6 Observations About LinkedIn

I’ve been experimenting with a few new ideas on LinkedIn lately. Of all the social media outlets, I spend the least amount of time on LinkedIN. I think that needs to change for me, and for you. Here are a 3 observations I’ve made over the last several months:

Twitter is too fast
Compared to LinkedIn, Twitter is too fast of a relational medium to develop meaningful relationships. There is so much content shared on Twitter, that if you’re not checking in with it multiple times an hour, you’re likely going to be overwhelmed with everything that’s been posted.

Most social media is narcissistic in nature, LinkedIn seems to be the least
In my time on LinkedIn, the articles and status updates tend towards being less narcissistic and more along the lines of professional development. One isn’t going to post pictures of their latest dinner, vacation, or new toy on LinkedIn, rather they are going to post a helpful article, job update, or job offering.

LinkedIn promotes specific relationship building
As a clinician in private practice, we are in a very specific niche business. Finding good referral sources, meaningful peer relationships, and networking opportunities are paramount to a successful practice. Both Twitter and Facebook are extremely broad in their scope of relationships. That’s not to say they aren’t helpful platforms, but what I’m finding about LinkedIn is that most of the users I’m connecting with there are professionals looking to make similar connections.

Given these observations, here are a couple thoughts to consider as you make more efforts with LinkedIn.

Be specific in your communication
I’ve written a very simple, 100 word greeting that I send to all new connections on LinkedIn. In this message, I briefly share about my current projects complete with website links, and ask for them to do the same. Building good relationships is a two way street — be curious about what other people are doing, not just about what you are doing.

Post helpful articles specific to your trade
LinkedIn is not the place for a funny video about cats chasing butterflies, that’s what Facebook or twitter are for. When you’re reading various articles on the web or in print, post insights or links to these articles on your profile. To take this a step further, post specific articles that pertain to your area of expertise.

Find local professionals, connect in person
If you’ve recently connected with a new therapist or other professional online, offer to meet them for coffee or lunch. Make a real life connection that builds the “two way” relationship. As how you can be of help to them, and most likely they will return the favor (if they don’t, it might be a good indication they aren’t available to you as a helpful resource).

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