At the beginning of this year I resolved to send a personal e-mail to all 900+ of my LinkedIn 1st level contacts. Statistics show LinkedIn has about 467 million users including 5.5 million accountants.
What was my project? Every weekday I would send 12 InMails (LinkedIn’s version of e-mail) to first level contacts. The e-mail explained my project, asked how they used LinkedIn as part of their business and expressed an interest in what they do.
I closed with a few words about my business and the case for posting articles regularly. They were personalized as much as possible and at about 20 minutes a day, it took about 5 months.
10 Lessons Learned
Any numbers used are approximate. There’s a difference between “Happy Birthday,” “Thanks” and an actual answer to your question, but here is what I learned during my “experiment” with Linked In this year and I hope it helps you in your efforts as well:
1. People Do Respond – 75 people answered my question, while 93 people started a dialog.
Lessons Learned: Obviously about 700+ did neither. Many people are passive users, ignoring the e-mail prompts they receive indicating someone is getting in touch. FYI: If LinkedIn has only about 106 million active monthly users, this means about 23% visit regularly. I’ve also heard only 29% of LinkedIn members visit the site each month.
Conclusion: People attend a class promoting LinkedIn. They join. For many, that’s the extent of their engagement.
2. Expect a Huge Lag Time – It’s been said the average LinkedIn user visits the site for 17 minutes a month. Meanwhile, the average time spent on Facebook is 20 minutes, which I assume is per visit, not per month.