One of the advantages LinkedIn has over other social media is that your connections share the same core interests as you. That’s probably why you connected with them in the first place, right? After all, they are your network. The best advice is to always be nurturing and developing your network because that is where your best opportunities will come from.
LinkedIn helps by softly nagging you to keep in touch using the Notifications feature.
Notifications advise you of many events that are good excuses to say hello and updates these connections, people you might not speak with frequently, but with whom you want to keep in good contact.
But what should you do with those notifications?
LinkedIn informs you of events using the Notifications icon. The Notifications icon appears at the top of the page when you are logged in. On the LinkedIn website, the Notifications icon will have a red dot with a number indicating the count of notifications waiting. The image shows the Notifications icon with 1 unread notification. To see any new notifications, click the icon.
There are many LinkedIn events which can trigger a notification. Below I detail them and suggest how you might respond to each one. How you respond depends on your situation, how close you are to the contact and how frequently you communicate with each other.
General guidance is to make your message friendly and supportive. If you can add value or offer something useful, that’s always a good idea. Later in the article, I list ways you can add value. It ‘s also OK to say a little about yourself, what you’ve been doing lately or an interesting project you’re working on. This will encourage them to do the same.
Enjoyed a work anniversary
A work anniversary is a good reason to send a friendly, supportive message. You also can include a short comment about what you’ve been doing, too.
Either a new job title or a new company. Some notifications result from your connection updating their own profile. Congratulate them as though it were a promotion or a new job.
If this notification was sent because they updated their profile, congratulate them as though it were a promotion or a new job. If you know that this notification is the result of them updating their profile and not an actual job change, you should view their profile, then provide some positive feedback.
Viewed your profile
Someone might view your profile for many reasons. They could’ve seen something you published, or a comment or a LIKE you made. Always view their profile in return, and acknowledge and send a friendly, professional message to thank them.
If they are already a connection, include a brief update on your current status, and ask if there is anything you can help them with, anything you can do for them.
If they are not yet a connection and their profile is relevant to your interests, send a connection invitation. Customize it first by thanking them for viewing your profile, telling them a little bit about yourself, and asking them if there is anything you might help them with. Give them a reason to accept your invitation.
You can also why they viewed your profile. If they reply that your profile matched a search they did, be certain to state your availability for new positions or business opportunities. It is always safe to express interest in new opportunities because it does not obligate you in any way. Uninteresting or unrelated opportunities can be declined politely at a later time.
You should wish them a wonderful birthday. What else would you do?
Liked Your Article or Post
Send them a message thanking them for the LIKE, and ask them about their interest. Tell them a little about what interests you, and ask them if you can help them.
Commented on Your Post, or a Post You Are Following
Visit the post they commented on and reply in a thoughtful and engaging way.
Whenever you comment you should write in a way which encourages additional comments to continue and increase engagement.
You also can send them a message thanking them for the comment and ask them about their interest. Tell them a little about what interests you, and ask them if you can help them.
Mentioned you in a comment
Visit the post they commented on and reply in a thoughtful and engaging way. Mention them in the comment using @ followed by their name.
Whenever you write in your comment remember to always write in a way which encourages additional comments. This helps to increase engagement and can give you more opportunities to grow your network.
Endorsements are a way to acknowledge someone’s skills. Your skills appear in your profile and a high number of endorsements lends much credibility. All else being equal, someone with a large number of endorsements may look more attractive to recruiters than someone with a smaller number of endorsements.
Send a message of thanks for the endorsement. Include a brief update about your current interests, and ask them if there is anything you can help them with.
You also should visit their profile and endorse them for something, too.
Following someone allows you to see their LinkedIn activity without actually connecting with them. When someone follows you I suggest sending them a message. Tell them what you most often post about and why, and tell them about your availability and interest in new opportunities. In your message, ask them what is their interest, and if there is any way you might help them. You can decide for yourself if you want to invite a follower to become a connection.
There are so many ways your message can actually be useful to your connection. Sure, you can still say “hello”. But you can also use it to advance your own agenda, promote your own interests. Here are a few examples:
- Link to an article. One of your own articles, maybe.
- Attach an image or infographic you’ve found or a document that you’ve created.
- Link to a press release.
- Mention something you both discussed previously, and provide an update or more information about it.
- Bring to their attention a position posting.
- Tell them about a blog, webinar, podcast or some other information source. Maybe one of your own.
- Arrange a meeting where you can deepen the relationship and better understand opportunities to work together.
- Introduce them to another of your connections.
- Mention a LinkedIn Group which might interest them.
This list is by no means exhaustive. No doubt you will think of other ways. Be sure to submit them in the comments. Whichever way you choose, offer it freely in the spirit of giving, and don’t ask for any favors. Pay it forward.
One last thing. Don’t ask for any favors in these messages. It’s OK to ask for favors, I’m not saying you shouldn’t. But it’s best to do that only when the time is right and when the connection is prepared for it. Usually, that means a live conversation, either face-to-face or on the phone or a video call. In all these situations, I’ve assumed you are using the notification as a way top keep in touch, as a way to refresh a relationship which might otherwise be cooling off. So no favors now, OK?
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