How to Engage on LinkedIn to Build Credibility

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Unless you are engaging with your connections or with the LinkedIn community, LinkedIn is nothing more than the world’s largest Rolodex® and you will receive nothing from it.

I know that was harsh…and well it’s true.

Remember, every aspect of LinkedIn is searchable so the more you can engage, the more relevant you are, and the higher you appear in search results. The best way to do this is by engaging on others' posts in the news feed and their articles. I guarantee you, that you will build more relationships, generate more leads, and close more deals by engaging on others' content than you will by only having a push-strategy. Also, LinkedIn has reinforced this by actually building it into their algorithm. If you only push content and don’t engage with others, then your content won’t be seen by as many people as someone who engages with others.  

So how do you do that?

Don’t share your breakfast or where you got coffee today. Share updates about what you are working on, articles, videos, or podcasts you’re learning from. Share professional accomplishments, updates from associations you belong to, and promote others in your network. Remember to keep the tone professionally casual as if you were sitting at that coffee shop with a particular person. Your posts are intended to start a conversation that invites your connections to engage with you. This is not intended to be marketing-speak. So, ask questions and share your opinion.

When you engage with others’ posts, avoid only hitting the “like” button. Think of it this way. If you were sitting a coffee shop with this person and as you talked they only responded with “like”….”like”…”like”. You would think they were crazy! A conversation is they talk a little, you talk a little, they talk a little again. The same concept applies on LinkedIn and social media as a whole.

Here is a simple formula to help you focus your thoughts:

  • Agree with something they said.
  • Respectfully disagree—remember they can’t hear your tone or see you making a face so jokes can be easily misinterpreted.
  • Ask a question or offer another viewpoint.

Did you notice there is nothing in there about using phrases like “great job” or “good article” or “congratulations.” Those phrases are generic and don’t mean anything. They also don’t “start” or “continue” a conversation which is what the goal is when you engage on LinkedIn. Remember, a conversation is when they talk a little, you talk a little, they talk a little again. Those generic phrases don’t invite a conversation to continue, which means you’re not able to build trust, credibility, or a relationship.

Every aspect of LinkedIn is searchable by LinkedIn and the search engines. This means that you have the opportunity for your expertise to shine every time you leave a comment. Make your comments thoughtful, genuine, and show you are an original thinker—the world doesn’t need any more copycat professionals.