Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics: don’t go AWOL

abyssSome people get frustrated with social media and drop using it for a while; that attitude may be your choice for Facebook or Twitter, but I advise against it on LinkedIn.

Or they have other reasons to drop out. Sudden onset of sickness or emergency hospitalization are always reasons as well. 3 cases in point:

  1. A colleague took a week off for a personal family event (thankfully a happy one) and deferred all contact to and from LinkedIn for that period. He was missed, since his content and commentary is high quality, and was inundated with messages about what happened to him, is everything all right, where did he disappear to, etc.
  2. Another friend used to post about every upcoming business breakfast, business lunch, and business dinner she used to schedule, mostly 3 a day. Like the little boy who cried wolf, no one bothered to read her posts, as she found out when (at my suggestion), she stopped posting her gustatory schedule. Guess what? NO ONE contacted her or wondered what happened to her, is everything all right, where did she disappear to, etc. She was not missed as her input to her connections was not deemed valuable or high quality.
  3. A new colleague and LinkedIn connection failed to respond to my appointment confirmation so I messaged her on LinkedIn. She managed to message me back just to tell me she was admitted to the hospital and out for an unknown time but would be back in touch upon her return.

Moral of the story? Absence from LinkedIn is not advisable, assuming you use this amazing brand marketing tool well, smartly, and in hopes of routinely nurturing your connections. Absence, in that case, makes the heart go yonder. Manage your use. Just stay in touch.

In the first case above, for my friend who attended a family event that took her away from the office, since it was foreseeable, I suggest any or all of 3 ideas:

  • Pre-advise your connection group of your impending absence from LinkedIn and since it’s a happy occasion, mention who’s getting married, etc., as connections do really care enough to congratulate you. Tell them when you will return and when to expect you to restart feeding your thought leadership they have grown to rely on.
  • Use a scheduling service such as Hootsuite to “bank” content and disseminate it on a preset schedule while you are away. I routinely store up blog posts on WordPress for 2 weeks at a time, with set days and 8:00 as the time to publish.
  • Chime into LinkedIn from your mobile phone app at least once a day and add some small comments or “atta-boys/girls” to stay on the radar. Don’t go off LinkedIn cold-turkey when you have a great device and a (passable) app to stay in the mix no matter where in the world you are.

Then absence makes the heart grow stronger.