LinkedIn Lessons: The Best Practices of LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman
Reid Hoffman, who co-founded the professional networking site LinkedIn in 2003, sold the platform to Microsoft in 2016 for $26.2 billion in cash. He was already rich: he was an early employee at PayPal – along with other now famous entrepreneurs Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Russel Simmons and others – before early fintech firm was acquired by eBay.
Hoffman had joined the venture capital firm Greylock as a partner even before Microsoft purchased LinkedIn. As a VC and angel since 2009, Hoffman has a stellar reputation for his many smart investments in tech companies, his business books, and his podcast, “Masters of Scale.”
Yet Hoffman has not left LinkedIn behind. He continues to be active and engaging and nearly 3 million people think it’s worth “following” him on the platform. Who better than Hoffman, then, to serve as a role model for how to encourage the executives in your company to use LinkedIn?
When we analyze Hoffman’s LinkedIn activities, we notice that he:
- Likes others’ posts and comments daily
- Tags other LinkedIn users mentioned in his posts
- Posts something original and useful every few days
- Links to someone else’s post approximately every two weeks
- Always includes an image with a post
Here are some recent examples:
And finally, we’ve collected several pieces of Best Practices advice that Hoffman has doled out over the years:
- Be able to be found on LinkedIn. Someone might be looking for you.
- Complete the profile. Write with a particular audience in mind.
- Tell what makes you (or your company) unique.
- Collect endorsements.
- Vet each connection request. If you’d feel uncomfortable introducing that person to someone in your network, then decline the request.
- Make at least one quality introduction per month.
- Connect with other professionals whom you already know, or want to get to know, because the connection is mutually beneficial.
- When hiring or partnering, use trusted LinkedIn referrals.
What do’s and don’ts would you add to Hoffman’s list?
Clients ask us questions about LinkedIn all the time. Questions like ‘How do we get more engagement? What’s the right posting schedule? How do we improve our company page?’
So, we decided to create a series of LinkedIn lessons. Our hope is that these will guide you toward better a better LinkedIn presence. We hope you’ll follow along.
Here’s the lineup of lessons:
- Make #Hashtags a #Habit
- When – and How Often – to Post?
- Using Content to Achieve Thought Leadership
- Sponsored Content–A Trusted Tool
- The Best Practices of LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman
- Does Your LinkedIn Page ‘Work’ for Your Company?