Saturday, March 23, 2013

3 Reasons People Don't Update Their LinkedIn Status

I recently asked a group of about 25 people how many had updated their LinkedIn status that day. Only one person. I asked how many updated their status the previous day. Again, only one or two people raised their hand. I asked how many had updated their status during the past week. Only about four or five people indicated they had updated their status.

I find this amazing. It's a wasted opportunity. I want to be top of mind with my direct connections, clients, and prospects so when they or someone they know has a need, they will think of and recommend me!

There are 200 million registered users on LinkedIn, and they are adding two new users every second! I personally own and manage of group of nearly 12,000 people, and I have over 3,500 direct connections. Additionally, I follow about 100 companies and I'm in 50 groups. Each time someone adds a new connection, updates their status, or makes a change to their profile, it shows up on my home page in my news feed. When I checked LinkedIn Signal today, I had 60,000 updates! Do you honestly think I'm going to see your status update if you only update it once in awhile?

Why don't people update their LinkedIn status? Here are three reasons that I often hear:
  1. I don't have time
  2. I don't know what to say
  3. I don't want to spam people

Your LinkedIn status update is a way to stay top of mind with your direct connections. If you have 500 direct connections, your status update is a way to stay in touch and top of mind with all of them at once. And, you can do it in a matter of 30 to 60 seconds.

You can use a URL shortener like to grab a long URL for a blog post or news article to share in your status update. Once you paste the shortened URL in your update, take the time to give your perspective or reason for sharing the blog post or news article. This gives your connections a clue as to why they should read it. It also enhances your status by sharing or curating good content.

While there's no magic number or formula, a good place to start is to try to update your status three to five times per week. If you're one of my direct connections, I won't see all your updates, but your chances are much greater that I will see some of them. Just make sure you update your status consistently and regularly.

The next reason people give for not updating their status is that they don't know what to say. It's actually much easier than you think to come up with content to use in your status update. As far as actual content is concerned, here's a short list of ideas:
  • A link to a relevant industry article or blog post
  • A link to information about an upcoming seminar or webinar
  • Information about a significant event in the community
  • A shout out to a client or prospect
  • A company announcement
  • A new employee
  • A link to your latest blog post

The other reason people give for not updating their status on a regular basis is that they don't want to spam their direct connections. I can understand this concern. We've all see the "oversharer" and the constant self promotion from people who ask you to buy their product or service. LinkedIn is not just another marketing or advertising channel. It's about relationships. 

I often talk about using the 4 B's as your filter for determining good content to share. They are:
  • B Interesting
  • B Relevant
  • B Helpful
  • B Yourself or Unique

Would you find the content interesting? Would you take the time to read it? If so, then it's probably something your direct connections would find interesting.

Is the content relevant to the group of people that are connected to you? If so, then share it.

When you're helpful, you're irresistible.  Share content that your connections will find helpful.

Be yourself. Don't just say what everyone else is saying. Offer your perspective and/or opinion. Add value to the link you share by saying why you found it worth sharing. And, be human. Don't be afraid to let your personality show.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you won't be accused of spamming anyone.

That's my 2 cents. What don't you update your status? Why do you update your status? How often do you update your status? What kinds of content are you sharing? Let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

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