Depending on your business goals and your audience, LinkedIn could help you generate leads and build traffic. I asked these pro users a few questions about how they use LinkedIn, PULSE, and SlideShare.
Here’s that report:
Q. Are you currently using LinkedIn? How active are you there on a 0-5 scale?
Brandon Schaefer (CEO )
On a scale of 0-5, I’m a 5.
Jared Banz (Founder)
4 – I use LinkedIn a lot, but not in the traditional sense. Rather than use it as a posting mechanism on the main wall or various groups, I use it to find freelancers for projects — as well as to observe what competing companies companies are doing.
Jeffrey Romano (Blogger @ WP LIghthouse)
Yes, I currently log in daily to LinkedIn. I moderate a local business LinkedIn group with over 5000 members so I make it a point that the group is spam free and has value-adding discussions going on. On a scale from 0 to 5, I would say that I’m a 4 in terms of how active I am.
Maxwell Ivey (The Blind Blogger)
Yes, I am on LinkedIn. I would say my level of activity is 4 out of 5. It’s my favorite network, due to the professional nature of the site and general high level of accessibility for blind users.
Steve Counsell (Motivational speaker, writer, and trainer)
I use LinkedIn occasionally (2 on a scale 0f 1-5), and I write articles for publication on LinkedIn.
Do you have a LinkedIn Company Page? Is it important to have both a personal and company presence on LinkedIn?
Yes, I have a LinkedIn company page, but I mainly focus on my personal profile.
Currently, I don’t own a company page, but I plan to set one up after I have re-branded my company. I do think having a personal and company presence is huge on LinkedIn — especially for finding talent to hire and for expanding your sales channels.
Yes, I did create a company page, but I don’t invest time in it. I don’t think company pages are that significant to the LinkedIn experience. Maintaining one’s personal profile and regularly interacting with other users is much more important.
I have a page under my name, but it is listed as a business page … so, I may not have a personal one — not sure. iIt’s one of those problems that comes with using social media with a screen reader. I only post items on there having to do with selling amusement equipment, coaching, blogging etc., so whether it is or isn’t a business page, I treat it that way … which i think is what is important.
Yes, I have a company page. It’s important for promotion.
Q. Have you published to LinkedIn PULSE? How much value is there to doing so?
Yes, I’ve published close to 100 PULSE articles thus far. The activity has been great.
I have not published to LinkedIn PULSE, so I can’t really speak to how much value there is.
I haven’t published to LinkedIn PULSE, because I prefer to publish on my own blog or to guest post on other people’s blogs. Creating PULSE was a positive move by LinkedIn and I can see it be helpful for small business owners who are building their personal online brand. However, as a full-time blogger, I prefer to publish on my own blog where I have more control on how content is presented, and where I can promote other valuable resources, such as my newsletter and ebooks.
I have not published to LinkedIn PULSE. I’m really not sure of its value. I’m worried that posting there could diminish the traffic and value of my blog. Also, I may be spreading myself too thin, if I try to post unique content there in addition to keeping up my blog.
Alex Yong (Social Alex)
Yes, I use it. According to compete.com, over 52 million people visited LinkedIn in November. And if that’s not enough, sometime in the summer, Katie Carroll, Social Media Editor at LinkedIn, announced that if LinkedIn likes a Pulse article you wrote, they’ll promote it. According to LinkedIn, if your article has mass appeal, you can nominate yourself by tweeting a few words (Ideally, your article’s headline) along with your Pulse article URL with the word “Tip” at the end along with “@LinkedInPulse” I’m guessing this was a necessary step LinkedIn felt they had to take, because of the deluge of Pulse articles that floods in daily. So if we can tilt the odds in our favor, why not, right?
Not sure if I’ve ever published to PULSE, so I don’t really know about the value of that particular part of LinkedIn
Have you published to LinkedIn SlideShare? How much value is there to doing so?
Yes, I make SlideShare decks all the time as well.
I haven’t published to LinkedIn Slideshare yet. However, this year I’m focusing more on repurposing my blog content, so publishing to LinkedIn SlideShare is definitely on my to-do list.
No, i am a member but have never posted to slide share
No, I have never published to LinkedIn Slide Share
What would you like to know about LinkedIn? What questions or problems do you have concerning LinkedIn?
I’d like to see what’s in development for LinkedIn in the years to come. I’d also like to see a more integrated way to get in touch with LinkedIn connections via email.
I definitely would like to learn more about how to drive more engagement in LinkedIn groups. Community management can be a big challenge, especially when its done on a voluntary basis. Having some LinkedIn specific group engagement guidelines would be helpful.
There are times when LinkedIn will show you buttons which let you invite others to connect with you. Most of these quickie buttons should be avoided. Why? Because they will send the recipient that wonderful generic invite “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network.” Sadly, there’s no mouse hover feature that indicates when an invite button will or won’t do this and that’s pretty awful. If LinkedIn doesn’t want to rehaul technically with mouse hovers etc, they can simply prompt users with a question like “Do you want to send a customized invitation message?” Most users will choose yes, because if they’ve been doing their research, tons of articles about “LinkedIn best practices” advise us to never send a generic invite. Here’s an article I wrote about this problem: Poison Ivy!
is there a number of groups that will cause you to be moderated or more likely to be put in linked in jail? is there value to posting your updates to groups after posting it to your page. does copying links to my youtube videos on linked in help or hurt? mainly i want them to fix what they broke about groups. and notifications. i used to get emails with the whole post but now i get just the first few lines. also i can no longer answer peopel’s posts by pressing reply. this is very frustrating to me. don’t know if it bothers sighted users or not.
What’s the best way to promote yourself as a personal brand identity, better ways to provide the social proof that people want to see these days. This would be different to promoting yourself as an employee.
Do you see yourself increasing or decreasing your participation on LinkedIn this year? What additional remarks do you have about LinkedIn?
I see myself increasing my participation on LinkedIn. In fact, it’s one of my primary focuses to continue to build this year.
I can see myself become more active on LinkedIn. Many professionals are now developing a better understanding of how it works, and combined with other social media like Twitter and Slideshare, it offers you great opportunities to reach out and connect with other professionals around the world. Just like anything else, you need to invest time in it in order to get a worthwhile return.
I don’t know if I will increase or not … just don’t see how to be more active there. I may take a look at the groups I am in now and only stay in those that give me real results. It will continue to be in my top three: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. I have noticed that more of my Facebook friends in the amusement industry are joining, so that may result in more activity.
I see myself moving more into LinkedIn for business and personal profile and away from Facebook. Creating a more business-like persona on LinkedIn seems to be easier to achieve.So … there you have it, folks. My take-away is that LinkedIn offers plenty of tools for the entrepreneur.
For an example of a PULSE post, go here: An Entrepreneur’s Heart
Don, thanks for putting this post together. LinkedIn is really a phenomenal platform to grow your business connections and expand your businesses reach. Without LinkedIn, I’d definitely not be in the position that I’m in today. Keep in touch, Brandon.