Howie Fung from LinkedIn's product team said the company had seen members regularly using LinkedIn to get opinions from their professional networks, since networks consist of people whose opinions users trust and value. So the company rolled out the feature to make it easy for members to get opinions on topics that are important to them.
I'm excited about this new feature. After all, I already use Facebook for polling my broader network of friends, family, and professional connections. I can see the value of being able to get the opinions of just my professional network. Plus, aren't we all craving a little more connectivity these days?
Clients ask me all the time for tips on how to engage on LinkedIn. I tell them it's just like Facebook -- only professional. Aside from polls, here are three other things you can do to network and connect on LinkedIn.
1. Like what you see in your news feed
Read your news feed and like what you see. Maybe somebody is celebrating a new job or promotion. Maybe somebody shared an article they wrote or read -- and you learned something from it too. Post a comment or "like" it. Note: LinkedIn has expanded its "like" emoticons to include more than just the blue thumbs up. You can use the green clapping hands (a favorite of mine) to celebrate, the red heart to "love" something, the yellow light bulb to indicate something is "insightful," and the purple thinking guy to say "curious."
2. Share your own status update
Let your connections know what's on your mind and on your professional plate by posting a status update now and then. Maybe it's company news or an article you found interesting -- or an article you wrote or was quoted in. Maybe you have a message or wisdom for this year's high school and college grads. Maybe your company is doing something great in your community. Maybe you took an online course that you recommend. Maybe you caught up with a new connection recently. Share, share, share.
3. Read your messages
If you're going to be on LinkedIn, you really need to read your messages. You don't need to respond to every single one, as there will no doubt be the random "cold calls." But you should at least know if the people you know are reaching out to catch up, share news, offer to help, or ask for help. Staying on top of your messages is like LinkedIn table stakes.
Bottom line: You don't have to wait for LinkedIn to roll out tools to interact with your connections. Just show up now and then and engage -- just like you would on Facebook, only professionally. People are craving connection like never before.