BusinessLink: How to Effectively Use LinkedIn in Just 15-30 Minutes a Day

ChuckHester
Chuck Hester Managing Partner, Chuck Hester Enterprises

Posted on July 17th 2012

BusinessLink: How to Effectively Use LinkedIn in Just 15-30 Minutes a Day

Whenever I present on the topic of LinkedIn marketing inevitably the question comes up: “How much time should I spend on LinkedIn?” While there is no black and white answer, in general, you should be able to effectively use LinkedIn about 15-30 minutes a day.  

Now, there are caveats. If you’re a job seeker or recruiter, then obviously you should be spending more time. But, if you are using it to market your business, or to keep your personal and professional brand in the forefront of your LinkedIn network, then it’s a great start.

 

The LinkedIn System

Is there a “secret sauce” to LinkedIn marketing? Well, as a LinkedIn marketing consultant I’d be crazy to say no, but I do believe there are a few simple things you can do every day to make LinkedIn work for you and your business.

My family and colleagues will attest to the fact that I’m not very systematic. As a matter of fact I have been compared to Dug – the dog in the movie Up! – Squirrel!

But, I have a system for using LinkedIn and most of the time I stick to it. You should be able to do the same thing, by following these steps:

 

1. Use the Homepage as your LinkedIn HQ

One of the time wasting traps that LinkedIn users fall into is the email notification system. If you set up your account so you get an email for every invitation, every group discussion, every status update, you will spend an inordinate amount of time on LinkedIn.

Go to your account settings and set it up so you get “Web Only” notifications. This will cause you to be more disciplined in your use of LinkedIn – and make you log on to the LinkedIn Homepage to access your notifications.

By doing it this way, you have a set place to go during the 15-30 minutes you spend on LinkedIn – a headquarters if you will for all of your activity.

 

2. When possible, log on the same time each day

When I work with companies on how to use LinkedIn, I always recommend that they log on to LinkedIn at the same time each day – or twice a day depending on your activity on the network.

For most, it’s once in the morning and once in the evening. But your routine will depend on your schedule and your workload. Notice I said routine. If nothing else, making LinkedIn a routine will cut down on the amount of time you spend on the network, and make the time you do spend on LinkedIn more efficient.

 

3. Start with a Status Update – Say hello! to your LinkedIn network

I’ve mentioned in previous columns the Status Update on LinkedIn and what a great marketing tool it is for B2B and B2C firms. Use it daily and what how your reach increases.

When you first log on to LinkedIn – post an update for the morning. You can always have them written out in advance (as is the case with company news or announcements) or link to a particular article you find helpful to your customers and network.

Make the Status Update a way of saying “hello!” to your network and be consistent – post it at the same time every day – or every other day. Soon, people will expect to see your LinkedIn status.  It’s a great way to promote your brand.

 

4. Answer Messages and Invitations in a timely manner

Next, head to your LinkedIn inbox. Check to see if there are any messages or invitations that you need to answer. Do this in a timely manner.

What’s timely? My suggestion is within 2 business days, longer if you’re swamped or traveling. Your Inbox is the gateway to your network – new connections and current ones often use LinkedIn to keep in touch and you should respond in a way that will strengthen relationships.

 

5.  Monitor Group activity

Finally, head on over to your LinkedIn groups – you should be a member of several, especially the ones where your customers live.

Take a few minutes to monitor the latest discussions. Respond IF you have something relevant to say, and add to the discussion.

Not a member of many groups? Take a few minutes each day for a week and research relevant groups, monitor their discussions and THEN decide if you want to join.

Again, find the groups where your customers live, be part of the discussions and show off your subject matter expertise.

                                                     

Final Thoughts

What I described is a fundamental system for using LinkedIn. It can be modified depending on your marketing goals, or expanded to meet your needs.  

This is not a full blown LinkedIn marketing program, but it is a way to get a handle on your basic LinkedIn activity.

One thing I truly appreciate about LinkedIn is that it can be customized to the person or organization using the network. Do so. Take some time setting up a system that works best for you, and use the tools within LinkedIn to work that system.

Any social network can be a maze of cool features and “bright shiny objects” By having a system, you can efficiently – and effectively use LinkedIn in just 15-30 minutes a day.

If you have questions on LinkedIn, send them to me and I’ll endeavor to answer them in future columns. Want to connect on LinkedIn? Send me an invite and I’ll gladly accept your invitation! 

 

Stay Well, Stay Connected, Always Pay it Forward!

 

ChuckHester

Chuck Hester

Managing Partner, Chuck Hester Enterprises

Chuck Hester is a LinkedIn power connector with more than 11,000 direct connections. He is a sought-after expert on the subject of using LinkedIn for media relations, personal and professional branding, and how to use social media to build business contacts. He’s addressed conferences in Canada, Australia and throughout the United States. The Chief Connections Officer at Chuck Hester Enterprises, Chuck helps businesses get their stories told through influencer relations, good old fashion PR strategies and hard work. He also offers LinkedIn Corporate Boot Camps that help businesses maximize their use of LinkedIn, find and retain customers and enhance their social media footprints. You can find him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/chuckhester
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Comments

Loraine Antrim
Posted on July 17th 2012 at 7:50AM

Another LinkedIn best practice is to target one colleague a week and send them a comment. It could be a quick note to say congrats on the new job or better yet, offer them an insight into an article or post they might be interested in. Loraine Antrim

AutoJini
Posted on July 17th 2012 at 12:47PM

One other tool I found on LinkedIn to be very helpful is Answers under the "More" tab. It allows you to ask any question and categorize it, and you can also answer any question that is asked. You can search for questions based on category. It's a great way to search out people and provide your knowledge and services to those who need it.

Kent Ong
Posted on July 17th 2012 at 1:17PM

First thing I do in order not to waste time is setting goals (what you want to achieve thru' Linkedin). I have two goals when using Linkedin.

1) Get sales from Linkedin

2) Building my reputation thru' local media

So, my way of using Linkedin is

1) Add one person per day and make sure talk to that person to build relationship, if possible, ask them out to meet

2) Add at least one  editor, journalist or even report for local media per week, build relationship with them and feed them with valuable content.

My result:

I am invited to become a speaker for social media event and interviewed by local newspaper. Thru' these result, I am sure that my strategies work! :)

 

Wouter Blom - Stramark Zoekmachine Marketing
Posted on August 22nd 2012 at 7:49AM

I would agree with Kent Ong. Have a GOAL.

 In addition to that: Have a professional filled out linkedin profile. Don't tell everything you have ever done. But be goal focused. If you want a job in social marketing. Please tell every relevant working and study experience you have. Show that you actualy know what you are talking about. Take the time to explain what makes you and your approach unique.

 

Explain what makes you happy, explain what it is people can contact you for!

Sunita Biddu
Posted on November 21st 2012 at 10:11AM

Great Article and help for sure. I just got to dig up this post and realized I was missing group monitoring. Not really possible in 15-20 minutes. Trying to make these 15 minutes more effective.