LinkedIn Answers Must Do

March 30th, 2009 | by Jason Alba |

When you ask a question on LinkedIn Answers you MUST send the question to up to 200 of your first degree contacts.  If you don’t do this, imho, you shouldn’t even ask the question.  It’s that important.

A few months ago LinkedIn changed the design on the page where you invite your connections to get the question emailed to them.  This is what you click on (kind of hidden, isn’t it?):

When is the last time you asked a question on LinkedIn Answers?  If it’s been over a month, mozy on over and do it!  Why?  I explain that in my book ;)

  1. 14 Responses to “LinkedIn Answers Must Do”

  2. By Brian Schuster on Mar 30, 2009 | Reply

    I ask questions once every couple of days for the purpose of market research. It has worked out pretty well for me for getting answers (about 10 on average). The one time I sent a question to my first degree connections, though, it got flagged as inappropriate. I asked the same question to no one in particular and got some good responses.

    What have your experiences been between sending it to connections vs. not sending it?

  3. By Nicolas Roberge on Mar 30, 2009 | Reply

    The only problem with that suggestion is the connection selection box. It a pain to use. There isn’t a way to search for a subset of contacts. If there were friend lists like Facebook, you could file contact into categories and choose to mail that category.

  4. By Jason Alba on Apr 6, 2009 | Reply

    @Brian – in my experience, sending to connections is the only/best way to get a lot of responses… so I have only done that. I think not sending to connections is a waste of asking the question… UNLESS you ask with such high frequency (like you are doing)… I can see your connections maybe getting tired of yet another question… (don’t interpret that to “don’t do that,” because it’s obviously working for you)

    @Nicolas – I agree – having the ability to categorize my contacts would be THE BOMB.

  5. By Robin Burgoon on Apr 6, 2009 | Reply

    Good idea, Jason.

    I tried this last month; in response to my question, I received only ONE response! Granted, my LinkedIn network is still very small–less than 100–but I still expected a greater number of responses, especially since some of my connections are very active on LinkedIn, and in answering questions. (Usually I’m more focused on answering other people’s questions than asking any of my own.)


  6. By Jason Alba on Apr 6, 2009 | Reply

    @Robin – what was the question? I’d love to see the title and the body… that might help me understand why the # of answers. And then I’ll share some ideas to get more answers :)

  7. By Robin Burgoon on Apr 7, 2009 | Reply

    @Jason – Here’s the question that I sent specifically to my 1st-level connections, because I was interested in *their* responses; I wanted to get a better understanding of how (and why) they use LinkedIn. (It was a prelude to another question that I was planning to post to them, but never did, because of the lack of response to my first question.)


  8. By Robin Burgoon on Apr 7, 2009 | Reply

    Oops! Didn’t realize that the wouldn’t work… Trying again:

    What is your strategy for networking on LinkedIn?
    What do you feel is the biggest strength of your network?
    If you don’t know someone from your network very well, and that someone asks you to make an introduction, what do you do? Do you offer/agree to help?
    Thank you very much for your feedback!

  9. By Jason Alba on Apr 13, 2009 | Reply

    Robin, what is the URL for your question?

  10. By Robin Burgoon on Apr 14, 2009 | Reply

    Jason, I copy/pasted my question into my April 7 post here that starts, “Oops!”. I’d sent it as a private LinkedIn question via email to 1st level connections.

  11. By Jason Alba on Apr 14, 2009 | Reply

    Perhaps the plot thickens. I wanted to see the original question in LI so I could see the title, and spacing and all that – assuming that perhaps the wording was at fault.

    But if you send it as a private question to just 1st level connections I wouldn’t expect much of a response… how many 1st level connections do you have?

  12. By Robin Burgoon on Apr 14, 2009 | Reply

    Ah. Sorry for not understanding!
    Here’s the link to the question:

    Note: As I read my text again, I realized that some of it wasn’t necessary, so I cut it out. Even so, I don’t think I lost the gist of it.

    At the time that I sent the question, I had between 75-80 connections–I currently have 81–and I was specifically interested in what THEY had to say about my question; I was trying to initiate some dialogue & understand my network a bit better, especially some of my newer connections. Yes, my network is still small, but I’m working to grow it.

  13. By Adi @ The Management Blog on Jul 8, 2009 | Reply

    Do you have to select each person individually though? For 200 that could take a while.

  14. By Fred Dempster on Jan 6, 2010 | Reply

    Hey – sorry this is old and resurected, but how many have the newer Connection – three panes: Connections/Tags, Connection Mini-View, and the Quick View… I’ve created my own tags for my connections. It’s and effort but then it makes things easy going forward.

    @Adi – I’ve not yet tried to see if this simplifies the process – I just need to post a Q which is in my top 5 to-do!

  15. By Jason Alba on Jan 6, 2010 | Reply

    tagging is a really impt part of managing a network… glad to see LI is going in that direction.

    If you aren’t on JibberJobber you need to be there – we’ve had tags for over 3 years…

    (oh yeah, that was a totally shameless plug!)

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