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LinkedIn Stories: Stay In Touch With Your Network

Today I’ve got something hot off the presses for you: LinkedIn Stories. 

What Are You Grateful for Today?

Before we jump into today’s topic, I wanted to know one thing you’re grateful for today. I asked this question in my Facebook group and got some really nice answers. It’s been a little bit of a weird morning for me because I found out that one of the soldiers I deployed with died in their sleep 4 days ago, and they’re still waiting to find out why. They were only a year older than me. We were both really young when we deployed. 

So today I just feel extra grateful for being here with you and my family, and having just one more day to build something great, to make an impact on somebody, to give something of myself. I guess I’m going to get an opportunity to sit with those feelings later today. Even though I’m sad, I’m actually really grateful for that too. 

LinkedIn’s New Feature: LinkedIn Stories

So last week, I opened up LinkedIn on my phone, and low and behold, what did I see? I have LinkedIn Stories now. LinkedIn has been rolling out LinkedIn Stories in different countries for the last several months, but I was actually pretty pumped when I saw it. That’s also interesting because I never really did a whole lot with Stories on Instagram. 

I’m going to walk you through how to create a LinkedIn Story, which is pretty simple. And then, we’re gonna talk about what your LinkedIn Stories should be about and how you can use them to stay connected to your network. 

How Do You Create a LinkedIn Story? 

Just like on Instagram, you can scroll to your left and pick different people to see. Another reason why this is valuable is because every time you comment or react to somebody’s Story, it starts a new direct message. That’s good. 

So when you want to make a new Story, you just tap on the little circle with your profile picture that says “Your Story”.

You’ll see that it opened your camera, as well as an option to access your Gallery. I can push the camera button to take a photo, or I could hold it to record a little video.

The maximum length of a Story video is 20 seconds. So when I make videos that are 15 seconds, they actually fit really well right in here. You can also add text using that T button. Then the button next to the stickers is where you’ll find the option to tag someone. 

LinkedIn also has a question of the day that you can use to jumpstart your Story-making. Today’s question of the day is, “What is your morning routine”? I actually have a pretty nice morning routine, so I’ll be making a Story about that using that sticker. And that’s pretty much it, in terms of making the Story. 

What Should Your LinkedIn Stories Be About?

I’m a huge fan of quick tips, behind the scenes sneak peeks and info. Somebody on my LinkedIn posted a little video clip explaining how her cat brought her a snake during her LinkedIn live. That was a cool behind the scenes thing!

I like to do quick tips myself, and I’ve been actually doing this for a couple of weeks. I’ll find questions on Facebook or LinkedIn, and I’ll create a quick 20-second video responding to them. 

Some of the Stories that you make on Instagram could also be repurposed. So a lot of micro content that you may have been making for other platforms can be used for LinkedIn Stories. 

How Can You Use LinkedIn Stories to Stay Connected? 

A lot of people are using the feature right now because it’s new. So I recommend scrolling through other people’s stories to  find people you haven’t heard from in awhile. Come up with something thoughtful to say in your reaction.

Once you do this, you will pop up in their direct messages and that’s a really good position to be in. That could be the start of a conversation. That could be the start of you catching up with someone you haven’t talked to in a while, an old prospect, or a previous network connection. 

I’m recommending this approach to everyone, so it may happen to you as well. It works both ways. My DMs have been crazy active since I started posting LinkedIn Stories. People are reacting to my Stories and I’m reacting to their Stories. 

This is an opportunity for you to use a new feature, to set yourself apart from the pack, and position yourself more as a leader.

Even though it feels like a lot of people are using it, there’s still way more people who aren’t, because they’re not sure what to do with it.

This is an opportunity for you to position yourself as a leader, but also to start conversations with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while. 

Some people have had reservations and I’m not the type of person to push a feature or a marketing strategy on anyone, but I’m interested to hear what you think.

I think there is potential here, even if you don’t want to create Story content. There is potential here for you to make or re-ignite connections, especially with people in your LinkedIn network you haven’t really talked to. I think this is an opportunity for people to go beyond the connection request and actually use content that someone else has created to start a conversation with them. 

Read the LinkedIn for Your Business Blog Post.

Story Reactions Go Straight to DMs

As Sílvia just pointed out, it’s a great way to connect because it goes right into the direct messages. And that was exactly my point. Whenever somebody reacts or comments, it reignites our direct messaging. So this is a really good opportunity for you to  reconnect and reignite those connections.

It can also help you start a conversation when you have no idea how to. If you’re reacting to their Story, they’ve given you the conversation starter, they gave it to you. All you have to do is poke around and use it. It’s not super difficult. 

Is LinkedIn Becoming More Like Facebook?

I’ve also heard some complaints like, “LinkedIn is for business and it’s becoming more like Facebook.” I think it depends on the content of your Stories. If the content of your Stories doesn’t really fit in with what you’ve been putting out on LinkedIn, then yes, that could mess things up. 

But let’s say I had a cat and I took a picture of my cat walking across my keyboard while I was trying to work. A lot of people can empathize with that. And I was trying to work, which arguably is like a behind the scenes business-type post.

Whenever I use Instagram Stories, I feel like I mostly get spammy stuff back, so I’m looking forward to getting some real interaction from LinkedIn Stories. 

Clean Up Your LinkedIn Network

If you’re feeling like your LinkedIn is becoming a lot more like Facebook, it’s not the features you’re talking about. It’s actually the content. If it’s the content, then it sounds like you need to go through and clean up your LinkedIn network.

My LinkedIn network isn’t full of people posting motivational quotes and things like that. The people in my network posts really good, engaging content consistently. It’s content that’s related to my business, that’s helping me think about my mindset, and that helps me shift my perspective. That’s the type of content that I try to put out too. 

So if you feel like your LinkedIn is becoming so like Facebook, you are connected with poor content creators or content creators who aren’t aligned with what you want to see on the platform. It’s not a feature like Stories that makes LinkedIn more like Facebook; it’s the people that you choose to connect with. So if that’s how you’re feeling, I think it might be time for a purge. 

If You Choose to Clean up Your LinkedIn Network…

If you’re looking to purge LinkedIn, I would say it would be best to set yourself a plan. So let’s say, “Hey, I’m going to delete 10 people a day for the next 2 weeks.” That would be 100 people. That’s modest. 

Scroll through your feed and click on any content that’s useless. Check out that person’s profile, and check to see if the content they’re posting is consistently useless. If yes, delete them as a connection. Them being useless is not going to help you. So that’s the first thing. 

Secondly, go into your connections and look for people whose names you don’t recognize. That’s an easy one. if you don’t recognize their name and their tagline, you’re like, “Why did I connect with this person?” If it looks like they’re not even really active on LinkedIn, they would be a good candidate to delete. 

Another good place to also start is your DMs. Just scroll through and see who pitched slapped you. If they pitch slapped you, they’re probably worth deleting. They will never comment on any of your stuff. They’re not even putting out new content because they’re too busy running around and pitch slapping. 

You can set a modest goal too, because unfortunately LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to say, “Hey, show me all the people who never comment on anything or never post any new content.” So it’s a bit of a manual process to disconnect with people. Once you do it, just make sure you more carefully safeguard your LinkedIn network connections. 

But that’s something I always do. If I keep seeing this person’s name for useless, motivational quotes with no context or anything, then I eventually delete them. You get 3 shots and then you’re out of here. I can find motivational quotes by myself. What I really want to know is why that quote is motivational to you and why you think it should be motivational to me. There is something in there that moved you. That’s why I feel like when we share these quotes, we should share why it matters to us. 

Keep Your Network Clean to Keep Great Content Front And Center

And remember, you only get 30,000 connections on LinkedIn. That sounds like a lot, but if you fill up your LinkedIn network with 25,000 useless people who post crappy stuff, you’re never going to see the great stuff from the 5,000 connections that you do have. They’re going to be drowned out. 

Please leave any of your questions down in the comments. My question for the day is, “What’s one thing that you’re grateful for today?” I’m just really grateful to be able to do this with you today. I’m grateful to be here with my family. Make sure you carve out some time every day for the people that matter to you. I’m grateful that I still have the opportunity to even do that. So let’s go out into the world and leave our mark, grow our businesses, and build a legacy.