How To Make LinkedIn Answers Part Of Your Routine
How To Make LinkedIn Answers Part Of Your Routine
How To Make LinkedIn Answers Part Of Your Routine
by

Using LinkedIn Answers is probably one of the most effective, yet under-used ways to build credibility and generate qualified leads using social media. I’m even guilty of focusing my efforts on other social networks, despite the fact that what I do, by definition, is B2B. I work with companies, not consumers. And LinkedIn is a more natural environment for B2B lead generation.

Why? LinkedIn is business in the front and back. No party here. Sorry, Billy Ray.

I recently sat down and created a simple mechanism to ensure building leads and credibility on LinkedIn was baked in to my daily routine. Since I start my day with my feed reader, I went to LinkedIn and subscribed to the RSS feeds of five or six categories of questions. When I start my day, I read content, share the good stuff and now take a moment to answer one or two questions on LinkedIn. It adds about five minutes to my morning routine.

There’s no rocket surgery here, kids. But I figured I’d share some visuals to help you figure it out if you need it. Follow these steps and get past the noise to start building a strong signal on a social network that can connect you with people in need of your services:

Step One

Find a category of LinkedIn Answers you have a degree of expertise in. A screen shot of the Answers page for Internet Marketing is below. At the bottom of the right column of the page you should see the orange RSS feed button. Click that to subscribe to the feed via email or  your favorite feed reader. Repeat the process for any number of other topics that make sense for your business.

LinkedIn Internet Marketing Answers Page

Step Two

LinkedIn Reader FolderNow go to your feed reader and put all those new feeds into a folder. Mine is called LinkedIn Answers. It contains all five or six feeds and I check it now as part of my morning reading. As I browse through the various feeds, I find a question or two I have a reasonable opinion or perspective on, click through to the post on LinkedIn and offer my answer. (I guess that’s Step Three.)

Here’s the cool thing: I’ve been doing this for about a week now and already have one qualified lead from a person who reached out to me based on one of my answers. Your traction may vary, but offering up a smart opinion and being helpful will at least build your credibility on LinkedIn if not deliver potential customers right to you.

LinkedIn Feeds

I’m sure there are folks with more LinkedIn-specific expertise out there who can give you more advice on other activities on LinkedIn to help. I’m also sure proactive follow-up with those answering the questions can lead to some potential business relationships, too. But for now, I’m happy to just participate and see what happens. For five minutes a day, it can’t hurt.

What do you think? Have you been interacting on LinkedIn for a while? Let us know how your experience has been. The comments are yours.

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • Mark Clayson

    Thanks Jason. You make it so clear. I have found linkedin a little confusing and have held back a bit. Now, thanks to your support, to move onwards and upwards.

  • Jason, great post and an eye opener I must say. I now understand how to use the RSS feed for a particular category and want to know if you know of a tool for searching the entire LinkedIn Questions based on certain keywords?

    This way one can get really specific and be timely with responses to questions that are really in one's niche instead of having to browse everything. I am basically looking for a realtime tool like Hootsuite for twitter.

    • I am trying to figure out exactly what you asked here.

      • Yes I figured out a solution, I simply took the RSS feeds as Jason described in his awesome post and then placed them into Yahoo Pipes (YP) so that YP can then sift through them for my specific keywords.

        The resulting YP output is a RSS feed that is much more targeted. I then subscribed to this new feed via Google Reader.

        Now I get the most relevant questions on LinkedIn Answers to go answer and become a trusted resource in my niche.

      • I don’t know of a tool. You can do searches on LinkedIn of the Answers areas manually, but they do not offer RSS feeds of such, to my knowledge. Love it if someone finds something and can share with us.

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  • Great tip thanks

  • LinkedIn really helps but you need to get familiar with it before you could do it.
    Thanks for sharing information here on how to make linkedin answers part of our routine. It really helps!

  • Jason,

    Great post and thanks for sharing this. We are connected via Twitter as well.

    Lee Traupel

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  • Andrea

    Great, really helpful instruction on how to do this. Thanks!

  • Andrea

    Great, really helpful instruction on how to do this. Thanks!

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  • Kristi Maxwell

    Thanks for this great post! Being a B2B company, I have been wondering how to make better use of LinkedIn in my overall marketing mix. This is an extremely helpful tip that I plan to implement!

  • Jennifer Wilson

    Excellent advice! I've incorporated this into my daily routine. Without simple tricks like this, I'd go crazy (or not participate) neither of which is a good option. Thanks! Jennifer

  • Nice Article Jason,

    RSS feed does not work (at least) in Spanish. It only brings Questions in English. I believe it is a kind of LinkedIn bug, not fixed yet.

    Best Regards

    Alejandro

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  • Smart and simple as always, Jason.

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  • Jsonnhalter

    Jason
    As always good stuff. I agree that LinkedIn for B to B is the most under utilized tools out there and you've given us another way to connect with potentials.
    Thanks

  • Sophia

    Really great post Jason, thank you.

    I have wanted to use LinkedIn more for a long time – I'm a regular Twitterer and FB user, but LinkedIn has always seemed a bit intimidating. Hopefully this post will help me to put in and get more out of the site.

    All the best,

    Sophia

  • Mkilens

    Great suggestion of using an RSS reader to follow them!

    Mark

  • Hi Jason,

    I really appreciated your post, it seems Linked In can often be an after thought for many. But it really can be an effective tool. I am always looking for ways to automate my morning routine and this was very helpful.

    Thanks
    Kristen

  • Excellent post. I'm definitely refining my day to incorporate these strategies. I sooo need to get more on LinkedIn. That's where my clients are, and I can get more of them there.

    Thanks for a great post.

    David

  • billymacdonald

    Hey Jason,

    Great post. Not only was I looking for something similar to this but so was a client of mine. One question. Did you have any trouble configuring yours with Outlook (or which email client you use). I'm having trouble and the errors refers to a bad connection with the server but no real explanation. It could be a LinkedIn issue.

    Thanks!

    • Hey Billy,

      I don't use Outlook, so no. However, I don't know many people subscribing to
      RSS feeds in Outlook unless the just subscribe to email updates (using RSS
      feeds as email notices). Assuming you're using Outlook's built-in RSS
      reader, I'm not sure where to turn other than Google.

      Sorry I couldn't be of more help there.

  • I always wondered how I could find suitable questions on LinkedIn that I might be qualified to answer…great tool I will now start to use.

  • Thanks for the Post Jason – my firm does talent acquisition so we also spend a significant amount of time with jobseekers, my only add to your great explanation is that job seekers (passive or active) can use the same to enhance their personal brand and get noticed. Those leads come in the form of job opportunities. thanks again, Shannon

  • Great prompting Jason, I keep telling myself to allow more time for Linked In, both the Q&As and the Group discussions. I now have a 'to do' action to set this up. Thanks

  • This is exactly the procedure I put in place some years ago but now, I have realised that Q&A was not enough. you have to also subscribe to the new discussions in the groups. Q&A are full of PR. Groups are filtered and I found the discussions there more interesting (especially to create real good and new connections).

    • Excellent addition. Thanks, Sebastien.

  • Thanks for this tip! I've been looking for a way to integrate LinkedIn Answers into my routine, and this will work out great. I've already gotten started!

  • Going to set this up right away. I used to answer as many questions as I could when I was still in school and job hunting. That practice has kind of taken a back seat as of late. With google reader though, it can become part of my daily routine and not take too much time.

    Well played.

    David, Scribnia

  • Thanks for the ideas Jason.
    I've actually been looking for ways that I can get more active on LinkedIn and the first thing I'm going to try is your advice here.

    – Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  • Great post here Jason – thank you for putting this together. Like many, I know there's more to LinkedIn and a lot of untapped potential over in that neighborhood. Cheers.

  • I followed your advice immediately. Thanks…

  • Great post! I jumped right over to LinkedIn ad did exactly what you suggest. I've known for quite some time that responding to questions is a great way to add value and extend a network, but always found it hard to remember to look for questions to which I could respond. I'm in Google reader every morning, so this strategy is perfect!

  • Excellent article! Very interesting and useful for all the social media strategies implemented in the business activity. I, personally, think, from my own experience that even when we know how good LinkedIn for business, we also know that it takes some time and consistency to use the LinkedIn Answers feature. That is probably the reason why some entrepreneurs simply don't invest enough time for that.

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  • wileyccoyote

    Pretty cool, Jason. Thanks for sharing this LI strategy. Will give it a whirl.

  • Beth Ward

    Jason,

    I always like it when posts appear about better ways to utilize LinkedIn, which to me a recruiter is the equivilant of Delicious and quite frankly my number one resource for everything (besides my Outlook calendar.)

    I will tell you I review and look more favorably on those profiles who have answered LI questions, and I review the answers carefully to be sure they are thoughtful and on target. Active participation in LinkedIn will definately get my attention and a quick note of interest.

    Thanks for providing suggestions to a network that can always be used for greater connections and leads.

  • Excellent idea Jason. I have been part of some great conversations on LinkedIn answers, but it is so easy to forget about that tool.

    They really need to figure out how to make it a more prominent part of the site, because I agree with you that it quite powerful and often overlooked.

  • heatherwhaling

    I am awful about regularly participating in LinkedIn. It's one of those things that I think I ought to do, it just always falls off my radar. You've convinced me to give it another try … we'll see how this goes. :)

    Heather
    @prTini

  • Not to rain on your parade, but allow me to suggest that you step away from the koolaid for a minute for a different perspective.

    The Q&A section on LinkedIn in the last two years has devolved into a spam filled joke of a forum. I used to be very active there, but have steadily backed away from it because it is tiring to wade thru the endless blatant spam, people who answer and include their links or other materials which are not relevant to the question, people who answer merely to rack up their weekly answer tally, people who only give one line answers, people who give irrelevant answers, people who clearly have no idea what they are talking about, etc. There is a lot of noise in that section and not much signal, unfortunately. Asking questions gets you four junk answers back for each one answer from someone that actually knows what they are talking about. Is that a good return on your invested time? No. Answering questions there is really a crap shoot as to whether it will do you any good. Yes, it does get your name to show up on the search engines, but you really need to consider whether you want your brand associated with all the rubbish on there that will also show up when people click the link.

    Since the “expertise” banner is subjective not objective, it really means nothing, so don't put any weight in that. There is a lot of gaming of that system going on by the people you see on that leader board every week, which further devalues the community and the value of the individual questions & answers.

    You see a lot of people asking questions that indicate their laziness or ignorance (such as something that should have been done on a search engine, something that is a homework question, something that is clearly crowdsourcing ideas for their blogs/books/articles/etc, and so forth), and your screenshot above shows several that fit into this description.

    I would suggest that anyone looking to utilize this forum take a minute to really evaluate the environment before they dive in, and to be careful in targeting which questions they answer and which questions they ask.

    I would also suggest that there are alternatives available to LinkedIn Q&A now, such as Focus.com, which may have a higher trust level and value level without the spammy noise.

    In addition, it would be good to suggest that people look at relevant groups to join on LI where a similar dialog could be exchanged (without as many of the time wasting spammers from Q&A).

    Note that LinkedIn is less about B2B networking anymore than it is about talent acquisition (a reverse job board whereby companies can find targeted talent to quietly fill openings rather than talent overwhelming companies with irrelevant resumes for advertised openings – and it would seem, based on my observations, that most of the user base is now primarily composed of self employed and unemployed users), and that the vast majority of the remaining people on there are all selling something (as in: all sellers, no buyers!), so your traction on LI may be for naught unless you are looking to hire people and want to see their interactions before approaching them.

    My own usage of LinkedIn has dropped dramatically as a result of this reality (as I am not there to sell something, I already have enough people on staff, and I have no time for all the spam and scams that are prevalent on LinkedIn now).

    Your milage may vary.

    • Thanks for the passionate response, Bruce. Not sure I've ever seen someone dislike LinkedIn so much, but to each his own.

      I hardly think monitoring the noise for a signal and responding to the relevant ones is drinking the KoolAid, but thanks for the diatribe. Sorry you've had a bad experience there.

      • You misinterpreted my rational cautioning as strongly disliking.

        • Sorry. Just came across as harsh. Guess when you start out “don't drink the
          kook-aid” it seemed finger-pointing. I ignore the spammy stuff and find the
          real people looking for answers just fine. Perhaps that's an advantage of
          bringing the questions into an RSS feed. I filter through hundreds each day,
          so it's easier to weed out the bad and focus on the good. And if five
          minutes a day gets me a lead or two a week, I figure it's probably worth the
          trouble. As you said, however, your mileage may vary. Thanks for the
          comments.

  • Great tip Jason! It also made me think that's a great way to generate ideas for new blog posts, especially if you keep seeing the same or similar questions popping up again and again.

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  • iancleary

    Hi Jason, I have google reader set up for blogs, twitter feeds (searches on my company), delicious fees (interesting to see what other people are indexing on social media) and LinkedIn questions. I have to follow your routine of checking every morning. I find that I subscribe to too many things and then the questions build up but also the questions are out of date. So thanks for the tip, that's 5 minutes onto my early morning reading in the morning!