If you haven't logged into LinkedIn lately, you're missing out on connecting with your network and having a bit more fun doing it. The social media platform for professionals has rolled out LinkedIn Reactions: a set of colorful emoticons for responding to the status updates and shares.
Four images join the classic blue thumbs up. When someone posts an accomplishment, you can "celebrate" with clapping hands. An "insightful" article might merit the light bulb or the thinker icon if you are "curious" to know more. When you "love" something, the heart is there for you now. They follow Facebook's reactions representing "love," "haha," wow," "sad" and "angry" that came out in 2016.
"One of the things we regularly hear from all of you is that you want more expressive ways than a 'Like' to respond to the variety posts you see in your feed. At the same time, you've also told us that when you post on LinkedIn, you want more ways to feel heard and understand why someone liked what you said," wrote LinkedIn's Cissy Chen in a company blog post.
LinkedIn is rolling out its Reactions to all users, via mobile and desktop applications, across the globe. I'm starting to see them in my feed and use them myself. They make me smile. Use them liberally. That's what LinkedIn is for -- to celebrate achievements, to cheer on and lift up our people.
So if you haven't been on LinkedIn in a while, perhaps this is a good time to start. How about a five-day challenge in which you aim to use one of the emoticons each day. While you're at it, since you are already logged on and all, why not drop someone a message? Make a coffee date or schedules time to catch up by phone?
Sound silly? Think again. I write about LinkedIn a lot. I encourage my clients to use it -- a lot -- because I've seen and experienced the benefits. It works if you work it. New connections, new ideas, new clients, new jobs.
As with anything, you only get out of LinkedIn what you put in. Giving someone the thumb's up or clapping hands takes just a second. If you want to leave a more lasting impression on a connection, talk with them. By talk, I mean take a few more seconds to write a comment. Not one or two words; that's what the emoticons are for. Rather, be specific in your praise or well wishes. I bet your connections will "love" it.