The secret benefit of posting status updates on LinkedIn

By Neil Patrick

Yesterday I was grumbling about how some people spoil the LinkedIn experience for the rest of us.

So to restore some balance, today I thought I’d post about a positive practice on LinkedIn which seems to be overlooked by many normal users.

It’s the status update. And I’ll share a secret with you about why this is so powerful if you stick with me.

Linkedin updates are important for several reasons whether you are job searching or not. Career management is a lot like marketing. It’s just that the product we are selling is ourselves.

And which products get the biggest sales in any sector? Of course it’s the ones which are most well recognised and seen as offering the greatest value.

That’s why big brands spend billions every year on advertising. And with social media like Linkedin, we have the opportunity to advertise ourselves virtually for free.

These are the basic benefits of status updates:

Stay top of mind

Think of posting on LinkedIn like this. No-one has enough hours in the day to touch base with everyone they’d like to. I often have an intention to contact people I’ve neglected, but if it’s not on my top priorities and/or scheduled, the phone call or email doesn’t happen, sometimes for weeks.

I may not have anything specific I wish to discuss with them, I’d just like to keep in contact and stay on their radar.

Posting to Linkedin isn’t a perfect remedy for our lack of time, but it is an easy way to stay visible to your network, so that they are more likely to think of you when they discover something they think you’d like to know about.

If you don’t have time to post a link or blog update, then at least comment on someone else’s. Life happens in between emails and phone calls, and your commentary reminds your connections you are still around - especially those you don’t see or talk to often. Stay in front of them, and you’ll be the first person they think of when opportunities arise.

Your network is an asset – so manage it as such

Even if some people still prefer other communication channels, LinkedIn continues to grow - there are now over 270 million registered users. Your network is your personal microcosm of that audience – and it’s your gateway to hundreds and thousands of others.

Don’t worry too much about annoying people

Many of us have a reservation about making too big a noise. But provided you are following the simple mantra of always trying to add real value, your inputs however frequent, will be appreciated by people.

Things only get annoying when you are frequently posting content of low value.

It’s either you or the competition

Make a choice - be part of the conversation or get forgotten about.

Everyone is busy these days, so you have to be more visible and more memorable (for good reasons) than your competition. Even if you don’t yet know who they are, this is an opportunity to come to the attention of people who want what you have to offer.

Build credibility and trust

People do business with people they know, like and trust. The more inputs you provide, the greater will be your exposure. The better the content, the more trust you will build. Just remember that it’s not about you - post things that your network will be genuinely interested in.

Create goodwill and valuable new connections

Give people more opportunity to interact with you - liking, commenting upon and sharing content increases people’s recognition of you and your reputation will grow across the platform. So, don’t be selfish - share things. This has a hidden benefit too which is that the original poster will appreciate your help in them getting their content out to more people. So this is an investment in the goodwill that others have towards you.

If it's routine, it's easier

It may seem like a challenge to post regularly to Linkedin, especially considering all of your other priorities. But once you see it as a regular part of your routine and an investment rather than a chore, it gets a great deal easier to make the commitment. And you are investing in your number one personal asset – yourself and your future.

Finally, the secret benefit is…

I promised to let you in on a secret at the start of this post. And here it is. And it might just be the thing that persuades you more than any of the other reasons I’ve cited above that posting updates is a good idea.

Over the last few months, I have been closely tracking my search ranking on LinkedIn. At the same time I have been posting updates twice a week and making a couple of comments on LinkedIn Groups I am a member of. Total time investment – about 30 minutes – roughly the same as one brief work meeting or phone call.

What I have observed is that my search ranking has risen steadily as I have done this. I do not (and outside the LinkedIn organisation, no-one else) knows the exact workings of the LinkedIn search algorithm. But I strongly suspect that somewhere within the algorithm is a component which improves the search rankings of those who are more active on the platform.

So I have now reached the top of page one of LinkedIn search for many of the key search terms I wish to be found under. And this is often placing me top of many thousands of matches.

I’d say that’s a pretty fantastic return on the investment of half an hour a week.


  1. Neil, great tip! I should up my posting of status updates on LinkedIn.

    You address one of my concerns—that people will be annoyed if I post updates too often.

    You recommend posting twice a week. Does this translate into a mix of updates on what you are doing now business-wise, links to articles you have posted on your own blog, and general unlinked business tips?



    1. Thanks Diana!

      To answer your question, so far, I haven't posted anything about what I am doing business-wise. My updates have just been posts from this blog. I feel that it's all about sharing things which are of direct value to people. So strictly speaking that may not be an 'update' in the conventional sense.

      When I have things to share about my own business I intend to post these as updates, but these will be much less frequent.

      I hope this answers your question and that all is well with you.

      Best wishes


  2. Neil,
    This is very useful and helpful information. I will definitely start putting this into practice as I seek to find a specific position using my talents and skills to make a difference.

    1. Thank you for posting here Bev. Delighted you found this helpful. Happy New Year to you and yours!