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It’s noisy on LinkedIn. Why? With two people joining every second, the network is both more valuable and more chaotic everyday.

Traveling from Baltimore to Miami via I-95 a couple of months ago, the hardest part of the trip was actually finding a good radio station. (Hmmm….I think I’m dating myself even mentioning a radio station). You know when you’re out of range and it’s all just static? The static makes me crazy.

I see how that happens online. After awhile, there is just too much chatter, noise, junk. But much like hitting “seek” you can find a strong, clear station and enjoy the music, news or sports.

Consider how when you know how to tune in on LinkedIn you can deliver a strong signal for you and your colleagues. When you tune in on LinkedIn you have the potential to hear what you might not hear during a presentation, a discovery call, project update meetings or in an interview. You might hear what’s really important to the person you most want to do business with, recruit, work for or simply just know better.

How? Tap in and listen. Paying attention is considered an intentional activity on LinkedIn.

Here are a few tips to turn LinkedIn noise into your market research, a new opportunity or a great connection:

  • Go to your Privacy & Settings >> (top right corner) Hover over your photo >> Account >> Click Customize the updates you see on your home page >> Unclick the items you are not interested in seeing on your LinkedIn Home Page. I’ve had clients take almost everything off. That’s ok. Make it easier for yourself.
  • Spend 10 minutes reviewing your LinkedIn Home Page and weave this information into your business conversations – What are people in your network following? What are they commenting on?
  • Go to your client’s LinkedIn Profile and click on the arrow to view their recent activity and see what they are posting (and, more importantly, what they’re interested in).
  • Go to your client’s LinkedIn Company Page. See what they are posting.
  • Go to your LinkedIn Company Page. What are you posting?
  • Visit three or four of your key LinkedIn Groups – Scan, read and reference some of the Group discussions. Which Groups have the most activity?
    • Go to the Members tab within the Group and see who in your network is also in the Group – Filter the Members and find others in your area or industry who are 2nd level connections. (Remember, 2nd level connections are valuable―you are only one person away from this person).

All areas of your organization will benefit from this “listening.” Marketing, sales, customer service and human resources all need to better understand how to weave information into conversations, develop insightful sales connections, pipeline and find future talent who understand working in a social world.

And, don’t forget you can see what your competitors are doing. Where else can find access to a competitor, their strategy (or lack of one) other than the faces of their organization? You see, listening is not just what you hear. It’s also about what you see and how you use the information to be informed, in the know and deliberate about business.

When you spend a segment of time working to be informed, it will reap benefits in the long run. You will be the subject matter expert that others seek out. You will rise above the noise and become the clear-sounding voice of reason and knowledge that others are looking to know.

Be the beacon of knowledge for your customers and prospects. We would love to hear how you stand out on LinkedIn. What are some ways you find the clarity on LinkedIn?

BONUS NEXT STEP: Participate

  • Spend 10 minutes reviewing your LinkedIn Home Page. What are people in your network following? Would it make sense for you to read their article and like, comment or share it? – Try doing that three times a week.
  • What are your Connections commenting on? Can you add to the conversation? Does the original article fall within your area of expertise? Try finding two or three conversations that you know you can add to (no selling here).
  • What are the companies that you follow, posting? Consider sharing posts on their behalf. And remember to add a brief intro, (less than 140 characters).