By Brenda Bernstein
The Essay Expert
The LinkedIn profile activity update is often overlooked and underutilized.
Context… and the Danger of Hootsuite
The activity update feature gives you a chance to report on your personal or business-related “current events.” You may recognize the activity update from other social media sites.
Facebook users change their status regularly and can be rather creative with the things they report. You might see anything from “I was rudely introduced to the hungry Pothole from hell in Boston which ate my tire” to “Delayed in Atlanta. Renewing vow never to take connecting flights” to “…is saving lives one shopping mall at a time.” You probably would not want any of these activity updates to show up on your LinkedIn profile.
Then there’s Twitter. How can you sell your wares, report important news, or, better yet, say something pithy, in 140 characters or less? Yesterday I saw this one:
“This dream today embattled with its back against the wall, to save the dream 4 one, it must be saved 4 all” Langston Hughes (2nd time/ #fb).
Wow, was that really Twitter-compliant? Guess Langston was ahead of his time.
So what about LinkedIn activity updates? What to do with these? Well, we know off the bat that you are on LinkedIn for professional networking purposes. We also know that a Twitter-proof activity update like “Discover the Best Anti Aging Vitamins That Will Change Your Life… http://tinyurl.com/xlr52pz” might not cut it on LinkedIn’s information-sharing and networking-focused site. Or would it?
To all you Hootsuite users out there, you have the option of sending out the same status message to all your social media groups. Be careful if you’re including LinkedIn in your Hootsuite targets!
Report on your Business-related Activities
LinkedIn suggests the following starts to your updates: “working on…”, “traveling to…”, “looking for advice on…”, “looking for a job…” or “reading…” I personally have taken a bit of a direct selling posture in my updates, at least sometimes. When I first started offering LinkedIn profile reviews, for instance, I kept track of the countdown in terms of how many LinkedIn reviews I had remaining at a bargain price. The reviews flew off the shelf! I also use LinkedIn updates to announce upcoming events and webinars that people might want to attend.
I think the most effective activity updates report on current trainings, travels, ideas, etc. that show your readers that you are serious about your profession. If you have a blog, it’s a good idea to post a link to your latest article.
If you were looking for an SEO optimization specialist, and you were browsing LinkedIn profiles, wouldn’t you like to see that your prospective SEO optimizer is at a conference that week in the field, or that she is leading a webinar or writing a blog on the subject? You probably wouldn’t care about this person’s flat tire or shopping plans, or even about the person’s visits to see the grandchildren. It is imperative as you update your status that you consider what your audience would want to read about you.
Keep your activity updates current and your readers will know that you are serious about your business – plus, your connections will be reminded of your status if your settings and theirs permit it.
Your Profile Settings
You can’t do anything about your contacts’ settings… but you can make sure that you have "Who can see your activity feed" (under Profile Settings) set to Everyone, and then go update it! Isn’t it worth composing a few lines every few days to benefit from this visibility?
Frankly, if you are on LinkedIn, sharing your activity is part of your business. Do it often and do it well, and start getting the attention you want out of your LinkedIn profile.