7 Ways to Use LinkedIn Effectively
Want to get Linked In to one of the fastest-growing social networks but aren’t sure where to start? Try these 7 tips to get the most out of LinkedIn.
1. Fill out your profile 100%
/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/linkedin_100_complete_profile.jpg”>The more complete your profile, the higher you will be in the Google search rankings, and the more credible you will be to users who view it.
2. Participate in the “Answers” Feature
It’s a gem tucked away under the “More” section of the top-navigation on LinkedIn. In “Answers”, users can ask industry-specific questions and get advice. Get and receive helpful knowledge, and let the networking begin. By answering questions, you can demonstrate how you are an industry insider with a lot of helpful knowledge. And one of the best ways to make meaningful connections is to provide helpful information that people are looking for.
If you have blog posts or other content that provides helpful information about another user’s question, you can link to it in your answer.
For more information, see my blog post on Using LinkedIn to Get Quality Answers Online .
3. Update Your Status Regularly
Each time your status is updated you’ll show up in a news feed when your connections log in. This helps you stay fresh in their mind. Keep your connections updated with links to new business ventures, links to articles you have written or in which you are quoted. Looking for a job? Tell people here what you are looking for (and in your headline).
You can also keep your status updated through Twitter and other social networking sites with an automated feed. If you tweet a lot, you may not want to have all of your tweets automatically go to LinkedIn, because it will clog up the feed. Instead, you can add the hashtag #in to send a select tweet to your LinkedIn update feed.
4. Add LinkedIn Applications
This is an opportunity to further personalize your profile and set it apart from the rest of the pack. Create a video related to your business or a video resume and add it via Box.net or the SlideShare app. Add a stream of your latest blog feeds. Let people know which business books you’re reading with Amazon’s ReadingList app.
5. Join LinkedIn Groups
Like the “Answers” feature, this is a way to network with fellow industry experts, receiving and providing valuable information. You can post questions to the group to start discussions, share articles that may be of interest, and add or view job postings in a targeted field.
You can join up to 50 groups, so go nuts. Just be warned that by default you are signed up for e-mail updates, and if you join a large number of groups, the updates can quickly get out of hand. I suggest subscribing to updates for the groups that you find the most interesting or helpful and check the others at least once a week.
It’s tempting to join the obvious groups in your industry, but actually participating in groups that are outside your industry are more likely to help you grow your business. Extend outside of your industry circle to reach new leads, new people who don’t know others in your field.
6. Conduct a LinkedIn People Search
This is a terrific tool for salespeople, job hunters, or business owners who want to get their foot in the door at a large corporation. Just do a people search for your target company using the upper right-hand search box. Refine your results on the left to view your first connections (also known as direct connections) and your second-degree connections.
You’ll then see a list of names of people at your target company. On their individual profiles, you’ll be able to view your shared connections. Send a message to your mutual connections to introduce you via LinkedIn to the people at the target company, and you have a personal in!
LinkedIn recently revamped their mobile apps and updated their website for better browsing on mobile phones. The free apps help you network on the go, by staying in the loop with industry news, updates from your contacts, and more. Perhaps the most interesting feature is “In Person”. If you are meeting a new connection face-to-face and both have the LinkedIn app, you can utilize this feature to connect wirelessly with a light “bump” of your devices and connect wirelessly. LinkedIn will transfer contact information between phones using Bluetooth.
If you really want to invest in getting the most out of LinkedIn, I suggest that you read The Power Formula for Linkedin Success: Kick-start Your Business, Brand, and Job Search by Wayne Breitbarth