Posted by: waynebreitbarth | February 19, 2012

Are You Wasting Your Time On LinkedIn?

People are constantly asking me questions about LinkedIn time management. Since it is not within my power to give you a few extra hours each week to spend on LinkedIn, let me tell you what others are doing and share some suggestions about how to make the most of the time you spend on LinkedIn.

 

My latest user survey shows about half of you are spending 0-2 hours per week on the site, and another quarter of you are spending 3-4 hours per week. Historically my survey has shown about 66% of users were spending 0-2 hours per week. I am not surprised to see people spending more time using this powerful networking tool.linkedin time chart

 

First, I would encourage you to find a certain time of day and a specific place where you do this so it becomes a consistent habit. 

 

If you have 15 minutes each day to spend on LinkedIn, here are my ideas about how to most effectively spend your time.

 

 

 

Respond to any messages in your Inbox. 

 

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of being timely when someone is reaching out to you. Always think about how antsy you get these days when someone doesn’t answer a text message in a minute or two. The world we live in has really amped up this expectation; so don’t let a day go by with something sitting in that box. If the item doesn’t require a response, like a mass invitation to an event or something like that, place it in archive so you don’t spend time thinking about it another day.

 

Invite people whom you met yesterday to join your network. 

 

Timeliness on this step is important for a couple reasons. First, you want to make sure the person you met will remember the meeting or conversation you had with him/her that led to the invitation to join your network. Second, your being the aggressor and sending the invitation shows you care and are very good at timely follow-through. This should make a good first impression and suggest that this is how you do all things in your life, including whatever business you are in. 

 

Always be sure to invite people from their profile page so you can use a detailed invitation. I know they have shortened this message up, which I really hate, but I just can’t stand the standard LinkedIn invitation message when you are trying to begin what should be a long and beneficial relationship. 

 

Review the previous day’s emails of group discussions you are following.

 

Don’t select the option of following a discussion unless you are really interested in the topic or the person who started the discussion, because you will be overwhelmed by the quantity of these emails. Be selective, and this will help in just giving you the important discussions to keep tabs on.

 

Review the status updates from your network for the previous day. 

 

This is your chance to see what your friends think is most important in their lives that you might want to be a part of or comment on. Remember that when you share a comment, you are sharing it with all the people in their network, and that is great marketing for you.

 

Post a status update of your own. 

 

Don’t miss this great daily opportunity to share information with your entire first-level network and also remind them that you are still out there doing business and looking forward to their help. Staying top of mind is where you want to be with your friends, and this is a super way to do that. LinkedIn etiquette would allow you to do some self-promotion from time to time, hopefully crafted in a question type format. Just be careful to not make this your focus. Remember — LinkedIn is a networking platform, and that means giving, sharing and helping first and foremost. 

 

Also, doing some homework during the rest of your work week and saving links to articles and websites will help you to have good information to share. Try to have a place in your briefcase or on your desk where you keep those links, and then when you do this step you will have great content to pick from and share. I recently read in Mitch Joel’s book “Six Pixels of Separation” that “content is media,” which is so true. Your daily status update can be your own little daily media machine!

 

Review Recently Connected. 

 

Is there anything more important in the networking world than knowing who your friends just met? I have received more benefit from this section of my home page than any other part.

 

Good luck in grabbing that 15 minutes a day to LinkedIn success!
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