Social Media Answers from the Professionals at LinkedIn

The “Answers” section on LinkedIn is something of a hidden gem. It’s not super well promoted on the site, but it can be a handy resource or, at very least, an interesting read. Here’s how LinkedIn describes this area in marketing copy terms: “Get fast and accurate answers to your business-related questions. Receive business advice from hundreds of thousands of experts.” Basically, you can go to this area and post questions that LinkedIn users can answer. It’s a great way to get thoughts and opinions from others in the business world – or even content for your blog (wink, wink).

LinkedIn Answers are also searchable, so you can type in a term like “Facebook ads” or “how often to blog” and find related questions and answers. A quick search of the term “social media” yielded tons of results. After going through a few dozen of these, MONSTERS found a question that stuck out. I thought I’d share some of the Answers with you good people today…

What do you know about social media now that you wish you knew when you started?

Answers from LinkedIn Professionals:

“I realize that in order to achieve some bit of success here, you must put in the time and energy by participating in group discussions, opening up dialogs with those in your network and basically be in it to win it…”

“The thing that I wished I’d known from the beginning is how powerful Twitter can be with lists. I mean, I can have dialogue with top web designers and social media thought leaders that I’d never have in Athens, Ga., where I live. It’s broadened my horizons unbelievably.”

“Social media networking can be a lot of fun — and a lot of time. The trick is to learn how to make that time productive. Concentrate your initial social media marketing efforts on just one or two platforms. ”

“For the longest time I was terrified of all the platforms and things to consider, then I realized strategy can be deployed in phases. I hope this doesn’t make anyone laugh, I know it seems obvious but it all seemed so overwhelming to me at first!”

“Quantity of contacts on Twitter is not helpful, Quality of contacts on LinkedIn is imperative and Facebook is for fun, not for business. ”

“Too many people just jump in with the technology because its free to set up a Facebook or twitter page. They start using Social Media but don’t relate it back to their companies sustainable competitive advantage and brand. ”

“(1) I wish I had known that “listening” to the conversations can often be more important than “talking” … especially to find your customers. (2) Engaging in the conversations is the key to really connecting with your group, followers, fans, etc.”

“From a business point of view, I wish that I had understood that it is not a magic bullet. Quality always trumps quantity and success comes to those who are patient.”

“I’d focus on building a home base first (i.e. site) with a blog. The blog would have to be useful to my community, full of ideas that people can use for themselves (without having to work with me) and something that others would want to reference and pass on via social channels.”

“No matter how large your presence, it will get you nowhere if you do not participate frequently, and on that same note; The most powerful form of participation is the offering of assistance. ”

“I wish there was an easier way to help executive leadership understand that social media are communication tools, which may not be strictly about sales but improving the brand’s digital presence.”

“Regarding LinkedIn: I would have gotten involved in this Answers feature much sooner than I did, both in terms of posting questions and responding to questions.”

Lot of great, different answers to this question were posted (62 answers and counting). A key theme seems to be the best benefits of social media come when businesses are actively and sincerely engaged in the conversation. But as many people noted, that can take a lot of time and effort.

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