Everybody and their brother is on LinkedIn. Even my brother.
But being ‘’on” doesn’t mean being “one” with the platform.
Until you take the leap and dive in, it is, and will remain, a platform.
This post isn’t a how to use and navigate LinkedIn (see my overuse of the word guru later in the post) or maximizing its paid solutions in sales, careers and marketing.
It covers why it will be worth your time in figuring it out: for yourself and the audiences that count on you.
1. Build Networks With New Generations of Engaged Professionals
In addition to building fresh and stronger connections with your current networks (yes, they are on LinkedIn too), start to think bigger and toward the future.
Your next best talent might show up at your doorstep, OR you might stumble upon them during your time logged on.
Or better yet, you might take a strategic approach to searching and finding new connections.
Spoiler: you know the well-connected, digitally savvy, motivated professionals you dream about joining your organization? Well, they are right here, putting it all out there for you to see.
2. Thought Leadership? Do it All The Time
You haven’t reached your level of influence by standing on the sidelines. LinkedIn puts, at your fingertips, the power of sharing your experiences, your vision, and your kudos to other leaders in your circles and beyond.
This isn’t about trade secrets and secret sauces. It's about sharing the lessons you’ve gained, and subject matter authority you yield, on a much broader playing field.
Whether you choose to publish your own articles, "like" or share valuable content from others, or simply consume resources as they emerge on your feed, you won’t be able to help yourself but to feel more engaged and enlightened to the pulse of your constituents.
3. All Eyes On You
If you want a more digitally engaged workforce – from entry-level, to sales, to upper management – what better way than to set the tone yourself. Others will surely follow if you start to make it a habit.
It’s probably a good time to state that LinkedIn is not a priority task you can simply work into your calendar; it’s a disciplined behavior that must be practiced and nurtured on- and off-the-clock.
The tools may change, but the “social media” way of communication is not going away, so there’s little risk of wasting the time you invest now to understand the landscape.
Talk it up, offer learning opportunities for employees, and share away.
Bonus: A Guru is Going to Get Ya
Somewhere, someday, some self-proclaimed social media guru is going to corner you for five minutes and challenge you to “go digital.” And you’re going to be able to say, been there, done that, what else do you have for me?
Or in the least, be able to share that you’re on it, and working toward maximizing the tool, calling on technical or moral support when needed.
Get Comfortable with The Caveats
As you’ve learned during your tenure, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Fortunately, the challenges posed are the same that you deal with in real life.
With all the best practices out there – be it profile update tips, engagement activities, or making the most of connections – the only successful LinkedIn strategy is the one that will keep you logging in each day.
When getting started, or getting active, don’t start with concerns on how your picture or profile should look, or who you should connect with, or what articles to share; rather ask yourself:
Keep in mind: your competitors are already on here. Look them up in the search function if you don't believe me.
So come on chief(s), it’s time to warm up to the idea, download the app, and dig in.
Clearly, you don’t have to have a corner office to benefit from these lessons. For more on the how-to, check out the resources below or schedule time with the most engaged professionals in your organization to find out how they make it work for them.
• Getting Started on LinkedIn (video)
• Moz Beginner's Guide to Social Media & LinkedIn
Christina Capadona-Schmitz (@ChristinaCS & @DownWithSpitUp) leads marketing communications for Oswald Companies, a risk management and financial services company in Cleveland, Ohio.
She is on the clock 24/7 with her parenting resource blog www.DownWithSpitUp.com, among other creative pursuits and community endeavors. Connect with her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinacapadonaschmitz.