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Ask HN: Is LinkedIn bringing you any value?
15 points by fandorin 10 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 25 comments
I have just finished reading 'Deep Work' by Cal Newport and in one of the chapters the author discusses social networks and gives some tips how to choose if the particular social network fits your bigger goal. If it does, you can still use it - otherwise you will be better off if you drop it.

This leads me to the main question: is linkedin bringing you any value? Do you feel it's worth to post there valuable content (from time to time) so that people can notice your profile, follow you there and this may create some business opportunities in the future.

What is your experience?

Yes, over and above any other social network.

I keep my network mostly relevant to the domain I work in, which means it's highly interconnected.

Content: Purely from the way LinkedIn operates, anytime I publish something several people in my "target audience" find interesting enough to "Like", a bunch of other professionals with similar interests will then see these posts. I tend to get many new followers this way. Some become avid readers, some then become clients.

Networking: This is where a lot of the value of LinkedIn lies. It's a way to have good conversations with people up and down the industry. I had no need for in-person events this year in order to network - it was there every day.

Business opportunities: I started getting more serious about posting consistently when I co-founded my company - it takes deliberate effort to be consistently interesting to an audience. But it does pay off.

In my view, LinkedIn plugs a useful social gap, a way to maintain professional relationships over time.

Thanks for sharing! Do you have any tips with regards to posting content on LinkedIn?

Sure. I've written an entire article to that effect, along with the data on a year-long experiment:


For last 10+ years it didn't add any value to me. I never apply for jobs via headhunters. And I hate their DMs in LinkedIn.

But for the past 4 years I have stopped adding work friends in Facebook (neither I use insta nor fb messenger). So all my ex work colleagues are connected in LinkedIn.

And lately I have noticed ex-colleagues messaging me in LinkedIn about openings, opportunities, or just small talk. This is very valuable to me. Keeping up the connections without exposing personal life is good. Specially in EU where many people have disabled fb all together.

So yes, LinkedIn is bringing me value these days.

I don't really post anything on my feed - so can't comment. But it's helpful when I see someone else' feed - to get some updates on what they are doing.

'Specially in EU where many people have disabled fb all together.'

I somewhat thought that it was unique to my social circle: I deleted FB almost 10 years ago and it looks like 90% of people I know eventually did the same. Many did it so well that now have zero online presence, except maybe on LinkedIn, especially the ones who ended working in a corporate word.

No, negative value. LinkedIn is a huge privacy concern and I don't really understand why more people are not bothered by it. If I know your name I can find out where you live, your current employer and position, your job history and a bunch of your employees at a minimum. I don't use social media, but on FB this level of data was not often exposed publicly and could be limited to friends by updating your privacy settings.

In an era where almost anything you say and do that someone doesn't like can be a fireable offence I have no idea why someone would publicly expose so much sensitive data about themselves to strangers online. I've had a couple of people cyber-stalk me through LinkedIn in the past. Nothing serious, but in both cases these were people I was not close with an did not want to expose much information to who revealed themselves to know far more about me than I was comfortable with. When I asked how they knew so much about me, both times they said they looked me up on LinkedIn. I'd be lying if I said I never did it myself, but it's kinda weird and I don't think it would be the norm.

Exceptionally valuable. I got most of my jobs through LinkedIn recruiters reaching out, including from big tech companies as well. I never post or look at the timeline feed however, which is as atrocious as any other social media feed.

However, some people have told me that they post often and build up their own audience on LinkedIn that they can then sell to, whether it be a product, course, service or others. Through this, they've made a lot of money.

I think it does. I appreciate LinkedIn is a bit like Facebook nowadays with people posting corporate lunch pictures and how their grandmother started a bakery while bombs were dropping and etc. That's noise and it does exist in every social platform. There are a lot of people on LinkedIn that have decision making power to hire, start projects, etc. There are lots of business owners too. I had some most amazing discussion with people I'd have no chance meeting on daily basis. Just last week I was talking to a potential vendor. A few min into the conversation and he says that their tech guy is well aware of me.How? Because of some things I posted about their competitors, where everyone from newly hired secretary all the way to the CEO liked it and kept It going for free PR.

I think for LinkedIn to be useful you simply need to know what you want from it. Is it jobs, clients, some specialist knowledge, new friends,etc. All of it is possible but requires slightly different approaches.

Almost every job offer I got was through a recruiter reaching out to me through LinkedIn. I don't actively post anything though.

It's been years now since I actually went looking for a job. Every move I've made in the past few years has either been via a previous contact or after being approached by a recruiter on LinkedIn.

There's a lot of bullshit jobs on offer, and a lot of below average payers out there, but as long as you're up front about the money you want straight away, it's easy to filter out the nonsense jobs.

My immediate reply to any LinkedIn message if I'm considering a move is to ask for the day rate / salary range. It's usually too low, at which point the conversation stops, but if it's worth, the conversation continues.

As for making posts myself -- that only attracts likes and comments from previous colleagues. It doesn't contribute to future job approaches.

"As for making posts myself -- that only attracts likes and comments from previous colleagues. It doesn't contribute to future job approaches" - agreed, that is my conclusion as well, I was just wondering if it's just my observation or more common view.

It depends on what you post. Whenever I post things related to the company I work for, It's really just my colleagues liking it. If I post things that are genuinely useful to my network, I tend to get plenty of reactions from other people.

I don't know that it does for me. I guess I should be promoting my company on there for visibility to potential investors and doing that fake thing about celebrating successes and whatnot but after 4 years of "startup" I am just...tired of the hustle.

I try to concentrate on customers but most of them aren't on there. I guess I am obligated to the VC who put up the initial seed money to get a bigger investor but the lack of interest vs. the time invested is ridiculous.

At this stage I would love to kick linkedin to the curb but once every 3 months or so an interesting connection gets made so I kinda put up with it.

I really don't think overall even that minimal engagement is worth it. I also never want to talk to another VC ever again, screw the lot of them.

There's a lot of low quality and high quality jobs there. The high quality jobs are posted the same way as low quality jobs - no pay range, lazy job description. Recruiters seem fairly lazy too.

Its a nice addition to social networks of different but a bit risky privacy wise. But at least where I'm located, its only high quality jobs since low quality ones are dominating in other platforms specifically for recurring. But content wise, its just a pit of marketing materials and time wasters like elsewhere. (well, excluding the ease of accessing and participating in online conferences)

LinkedIn provides plenty of value to me but I don’t contribute content to linkedin or pay much attention to their feed.

LinkedIn hosts my professional Rolodex of people I’ve worked with or want to stay in touch with professionally.

LinkedIn also provides me with visibility to recruits so I get inbound job leads with zero effort on my part. My current job comes from a 1st party recruiter messaging me.

I use it like a graph connected Rolodex. I recently joined a temporary work group with people from multiple orgs who I don’t know. I used LinkedIn to both learn about them but also to include in background notes to collect together all the various profiles to save time when meeting and doing intros since people don’t need to spend as much time saying their papers, where they studied, etc.

That’s about it, but still kind of useful.

I found it to be extremely valuable. Managed to get in touch with relevant people I would otherwise never have been able to.

Having an account is useful during a job search so I have one. I occasionaly connect with (or even message) people I know in person or who are somehow similar (location/job/company/industry).

The feed is a cesspool - I stay away as much as possible and never post myself.

I use LinkedIn to search for background of people and companies, and follow companies that seem to be engaged in something I may be interested in the future. In the past, I also joined groups that interested me but I found majority of them devoid of anything of value.

I typically don't follow people not connected to me, actively remove attention whores from my connections and feed, and people who don't respond when contacted or respond rudely. This keeps my feed and connections pretty clean.

Only few times, I have been approached by recruiters for potential jobs and those leads have never panned out. I find recruiters to be good if you are looking at same type of work as in the past but rarely anything different or interesting. And, such direction changes are frequent in my profile so recruiters tend to stay away.

Yes, extremely valuable. Searched and applied for jobs, contacted by (some) serious recruiters, contacted old colleagues about job related and other stuff and following (some) interesting people

I only use it to show off professional things to get a better job one day. It serves as a clear historical record of my achievements. OSINT is nice too. Otherwise, not really.

I suppose it depends on what you do or are trying to sell. I have always been frustrated with its search so I hardly use it. I am also curious if it works for others and how.

Sometimes I lol at the self-promoting nonsense people I know for a fact are net-negative contributors post there.

I only use it to lookup professional contacts and stay in touch.

I found the feed super distracting so I installed an extension to block it.

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