The average person spends over two hours a day on social media and completely wastes their time.
For the majority of users, social media is an endless scroll of emotions… happy babies, graduation celebrations, and weddings followed by world and family tragedies, bickering over politics and cyber bullying that can be brutal.They jump over to LinkedIn, the professional network, only to find job recruiters posting positions and realtors selling properties. The occasional “congrats on 4 years” comments are traded and motivational quotes are shared. Not much to learn from that… right?
LinkedIn is loaded with professionals who are sharing amazing insights every day with their audience. Anyone who isn’t leveraging LinkedIn for professional development is completely missing the boat.
Here are the steps I’ve personally taken to leverage LinkedIn as a learning tool:
Step 1: Find The Pros
Google is your best friend, don’t try and do this on your own! Search for professional influencers that seem interesting and relevant to your field. There are lots of articles out there with lists of the top people in each industry… start there. Find the top 10-20 people you’re interested in and look them up on LinkedIn. Look at their recent activity. Are they posting interesting content? Writing solid articles? Liking posts that you enjoy? Pay attention to people who are active and create a lot of engagement.
Step 2: Follow
Follow the people you’re interested in. All you have to do is go to their profile and click Follow. If you don’t see it, try clicking the three dots to reveal more information… Follow will be an option.
Following professionals tells LinkedIn that you’d like to see their content in your feed. The mix of who you follow determines the usefulness of your feed. If you follow industry professionals who are consistently sharing bits of knowledge with their audience this content will start to overcome the useless posts you used to scroll right past.
Step 3: Join Groups
Joining groups is another way to find useful information. Start your search in the search bar. You can type in industry terms and start poking around to see active groups with a good volume of members. Join groups that look interesting so that you can start seeing the action!
Step 4: Engage
After you build up a steady flow of content from industry groups and professionals start to engage with the content. Share things that are useful, comment when you get value and be sure to keep your audience in mind.
Don’t post just to post… the idea is to provide value to either the author of a post through feedback OR provide value to your audience by bringing more attention to useful content. Every single interaction on LinkedIn helps build your cumulative profile which dictates what information LinkedIn puts in your feed. Engagement is a great way to show the algorithm what helps you the most.
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