How to Use LinkedIn Answers as a Social Marketing Tool - dummies

How to Use LinkedIn Answers as a Social Marketing Tool

By Shiv Singh, Stephanie Diamond

LinkedIn Answers is where you gain and share social marketing business knowledge with other LinkedIn users. There can be strategic reasons social media marketers ask a question, as well as to answer one. To find LinkedIn Answers, click the More tab in the top navigation bar and then select Answers from the drop-down menu.

How to ask a question in LinkedIn Answers

If you are seeking a vendor or strategic partner, your question can become a quick qualifying filter. Or perhaps you are trying to evaluate various products or techniques, such as which social media service to select. Asking a question is a good way to solicit input from other businesses.

Before you ask a question, search for similar questions that have already been asked. Click the Advanced Answers Search tab on the Answers page. On this tab, enter keywords and choose a category in which to search. You can also choose to show only unanswered questions. And sometimes it’s worth exploring the Closed Questions tab to find answers to previously answered questions.

When you’re ready to ask a question:

  1. Click the Ask a Question tab and enter your question in the box.

    Keep your question short and specific.

  2. Select categories and subcategories for your inquiry.

  3. Select the connections you want to send the question to.

    The form defaults to public sharing, but you can select only the connections you think are most likely to have the answer.

  4. Click Finished and then click Send.

After your question is answered, you can close the question by choosing Answers from the More drop-down menu. Then click my Q&A, select the completed question, and click the Close button.

How to answer questions in LinkedIn Answers

You can achieve expert status by providing the most insightful responses to other people’s questions. When someone asks a public question, all the asker’s connections receive an update with the question. If the question is private, specific connections receive a private message.

You receive questions from your first-degree contacts directly. You should always respond to questions sent by your first-degree contacts; if you don’t know the answer, thank the person for asking you the question, and offer to ask other colleagues to see if they can help.

To answer other people’s questions:

  1. Log in to LinkedIn, choose Answers from the More drop-down menu, and then click the Answer Questions tab.

    The Browse Open Questions page appears. The answers are sorted by degree, with questions from your second-degree contacts appearing first.

  2. Browse the questions.

    Unfortunately, you have no easy way to search them, so you have to do it the old-fashioned way — question-by-question, page-by-page. Alternatively, you can narrow the focus of the questions to which you browse by clicking a link in the Browse section.

  3. When you find a question you want to answer, click it.

    In addition to seeing the question and detailed information, you see answers that have already been posted.

  4. Click the Answer button, and type your response in the Answer field, adding any web resources that might be helpful.

  5. Answer the question and add any web resources.

    These resources can be web pages or blog posts. If they’re your web pages or your blog posts, you’ve just directed more traffic to your site.

  6. (Optional) Click the Suggest Experts button.

    If you don’t have the answer, you can choose as many as three connections who might have expert knowledge regarding the question.

  7. Accept the default option to write a note with your answer.

    This is a useful way to introduce yourself to the person asking the question.

  8. Click Submit.

    Your answer is sent to the person who made the query and is added as an answer to the original question. Your answer appears in the asker’s LinkedIn inbox and is sent to the associated e-mail address.

Answering questions makes you a “good LinkedIn citizen,” while demonstrating your knowledge to potential customers. Also, you can invite viewers to visit your site or blog for additional information or to e-mail you for a more customized response.

One of the best ways to develop visibility on LinkedIn is to become an “expert” within LinkedIn Answers. When a LinkedIn user asks a question, the colleague can choose which answer is the “best.” If your answer is selected as the best, you gain a “point of expertise” for that question. The more expertise points you have, the higher you rank. You only receive points for publicly answered questions.

Click the Experts link under the Answers tab, below the new questions, to see a list of LinkedIn experts, categorized as Experts This Week or Experts All Time.