This week I got three separate emails from my readers with basically the same question. Ironically, that same question also came up twice this week when I was presenting seminars. That made it easy for me to pick the iStock_000022949931Smalltopic for this week's LinkedIn tip. Here's the essence of each inquiry:

Wayne, I've heard you say that you feel the #1 marketing feature on LinkedIn is individual status updates, but I tried posting one this week and nothing happened. What did I do wrong?

First, let me say I stand behind my strong opinion that individual status updates is LinkedIn's #1 marketing feature. That's because, if done correctly, you can share helpful content with your hand-picked audience (your connections) for free. Many, many of my LinkedIn speaking and consulting gigs have resulted from someone reading one of my status updates and then contacting me.

What You May be Doing Wrong

There are lots of reasons to share status updates, but typically they should be used to help your network, which will increase your reputation and motivate people to engage with you.

Here are eight reasons your status updates may not be getting you any results.

1.  Your content is not relevant or interesting to your target audience.  According to a research study done by LinkedIn, the most popular types of content are new research, breaking industry news, and case studies.

2.  You don't include an image.  A photo or video thumbnail is more likely to grab a reader's attention than a block of words.

3.  You don't include a link.  Sharing a link not only gives the reader a place to get more information about the topic in your post, but it usually causes an image to appear, which grabs a reader's eye and draws him or her to the post.

4.  You're not posting on the right day or time of day.  From my personal experience, the best time to share is Monday through Friday between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM (based on your customers' time zone).

5.  You don't post frequently enough or on a consistent basis.  I recommend you post at least once a day, but three or four times per day is not too much, as long as you follow something like the 6/3/1 Rule.

6.  You don't add your "two cents" to the article or information shared in your link.  Remember, it's your connections who are seeing your updates, and they connected with you because they want to hear from you. If you don't comment on the information in the article, video, etc., you're missing an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.

7.  You don't have very many first-degree connections.  Keep in mind that, for the most part, your updates only go to your network. Small network = small audience. Big network = big audience. For additional information about the size and makeup of your network, check out my article "The LinkedIn Connection Conundrum: Who Should Be In Your Network."

8.  You haven't really defined what a good result would be.  Defining and then tracking the right numbers, as well as the trending of those numbers, is extremely important. It helps you know whether your time is well spent or you're just wasting time on LinkedIn. My blog post about the most important metrics to track on LinkedIn will help you set up your own tracking system.

Which of these eight mistakes are you making?