Engaging With Your Connections
SUMMARY OF THE COURSE
As a reminder, the purpose of this course is to help you master the necessary skills and knowledge needed to create your LinkedIn account and establish your online digital presence within this platform. The material covered in this course is best suited for users with little to no knowledge of or past experience with LinkedIn. Last week’s session discussed how to build your network on LinkedIn by connecting with other users.
This week’s session will focus on engaging with your LinkedIn network and provide some easy ways to do so. Learning Objectives are as follows:
-Interact With Posts
-Respond to Job Updates
-Send a Direct Message
-Support Your Connections
-Reach Your Weak Ties
-Implement What You’ve Learned
After you have completed this session, you will have one final module where you will learn how to post your own original content. After you have mastered the four areas addressed in this course, you will be able to leverage your LinkedIn profile and better promote your A Good Cause campaign.
INTERACT WITH POSTS
Once you have created a valuable network on LinkedIn by making smart connections, it’s important that you work to strengthen those relationships as well. Although communication and relationships in the digital world may seem difficult to navigate, it is quite similar to networking in person. Many of the principles that apply to network in real life translate to networking on LinkedIn. Fortunately, LinkedIn provides plenty of ways to cultivate and nourish your relationships. For starters, one simple way is by interacting with other users’ posts. Liking and commenting on posts in your newsfeed allows other users to feel appreciated by you. This is especially true when your connections post content they created themselves, such as writing articles or filming videos. As you network, be sure to leave positive comments or thought-provoking statements that lead to constructive conversations.
RESPOND TO JOB UPDATES
In addition to engaging with creative posts like articles and videos, you can also interact with your connections’ job updates. LinkedIn will send you notifications when a connection has a new job update. If you receive a notification that a connection has a job update, you will be prompted to “Say congrats.” If you select this button, you will be redirected to a draft of a personal message where you can compose your own message of congratulations to send to that connection. You may also see these updates listed in your newsfeed. When your newsfeed shows you that a connection in your network has a job update, you have the option to like or comment on that job update or send one of several suggested personal messages to that connection. Again, interacting with your connections as they pursue new career paths is a great way to show your support and allows your relationship to grow.
SEND A DIRECT MESSAGE
Another way to nourish your relationships with your connections is by reaching out to them through a direct LinkedIn message. The content of these messages can be as formal or informal as you please. You can simply thank your connections for the help and advice they provided to you or ask them questions about their role at work. Whatever you chose to write them about, be sure it is worth their time. While LinkedIn is a social media platform, its users still expect to have a professional experience while using it.
Here’s how to send your connections a message:
- Click on the Messaging tab in the Navigation Bar at the bottom of your screen (mobile) or at the top (desktop).
- Click the plus sign at the bottom of your screen (mobile only), then click the New Message icon.
- Type in the name of the individual you wish to send a message to.
- Then you will be redirected to your past conversation with this individual or simply to a blank draft if you have never messaged them before. Type up your message and when you are finished click Send.
SUPPORT YOUR CONNECTIONS
There are currently two ways in which you can support your connections on LinkedIn: Recommendations and Endorsements.
A recommendation is a short paragraph written by a Connection explaining the positive qualities, attributes, talents, work ethic, and other beneficial workplace skills that an individual has. Recommendations are hosted on an individual’s profile. Writing a glowing recommendation for a connection is a great way to show that you value them and your relationship. It’s possible that they might write you one in return.
Here’s how to write a recommendation:
- Navigate to the profile of the person you wish to write a recommendation for.
- Click the “More” button listed under their name.
- Then click “Recommend.”
- Select your relationship to that person and their position at the time you knew them.
- Then write your recommendation and hit “Send” when you are finished.
The second way you can support your connections is by endorsing their skills. This helps to publicly reaffirm their talents and provide them with more credibility.
Here’s how to endorse a skill:
- Navigate to the profile of the person you wish to endorse.
- Scroll down to the Skills and Endorsements section.
- Locate the skill you would like to endorse and click the plus sign next to it. If you have already endorsed a skill, you will see a checkmark instead of a plus sign.
- If you see a profile that does not have check marks or plus signs by their skills, this individual has chosen to not allow LinkedIn users to endorse them.
REACH YOUR WEAK TIES
In the networking world, it’s not what you know, but who you. Even more important than that, it’s who the people you now know. These friends of a friend are also called weak ties. Best-selling author and clinical psychologist Meg Jay states, “It’s the people we hardly know, and not our closest friends, who will improve our lives most dramatically.” One major benefit of your digital network is your increased ability to interact with and access weak ties.
On LinkedIn, weak ties are known as 2nd and 3rd Connections. When you are connected with another user, LinkedIn considers them a 1st Connection for you. If someone is directly connected with your 1st Connection but not with you, that individual is considered your 2nd Connection. If someone is directly connected with your 2nd Connection and not you or your 1st, then that individual is considered your 3rd Connection. As you pay attention to what your 1st Connections are doing in your newsfeed, you will notice them interacting with their own network, most of which are your 2nd and 3rd Connections.
Now is your chance to interact with these weak ties. This literal window of opportunity allows you to peek in on the lives of your 2nd and 3rd Connections and get to know them better. Introduce yourself to them by liking their original content. Insert yourself into a discussion by commenting on an already existing thread. As you interact with your weak ties on LinkedIn, you will begin to build a relationship with them. Then, when the time is right you can eventually connect with them and add them to your network.
A really great way to network with your connections is by providing value to everyone who comes across your profile. You can provide value by posting helpful and inspiring original content. The general mindset that users on LinkedIn have is to always be improving: whether in their career or in their personal lives. Knowing this will help you in your ideation of content. As you share your own original content on LinkedIn, you invite your connections and your weak ties to engage with you and strengthen your relationships. Next week’s lesson will go into more depth on how to make and share content on LinkedIn.
IMPLEMENT WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED
Now that you know how to engage with your network, this week your assignment is to comment on or like five posts in your newsfeed, congratulate a connection on a new job update, start a conversation with a weak tie (either by commenting on a post or sending a direct message), and brainstorm what topics you can create content about to provide value to your connections.
You have so much to look forward to for our next tutorial! We will take you through the steps of POSTING ORIGINAL CONTENT! See you there!