused and composed of only the best content to give your connections a good reason to connect or follow you there.
Career confirmation industry news, trends, research/stats, issues, insights, and success stories.
This kind of social share adds to your authority on a subject and shows others that you stay current in your career field and/or industry.
With this type of social share, the focus is not on an entire article or blog post that you have read. Instead, you are choosing something of specific interest to you and your connections from a blog post to use as a conversation starter (don’t forget the link).
If not obvious for personal branding, you should keep your added comment on the positive side of life and try not to jump into a highly controversial topic that could start a conversation to the negative side.
Advanced tip: Never link drop without adding comment that can show your interest, reaction, expertise, questions, or answers.
Career confirmation response to other’s posts.
“On LinkedIn, remove all doubt that you may be a robot by adding relevant comment rather than just pushing the Like button.”
I regularly say to my students: “a Like is not good enough.”
While a Like of another’s post will share that post in your Updates stream to your LinkedIn connections and then show as a Notifications to the originator of the post, an added comment is better.
By adding a relevant comment that goes beyond a thank you, you show others that you are reading, learning, and are truly a social networker.
A click on the Like button shows others that you may be a robot.
Advanced tip: again, you can use this opportunity to add a question as a conversation starter. This is especially effective in a LinkedIn career-focused group where your comment there is also shared in your Updates stream to your connections.
Career confirmation check-ins.
Again, here is a way to show others what and where you are learning and to ground your social media networking with your physical networking. I call this networking convergence.
If attending a career-related event (professional club meetings, meetups, career-related conferences, etc.), then you should let others know so they can potentially meet up with you (or at least know of your continued education).
You could social share at three levels:
1) Pre-event – social share an announcement prior to the event so connections will recognize or look for you there (include a link, if available);
2) Live-event – social share a quote from a speaker or about something you have specifically learned at some time during the event to show others of your involvement in your career development; and
3) Post-event – social share with added comment after the event, perhaps even @naming/tagging and thanking the event host or sponsors.
Advanced tip: Don’t be mistaken. LinkedIn is not a place to “live social share” or run amok with selfies as is often done when “live tweeting” at a conference or event. Instead, limit your social shares and professional selfies to one or two per event or for each day of a career-related conference.
Self-promotion of your original content.
Perhaps the ultimate social share to impact your personal brand is the sharing of your original created content (blog posts, podcasts, SlideShares, e-books, published papers, videos, photos, memes, etc.).
However, to only share your own stuff can easily come off as narcissistic and may show others that you are only in it for the self-promotion. This is compounded even further if the majority of your other social shares are humblebrags.
Alternatively, as long as you are primarily sharing the content of others (social content curation), the promotion or sharing of your own career-related content is a great way to get traffic to your original content and creativity.
And, of course, the longer-form sharing of your own insights, thinking, and opinions goes a long way to adding authenticity (the real you) and authority (your expertise) to your personal brand.
Advanced tip: you can also show your humility by thanking and @naming/tagging those that were mentioned in your content or that inspired your content.
Social thanks or gratitude.
“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” ~ G. B. Stern
Do you thank others when they have engaged with one of your social shares?
If not, perhaps you should, especially if they have added a comment to your post or a re-shared it to their connections.
If a connection or follower took the time to engage with your social share, then you should reciprocate with further engagement.
While sometimes a thank you is good enough, you should always consider whether the conversation should continue with added comment.
Also, you should initiate gratefulness as a social media networking conversation starter.
Bloggers work hard to write content for their audiences. LinkedIn is a great place to thank your favorite blogger, whether you are connected or not. Same goes for favorite book author, mentor, professor, co-worker, and others. Just don’t forget to call them out with a @name/tag mention so they will receive a notification of your feedback.
Advanced tip: since LinkedIn provides space for 600 characters in a status update, when social sharing any of the content types from above, you can often add thanks. For example, when you share a great blog post with added comment to tell others why they should read it, add another sentence to @name/tag thank the author and/or source of the blog post. Also include a @name/tag hat tip thanks to your connection that found the post and shared it for your benefit.
Social sharing on LinkedIn to get noticed and not forgotten requires a thoughtful and consistent effort that confirms your career focus, builds your personal brand, and adds value for your connections.
This requires a refreshing variety or mix of social shares that includes added comment, conversation starters, @name/tags or recognition, and gratitude.
In a follow-up to this blog post I will share more ways to social refresh your personal brand on LinkedIn.
These are my thoughts, now they are yours.
What have I left out? What other types of social shares have you found successful for building your personal brand on LinkedIn?
Continue reading my series on All-In LinkedIn (#ALLinLINKEDIN).
Is LinkedIn a Place Where Your Resume Goes to Die?
LinkedIn Sucks When You Do
Latest posts by Denny McCorkle (see all)
- I Love You More Than I Love Social Media 2017 - February 13, 2017
- 12 More Ways to Social Refresh Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn - November 7, 2016
- 9 Ways to Social Refresh Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn - October 24, 2016
- LinkedIn Sucks When You Do - September 6, 2016
- Is LinkedIn a Place Where Your Resume Goes to Die? - August 8, 2016