One of the most common features on social networking websites is the status update. Using the status update feature, a user can type in a short message that is broadcast to their entire network, and sometimes even the entire web-surfing world. Facebook’s popularity is based largely on people’s ability to share information through the status update feature, and Twitter has taken the process one step further – it’s just status updates, and nothing else.
It can be exciting to share in this way, and many business people are using it to share professional information as well. Unfortunately, the ubiquity of status updates makes it hard to be “heard” above the noise – social networking sites are often jammed with people posting what they ate for dinner and rooting for their favorite sports team. The status updates on LinkedIn, however, don’t compete with these other, random posts, because they are only professional updates. (I have almost 400 first level connections, but receive less than 10 status updates a day on LinkedIn – so I end of up reading all of them).
At a minimum, you want to update your status on LinkedIn once a week. If you are actively networking on LinkedIn, though, three to four updates a week are a good number to aim for. Think about your LinkedIn status update as a mini-press release about your career. You can share a small piece of information with your network quickly and without much effort. Here are 9 ideas of what to share in your status update:
- Tell your network about a professional event you are going to or have just attended (networking event, trade conference, industry convention, Chamber of Commerce meeting).
- Announce a project that you are starting or have completed for your job.
- Plug the work of someone in your network.
- Share a business success you’ve recently had – a happy client or a rave review.
- Ask your network for a specific connection that you are looking for.
- Post a link that would be of interest to people in your network.
- Promote a new product or service that you are offering by telling your network how it can help them.
- Remind people about the characteristics of an ideal business referral for you, or just ask for referrals.
- Make a recommendation to your network about a service, product, website, software package, company, book, etc. that has been useful to your business.
Just implementing these ideas alone can keep you busy on LinkedIn for several weeks. Happy Updating!