We all know that LinkedIn is a great resource for growing your network. But that network has little value if you don’t stay engaged. Nurturing your network is even more important than growing it. LinkedIn knows that, and they have been busy adding features to make maintaining those relationships easier and more fruitful. Here are four of my favorites.
1. Use “In The Moment” Messaging
LinkedIn has made it easy to know when your connections are online with a green circle on the bottom right corner of their headshot. When you want to have a real-time conversation with someone, you’ll know if they’re currently online.
Maybe you groaned when you read that, feeling like you’re giving people one more way to communicate with you and distract you from the task at hand. But think of it this way – you should be building your LinkedIn network in order to connect with people on a deep, emotional level. Knowing when you can connect with people real-time helps reduce the distance between you and your connection.
The best part about this feature is that it lets you message from the homepage without having to be on the profile page of the person with whom you’d like to engage in conversation.
2. Acknowledge Others
We all know the best way to build your brand is to deliver value and express gratitude to others. The new LinkedIn Kudos features makes it really easy to do this. You can send messages with sentiments like: “Thank You,” Inspirational Leader,” “Going Above,” “Team Player,” “Making Work Fun,” “Amazing Mentor,” “Great Job,” “Outside the Box Thinker,” “Great Presentation,” and “Making an Impact.”
Once you choose your sentiment, you have two options – you can send your acknowledgement as a message or share it as a post. When you share it as a post, you build your personal brand attribute of “thoughtful” and you acknowledge your colleagues publicly – letting their connections see what’s great about them. This is a new way to acknowledge someone that goes beyond endorsing them for a specific skill or writing a long recommendation for them.
3. Use Your Voice
LinkedIn understands that creating relationships with connections is among the most valuable career-building activities you can take, so they’re making it easier for you to have conversations with your connections. You still have the opportunity to send messages in text, but they’ve added a new way – voice. There are two benefits to sending voice messages rather than text. For some of us, it takes a lot longer to type a message than to speak it. If you prefer speaking, you’ll be more likely to stay engaged with your connection. Second, hearing someone’s voice is much more personal than reading their typed message. Since the web is such an impersonal place, anything you can do to show your humanity is welcomed, and it’s good branding. You need to enable the microphone in your phone settings for the LinkedIn app. Then you can speak your message, and your connection can click on it to hear your personality along with your message.
4. Browse Connections’ Activity
Now you can get a current glimpse of what’s on the minds of your connections. When you’re looking at their profile, check out the Articles and Activity section. It shows you what they have written and the updates they have shared. You can click on See All Activity to be truly up to speed on what they’re doing. This is an ideal feature you can use before you have a meeting with a colleague or client. It gives you insight into your connections’ interests, personalities, and points of view.
Take advantage of these valuable features for nurturing your network. It’s a powerful way to continue adding real value to the important members of your brand community.