Rethink Your LinkedIn Strategy: 6 Benefits Of Treating It More Like Twitter
When you limit your LinkedIn network to only connections you personally know, you limit your overall networking potential.
It just seemed there was a huge opportunity there to network in more meaningful ways with a far larger group of people than those I’ve already met and connected with.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably turned down dozens (or hundreds, or even thousands) of connection requests from people you didn’t actually know.
How are these people finding you? It could be through LinkedIn Search, which processes over 5.7 billion queries per year. It could be that members of LinkedIn Groups you belong to wanted to get to know you better. They may have read about you, or read something you’ve published elsewhere on the web.
Whatever their reason for wanting to connect, I went through my old invitations and accepted a few thousand pending connection requests. I also invested the time in creating a massive list of people I wanted to know and sent them connection requests, building my network out to about 10,000 people.
Why spend time building out your LinkedIn network? Well, like having a large Twitter following, there are definitely benefits to having a large LinkedIn network. Those benefits on LinkedIn are unique and include:
1. Exposure In “Most-Viewed Connections”
I was at an industry networking event recently, and two different people came up to introduce themselves, saying they recognized me from their Most-Viewed Connections on LinkedIn.
Expanding your network on LinkedIn can have serious benefits in real life when influential people in your industry recognize and want to meet you!
2. More LinkedIn Profile Views
Before I put a conscious effort into LinkedIn networking and expanding my reach, I was getting very few profile views. What’s the benefit of having more profile views, you ask? Gee, I don’t know… isn’t networking about visibility?
If you’re working on building your professional brand, this kind of exposure is a huge plus. Networking and exposure work hand in hand.
3. More Professional Endorsements
I happen to think LinkedIn’s Skills & Endorsements feature is pretty awesome. I know I check it out on other people’s profiles when we connect — and let’s face it, having very few endorsements does nothing for your street cred.
Before, I had a pretty embarrassingly low number of endorsements. I only had about 300 connections, and you can’t expect that everyone in your network will endorse you, even if you’re really good at specific things. Now, with over 10,000 connections, I get about 300 new endorsements per week!
4. More People Want to Know You
There’s definitely a snowball effect in LinkedIn network building: the more people you know, the more people want to know you.
I now get between 100 and 300 connection invitations per week.
You may be wondering, “What’s the benefit in that? Is this some kind of popularity contest?” Not at all! Just think of the extra exposure you can get with all of these people interacting with your content, reading, sharing, liking and posting it to other networks. If you could get in front of this many more people, why not go for it?
On that note, I was lucky with 300 connections to get a single thumbs up on a post. Now, my posts generate 20 to 250 engagements per update.
5. Way More Website Traffic
All of this LinkedIn activity has had a big effect on my website referrals from the network. Focusing on LinkedIn resulted in 4x the traffic from LinkedIn to my company website, WordStream in just four weeks!
6. Greater Content Engagement
LinkedIn has a cool feature now that allows you to publish content through their platform. I’ve been using this to repurpose content from elsewhere instead of simply linking to it, as the engagement is so much greater.
Once you’re publishing through LinkedIn, the greater the size of your network, the more people interact with the posts.
My content typically gets around 5k views per post and sometimes does over 50k views. When you have that many people viewing and sharing, you increase the likelihood of getting your content featured in LinkedIn Pulse, which exposes it to that many more people.
Building Out Your LinkedIn = Huge Branding & Exposure
If your LinkedIn is more like an online resume than a social network, invest some time in expanding your network. This is especially important for B2B professionals, whose customers are other business people. LinkedIn is where they live online!
LinkedIn has spent a great deal of effort over the last two years in increasing on-site engagement and user time on site and it shows in the enhanced opportunities for users. Try publishing on-site and treat it more like Twitter, where your content isn’t for a select group of people you’ve already met, but everyone you want to get in front of.