LinkedInYou may recall a scene from “Coming to America,” when Reverend Brown loudly and passionately proclaims, “If lovin’ the Lord is wrong, I don’t want to be right!”

As someone who has watched that movie more than once, that line sticks with me.

(In fact, I can hear that “wroooooooong” in my head right now.)

Well, it just so happens I have the same zeal for LinkedIn.

Yes, you heard me—I love the professional, business-themed social media network.

At one time, admitting you were a fan of LinkedIn might have been akin to saying you belong to a chess club or that you enjoy studying Latin in your spare time.

Perhaps LinkedIn earned a reputation as a place where people went to prospect for jobs and if you weren’t hiring or in need of a new position, why bother?

But these days, I want to bellow in an evangelical way, “If lovin’ LinkedIn is wrong, I don’t want to be right!”

And I’m not alone.

LinkedIn is growing—and fast.

Earlier this year, the Microsoft-owned social network claimed more than 500 million users, with sustained growth in sight.

Four Reasons I Love LinkedIn

  1. Getting in front of C-Suite executives, business leaders, and decision-makers. Many of them hang out there. In fact, 80 percent of CEOs at the world’s 50 largest companies use social media, according to a 2015 Harvard Business Review article.
  2. LinkedIn is keeping pace with the times while staying true to its nature. Below, I’ll share some of the under-utilized and new features that make it more user-friendly and beneficial than ever.
  3. It works for business. You really can grow your company through this platform. I have gained valuable introductions and five figures worth of business through connections I made. People I had not met until virtual networking led to in-person business dealings are now a part of my inner circle.
  4. The separation between personal and business. Yes, can show your personality and talk about causes and issues. But, I don’t have to share kitty and family vacation photos, or look at yours, while there.

LinkedIn Features You Should Try

Here are features I’d like to call attention to which benefit trepid users or those who want to do more on this social media platform:

  • LinkedIn Publisher. There’s a reason the word “Author” appears in a blue bubble on my profile. It’s because I self-publish regularly. This is a great way to extend thought leadership efforts, create content that speaks directly to target audiences and provide actionable advice and detailed information. I can see how many people are viewing and engaging, and from where, and customize along the way. It also extends article reach on my firm’s blog. It allows me to summarize key points in news interviews or already-published bylined articles. Here’s an article that shares actionable tips on how to get posting.
  • LinkedIn Native Video. This is a big move forward for LinkedIn. Previously, you had to upload video from YouTube or other video sites. Now you can shoot and upload right onto the site, as long as you do so from the LinkedIn app. I’ve filmed video on my iPhone, and even edited video in Clips, to provide short summaries of key points I could build on in, you guessed it, LinkedIn Publisher. LinkedIn also provides you with feedback on who is viewing, and from where. Remember, people want to do business with those they know, like and trust. Putting a face with a brand helps them do that. Short and sweet is key – one or two minutes is plenty.
  • LinkedIn Active Status. In August, the active status feature went live. A green dot shows up alongside contacts who are active on the platform while you are. This lets you potentially engage in a real-time discussion with someone. Green with a white dot means contacts are on mobile and able to talk. You might be able to tag these folks in a post or update and increase the likelihood of likes or comments. Engage away!
  • LinkedIn Posts. In addition to sharing articles or reacting to peer posts, consider posting short text-only updates. Normally, photos and links to other articles are the way to go. However, recent metrics point out that text-only is the way to get more eyeballs on LinkedIn. And you can follow up by providing a link in the comment section, which works well.  But don’t just take my word for it. According to Social Quant, Guy Kawasaki reported three to five times more engagement following this strategy. For more on increasing your engagement, check out this article from Spin Sucks.

Don’t forget that part of being loved on LinkedIn or any other platform—and indeed in the real world, too—is showing the love.

Remember to comment on posts from your connections, personalize notes when you send an invitation to link in, and share good news from your circle of influence.

It’s called social media for a reason.

Get in the game and link yourself in!

The 30-Day Communications Challenge begins on January 3.  Are you subscribed?

Filomena Fanelli

Filomena is the CEO and founder of Impact PR & Communications, Ltd., an award-winning, strategic public relations firm based in New York's Hudson Valley region. For the past 19 years, she has enjoyed telling clients’ stories through public relations, and she believes every single one of them has one. When not running her own business, or running after her two young children, she enjoys running (literally) and pounding the keypad to blog about – you guessed it – public relations.

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