LinkedIn Q and A: Ask and You Shall Receive

17 Apr

The best way to understand the nuances of some social media feature is mltii-fold. First, experiment with it for yourself. Also, review how the feature is being used by others for a few days among a range of users. Finally, and but of course:  Make it work for you! Like many folks operating in the SoMe space, we are always sending and posting links, reviewing and commenting on blogs, and developing pieces for our own blogs. We engage in these activities with the knowledge that it’s not ALWAYS ALL about you in the social space. Also, for many of use, we are completing projects for our clients or employers.

In my effort to understand a SM network feature I under utilize, I set my sights on LinkedIn Questions and Answers. I like this feature because I am always excited by the generosity of others to share their knowledge and expertise in the space. Really…people are more generous than we think and are very willing to offer advice, highlight quality resources, and correspond with you one-on-one if you have follow up questions.

Most recently, my “Love for LinkedIn Q&A” was reaffirmed again this weekend when I posed –an admittedly– loaded question about social media use for small business. The actual text of the question is:

What type of advice would you give a micro-business or freelancer considering using social media for their business development needs?

As you may or may not know, When you use this feature in LinkedIn, the question is initially open for 7 days. After 7 days, you can extend the question and make it available for others to answer. You also have the option of both sending your question to your contact to answer and making it available to the open LinkedIn population. Additionally, you have the option to select up to 2 industry areas for which the question will be identified.

Well, we are aware that there are plenty of benefits to answering LinkedIn questions, but how can you benefit from asking them? Here is a short list of benefits for being an inquiring mind:

  • Collect a range of perspectives on a topic that may be of interest to you professionally and/or personally.
  • Get an idea of who is operating in this online space and within this industry that may be identified as an expert — yet beyond your network.
  • Send the answers to individuals that you know may be interested in some of the responses provided (i.e. be a resource person).
  • Opportunity to interact one-on-one with those that took time to provide a thoughtful response to your question.
  • Acknowledge publicly those that answered your question.

Have you used a SM feature lately of which you are particularly fond? Feel free to share it with others below in the comment section. Don’t forget the 80/20 Rule.


Posted by on April 17, 2010 in business, social media


Tags: , , , , ,

2 responses to “LinkedIn Q and A: Ask and You Shall Receive

  1. Scott Hepburn

    April 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Great post, Erika. LinkedIn’s Q&A tool is one of the most underrated and underused tools in social media. Thanks for posing your question there, and for following up with a blog post about it.

    I’m curious…did any of the answers surprise you? Learn anything new? I’d love to see a follow-up post if the new connections you made via the question result in new business.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Erika Pryor

      April 18, 2010 at 4:53 am

      Scott, What I can say about questions I’ve posed and those that have responded is that many offer very thoughtful (even if short) pieces of information. I always learn something new or am reminded of something that has long been forgotten. Regarding this particular question about micro-businesses and freelancers using SoMe for business development, there wasn’t any information that I was not already familiar with, but I did appreciate learning that many are assuming similar approachse. What that tells me is there are industry standards or “best practices” emerging. Learning that makes a difference for those of us that are legitimately working in the realm of social media and positions a way for digital communication folks –like myself– to distinguish themselves from those just using the space on their way to “bigger and better things.”


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