Just because you’ve signed up and have a profile with your name and some of your work history doesn’t mean that you are getting the most out of this social media platform.
Here are 5 Steps you can take to get more out of your social networking efforts on LinkedIn:
1. Complete your profile strategically.
2. Build your network by adding contacts.
3. Join Groups, participate and initiate both Groups and discussions
4. Use LinkedIn features strategically
5. Have a checklist of on-going involvement goals and timeframes – and use it!
Why take the time to do all of this? Social media done well can help you gain access to places and people you haven’t been able to reach before, it can help you prospect and market in today’s fast-paced and changed landscape, and it allows your customers to find you when they’re ready to buy and helps employers find you when they’re looking to fill a job…social media done well can help you succeed.
Let’s get into the 5 Steps in more detail:
1. The first step is to fully complete your profile.
- This means strategically inputting your information and tailoring your information and experiences to maximize LinkedIn search – just as in regular SEO (search engine optimization), keywords are important. Come up with your keywords and use them in your title, your descriptions and in your accomplishments.
- Make sure your headline (in the Basic Information section) is NOT simply your job title, but instead is descriptive and uses your keywords to highlight you and your skills. Use all or most of the 120 characters allowed.
- Take advantage of LinkedIn’s Profile editing assistance. LinkedIn tells you how much of your Profile is Complete, and has suggestions for you on what you need to do to finish it.
- Remember, you are crafting, presenting and sharing/marketing your brand in the LinkedIn network, so it is important to use each and every section of the profile to your best advantage.
2. The value for you begins when you start building your LinkedIn network by adding your contacts and inviting those you know and do business with into your network. Think expansively and reach out to include all sorts of people that you know and are acquainted with.
- See who others you know are connected to and review the People You May Know information in the Add Connections section. This changes, so do this regularly.
3. Now comes the important part, where you start cultivating your network and working it to meet your needs and objectives. One way to do this is to join Groups, which allow you to gain visibility and share your knowledge.
- Learn from groups, start your own group, engage with your audiences, target markets, customers, prospects, suppliers, and other people important to you.
4. Then start using LinkedIn strategically. There is a lot you can do!
- You can use the Messaging feature to contact your network with striking communiques once a week. Go to Inbox and then Compose Message – you can create and send a message to 50 of your contacts, and it will be delivered to them via email.
- You can get involved with Questions and Answers aspect of LinkedIn to build your reputation and direct people to you by helping them solve problems.
- You can search Company’s and see who in your network is working there or associated with the Company which can be helpful in a variety of situations.
- You can mine LinkedIn for information on your competition by using the Search capabilities.
- You can also look into other LinkedIn features. For example, you can create your own Poll, you can link your WordPress blog to your LinkedIn profile, and more. These add to the ways you can market and promote yourself and engage with your target audiences.
5. All of this LinkedIn effort takes time and thought. Systematize your involvement by developing a check list of engagement in order to streamline your efforts and manage your time more effectively. You can work your LinkedIn network in as little as 10 minutes a day.
The key is to be active, to engage with your network, and monitor your results.
I’d love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts with me about LinkedIn and what is working for you.