Why Engaging on LinkedIn Matters
When I was a social business program manager working to drive individual digital eminence for my teams, I often heard them say that they don’t see the point of liking, commenting, or posting on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or even LinkedIn. And I understand that perspective. However, for professional growth, I believe that engaging on LinkedIn is crucial to build a professional network and especially so if you think you’ll ever be looking for a new job. Yes, I said ever… because what you do now will lay the ground work for years (or even decades in my case) later.
I joined LinkedIn in 2004, when it was nothing more than a digital Rolodex. Back then I didn’t use it for much more either, in part because the platform didn’t provide for much else than a resume repository as well. But, as the years progressed, I began building out my network and platform here; organically and in baby steps. Around 2010 I started to be more involved and by 2012 I was knee-deep in social business. By 2015 I was using LinkedIn as my only resume; I figured what better way to get a job in social business than by using social business to do it!
As the platform has grown since then and become the leader in professional online networking, I believe more than ever that LinkedIn can be one of the most valuable tools in your professional arsenal.
Don’t believe me? Read on…
The Benefits of Engaging on LinkedIn
Here are some reasons why you should engage on LinkedIn:
1. Engagement Makes Your Own Profile More Visible
First and foremost, by simply liking posts on LinkedIn you can raise your profile’s visibility and be noticed by your connections. When you like a post, your name will appear in your connections’ newsfeeds, reminding them of your existence (out of sight, out of mind after all) and more importantly your professional reputation and skills. This can be particularly useful if you’re job hunting and want to stay top-of-mind with your network.
When you like a post, you have the option to choose from several different reactions, including like, love, curious, insightful, celebrate, or support. While all of these reactions essentially do the same thing, they allow you to show a little more thought as to why you appreciated the post. The author can see who clicked which reaction, which can help you build a relationship with them.
If you want to start a conversation on LinkedIn, commenting on other people’s posts is a great way to do it. Other people might like what you have to say and join in, which can help you build relationships with others in your field. When you comment, try to use at least five words and add your own perspective. Don’t just say you agree; instead, offer your own thoughts or insights to add value to the conversation.
Resharing others’ content is also a great way to boost visibility. While you have the option to just reshare, I’d encourage you to add your own perspective or context to it before you do. This both provides your audience an understanding of why you are resharing a post (how it resonated with you) as well as giving your connections a hook in to begin engaging with you around it as well.
2. Training the LinkedIn Algorithms
When you like or comment on a post, you’re telling the LinkedIn algorithms what you’re interested in. This means you’re more likely to see content from that person or topic in the future. Essentially, you’re training your newsfeed to show you the content you care about. In turn, this tends to encourage more engagement on that content, looping us back to the first item.
3. Helping Others
When you engage with other people’s posts, you’re helping them reach a wider audience. LinkedIn’s algorithm favors posts that get engagement (i.e. likes, comments, and shares) within the first hour of being posted. By engaging with someone’s post, you can help them reach more people and potentially get them visible to the person who will help them get to their next big thing.
Taking this more altruistic approach helps ensure more authentic and organic growth of your network. It is obvious to everyone if you’re in it just to land a sale or a new job, or if you come by your engagement honestly and out of a desire to help or simply inherent curiosity.
4. Creating a Brand for Yourself
By strategically liking and commenting on posts related to your work, you can create an image of yourself as an expert in that field. When people see your name, they begin to associate it with that topic, which can help you build a personal brand. And personal branding is important to help you stand out in the crowds. Which leads me to…
5. Building a Community
Become part of the crowd! Engaging on LinkedIn can help you build a community of like-minded professionals. By commenting on other people’s posts and sharing knowledge, you can establish yourself as a thought leader and connect with others in your field. As time goes on, your consistency and capabilities will be seen and known; much like how you will begin to see and know others. This has long been referred to as networking, but in the end it is just relationship building at scale which quickly becomes community. And, when you’re in need, it is your community that comes together to help.
Finally, if you want to build up your personal brand on LinkedIn, consider posting your own content. By sharing your expertise, perspective, or business offering, you can indirectly advertise yourself and attract clients or job opportunities. While it may take some time to build up a following, engaging with other people’s posts can help you get noticed and attract more followers.
But, don’t make the mistake of only talking about yourself. For every post you make, there should be 10 other engagements on content not your own. An 80-20 rule here can help: 80% of your interactions should be about someone else or on someone else’s content, where 20% can be about your own content or shares.
Engaging on LinkedIn is essential if you want to build a professional network and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. No one likes a person who only talks about or to themselves. Become more approachable and foster those connections by being more proactive yourself and reaching out through the various methods of engagement I’ve gone over here.
By liking, commenting, and posting on LinkedIn, you can raise your profile, build relationships, and attract job opportunities or clients. I can attest to LinkedIn being a large part of how I landed my last two roles, in part because of my visibility. So, if you haven’t already, give it a try and see how it can benefit your career!