A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of speaking at Global Entrepreneurship Week Lexington (GEWLEX) 2018 on a LinkedIn-related panel. One of the topics that came up was about engagement on LinkedIn. My quote of mine from one of the GEWLEX videos sums up my feelings about LinkedIn’s recent efforts to assist engagement among connections:

While LinkedIn has been making great strides in many different areas, three areas are (or will be) especially great to start either one-on-one conversations or create engagement among your network of LinkedIn connections. You can even begin LinkedIn connections with one of them as well.

Mobile Engagement

A lot of people have mobile phones. A lot of those people use them for business. LinkedIn has made it easier to use mobile phones to connect with people you meet out and about — networking events, trade shows, even in social situations — by incorporating two features into its mobile app for both iOS (iPhone) and Android:

  • Find Nearby: Use this functionality to literally “find” those LinkedIn users who have their app on and want to be found. When they find you, they can immediately see your profile and ask to connect with you, and you can do the same with them.
  • LinkedIn Code: The app either lets you generate a QR code for your LinkedIn profile that others can scan with their LinkedIn app and be taken to your profile to ask to connect. You can also scan someone’s QR code with your phone and then forwarded to their profile page to request to connect.

As you can probably guess, both of these make it easier to connect with others. What’s more, just the act of using these with someone else creates instant face-to-face engagement. I can’t think of another social app that actually encourages such one-to-one conversations.

If you’d like to find out more, including more details on how to use Find Nearby and the LinkedIn Code, here’s an article I recently wrote on the mobile app.

Posting Documents

A new LinkedIn feature that is just starting to roll out is the ability to share documents via a post to one’s wall, as well as to your profile, (company) Pages, and Groups.

The key here, though, is to use this new feature powerfully and effectively. In that vein, think of document posting as a way to get SlideShare-style graphics into a post by using the “Next Page” feature. Rather than display just one PowerPoint presentation, for example, post several slides individually so that your viewers can page through them themselves. The interactivity itself, along with a strong message in the post and slides, will help propel the post’s views. Just don’t make it too lengthy.

I’d strongly advise against posting long, wordy documents with nothing but text. Like a too-long video, these types of posts will likely get much less traction than doing a “presentation”-style post that shares a message. You can upload PowerPoints, Word documents, and Adobe PDF files.

A lot of LinkedIn members will use this the “wrong” way by posting content that’s not effective — long docs, entire PowerPoints, and lengthy infographics, for example. When you post the “right” way, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

LinkedIn Stories

One upcoming feature that’s exciting is what’s unofficially called LinkedIn “Stories.” Currently branded as “Student Voices,” this feature essentially brings much of the functionality of the Stories feature found in social communities like Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

As I’ve just written about this, I’ll link you to that post here as there’s some detail involved. But know that once this gets rolled out to the general LinkedIn audience, I predict it will be heavily used. Just like posting documents, though, there are right and wrong ways to utilize it.

Once it rolls out, we at Social Sales Link will be there to help you utilize the feature so it’ll work best for you and your sales and business-building efforts.

LinkedIn is much more than the “baseball card-collecting” site than it once was. Use these and its other features to engage with others, and start having conversations and building relationships.

Bob Woods is Executive Vice President of Social Sales Link, a LinkedIn/social selling consultancy, training, and coaching firm. Want