What stops intelligent and capable professionals from getting consistent results when communicating with others on LinkedIn?
There are many reasons which start with our sometimes lack of 'other person' focused engagement. We break the very rules we would never break if we were in front of another human being we wanted to serve. We think too much about ourselves.
All communication is filtered through our own psychology. How we perceive people and the interactions we have on every social platform make a huge difference to the decisions we make about others. LinkedIn is no different.
There are 100s of psychological biases that impact our decisions (You may find it interesting to see which of the 30 most common biases you see in yourself and others download an infographic HERE).
On LinkedIn I observed four prevailing biases that were important to my success. You should know about most LinkedIn users. Importantly this will show you what to look for and how to use this knowledge to your benefit.
The tendency to rely too heavily on one trait or piece of information when making decisions (usually the first piece of information acquired on that subject).
How does this show up in LinkedIn?: We’re bombarded with messaging. We unconsciously make very quick decisions based on what we see as someone we want to view or connect with. Research on LinkedIn has shown that the first two pieces of information a typical LinkedIn user observes is your headline and most recent post. This wont always be the case but is a good starting point.
What to do: Ensure you make every possible interaction with a potential user immediately easy to anchor to. You can do this by ensuring you have positive, or question based comments when sharing a post that demonstrates you are a valuable connection. Ensure your headline demonstrates a result but doesn't have outlandish over promised statements like helping someone get a million dollars in 7 days (this is someones actual headline). It has to be believable.
The tendency to search for, interpret, focus on and remember information in a way that confirms your preconceptions or beliefs.
How does this show up in LinkedIn?: As humans we will always gravitate to people like us. This is particularly prevalent in social media where we see others with similar job titles, sharing similar philosophies, challenges and beliefs. When we share on LinkedIn other users will be looking for evidence that you are like them, share a belief, challenge or solution that they may have interest in.
What to do: Important to know that we all carry preconceptions into our world whether good or bad. Ensure you are authentically communicating what you believe but also being aware of the potential customers you want to attract. Get to know those people you really want to attract and connect with. Make sure you strategically share, post and comment on information that is aligned to you but also supports beliefs of those you want to be connected to.
The tendency to weigh the latest information more heavily than older data.
How does this show up in LinkedIn?: Research has shown that 81% of LinkedIn users are interested in seeing industry and role based insight. They want to know whats working today. We will all in many cases will weigh what is current over what is old more favourably. Just look at the health industry or other trends or schools of thoughts and you can see recency in action.
What to do: Ensure you balance your information with whats new but contextually relevant specifically to your target audience. Use headlines to attract people to you e.g. Learn the 5 new secrets no one recognises to get consistent sales results on LinkedIn
Selective Perception Bias
Allowing our expectations and viewpoints to influence how we perceive the world.
How does this show up in LinkedIn?: Our behaviour will always be consistent with our expectations. One helpful stat to know is 33% of people on LinkedIn profess to not immediately trust invitations with no message or prior visibility. We like certainty of expectation and uncertainty in areas where it benefits our own bias.
What to do: With invitations make sure you personalise your notes. Here's where you can accelerate your ability to connect with that new connection. Check their last three activity, posts or updates. What is the common connection and what might this say about what they believe? In your next email note their last posts and comment one of those you agree with. You want them to know you respect their opinion and have similar view points
Want to know how to activate and leverage the knowledge of these biases to generate qualified sales leads consistently on LinkedIn. Check out the LinkedIn Unbeatable Strategies Coaching Programme
Jermaine Edwards - Key Customer Growth Author, Coach and B2B customer sales and relationship strategist