Social Media A to Z Series: L is for Linkedin. 80+ Tips For Using Linkedin
As part of this series, I shared that F is for Facebook – a social network. It definitely is that however it is often described as being in the consumer arena. Linkedin is also a social community or network however its target audience is business professionals. Linkedin is a social network for business with over 120+ million members spanning over 200 countries! AMAZING! About half of the members are in the United States and 26+ million are from Europe. With 12 million users, India is currently the fastest-growing network of users. It is like the United Nations for Business!
Why should you care?
It is a gold mind for making business connections, that’s why. I have been on Linkedin for many years. It was my first exposure to social media and a social network. I have made many great connections since becoming a member. I have seen it evolve from a relatively static environment to an engaging business community. I could describe the different components of the network but I have seen many good blog-posts that have done essentially that. What I will do is share a list of what I think you should consider as a Linkedin member. This also gives me an opportunity to respond to a comment I heard recently where Linkedin was described as an “online Rolodex”. Oh my, it is so much more. I have seen so many lost opportunities just by looking at someone’s profile and activity. Now, I am somewhat opinionated so this may take a while. Here goes…..
- Complete your profile 100%. This is the place where you are not confined to a two-page resume. Be comprehensive. A title alone is not enough as it says nothing about the person. Secondly your chances of being found depends on it. In 2010, Linkedin had more than 2 billion people searches. You need to give the search engine something to work with. This is a great opportunity to brand yourself.
- Add a profile head-shot photo. Smile. People like connecting with people. Not a logo.
- Use your name on your profile. Again people like collaborating with a person not a company name though www.illiam may be a little suspicious. Again, this particular space is all about you. Use it!
- Use your tag line to showcase what you stand for. You already have your titles and what you do in the body of the profile. Consider this as part of your personal branding. I cannot wait to talk more about personal branding which will be in my U is for User- Profile post. Moving along….
- Request recommendations for display on your profile from clients, colleagues, peers and staff.
- Give recommendations to professionals you would refer.
- Self promote with your complete and comprehensive profile. This is the place to do just that! Use all the applications available to you for your Linkedin profile. Have I mentioned the need for a full Linkedin profile enough? What about personal branding? Excellent.
- Develop Linkedin badges that you can add to your blog or website. Great way of promoting your profile to your audience especially if you have recommendations listed.
- Walk the Linkedin Hall of Fame. Within the network explore the who’s who of organizations especially those that hold your interest. Tag and save profiles of key players within those organizations.
- Research professionals prior to meetings or interviews. This is a great way to prepare for a meeting.
- Network by introductions, groups, polls, Q&As. You can join up to 50 Linkedin groups which immediately increases your network. You can directly communicate with Linkedin group members. Depending on your networking strategy, you can also become an open networker by bearing the LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) acronym on your profile.
- Tell your connections what you are up to by updating your status regularly.
- Tweet interesting updates to your Linkedin status.
- Get introduced. Follow the “yellowbrick road” through your connections and request an introduction.
- Facilitate introductions as part of social networking on Linkedin.
- Build partnerships. Seek out other professionals that may complement your business.
- Find like minds by participating and contributing to polls, groups, Q&As.
- Respond to your network status updates on your home page even if it is just by hitting the “like” button. Keep the connection alive.
- Identify potential clients by following companies of interest, reviewing profiles and monitoring status updates. Build the relationship and engage when you see an opportunity.
- Identify business trends. Monitor the company buzz and discussions across the network to identify trends.
- Identify influencers. Read my post on Influencers.
- Make new connections. I have already covered introductions above. You can also do a search by people by company or location. See if there is a professional you would like to include in your network. If you have a group in common, you can request an invite.
- Find past co-workers/colleagues by using the search capability.
- Find old school friends. Rediscover the friendship and discover their journey. Make the connection.
- Check out people you may know. With your comprehensive profile, Linkedin will make connection suggestions. You may want to re-connect.
- Download your email address of your direct connections regularly. Do I need to explain why?
- Career planning. Checkout the paths of other professionals and make a connection with those who interest you..
- Career Intelligence. Yes, I just made that up. I like it. See who has left an organization recently; you may want to put in an inquiry of that organization who might be experiencing a gap with this departure. Find the potential hiring manager. Request an introduction. Sneaky but it is a pearl. Right?
- Job Search. Explore the Linkedin’s job board to see what organizations are hiring and who can connect you for an introduction. Make it happen. Networking works. Make the imaginary a reality.
- Apply for a job with your complete comprehensive profile. Review the company pages. Network with professionals who are at the hiring organization. Get an insight to their culture.
- Recruit by examining Linkedin profiles.
- Conduct background checks.
- Monitor who has visited your Linkedin profile and engage where appropriate.
- Monitor how many times you came up in searches. If you are not being found – fix your profile!
- Be part of a community by finding a group and participating with other professionals with similar passions. There are over one million Linkedin groups to choose from!
- Create and lead a group. Add to that one million. I lead four groups.
- Develop a logo for your group. Why? See # 38
- Promote your group. With your customized group logo all members can display it on their profile. Hello! Free promotion across the network!
- Take advantage of the weekly broadcast announcement to your groups.
- Post discussions in groups. Respond to discussions in groups. It increases visibility.
- Tweet your discussion posts in open groups.
- Tweet your comments in open groups.
- Start an association. Start a group; build engagement then convert to an association.
- Start a business: Start a group linked to your business. Develop your Linkedin skills and spread the word like Linkedin Thought Leader, JD Gershbein. Don’t know JD? Keep reading.
- Use Linkedin as a resource: Don’t have the answer or experience to a topic? Join a group and start a discussion. Ask the question in the Q&As or just search the Q&As.
- Increase your exposure: You can do this as described above by participating in groups or by asking questions and/or answering questions in the Q&As.
- Recognize best answers in the Q&As by rating and awarding best answer badges. As well as the recognition of the Linkedin member, it builds relationships.
- Connect with the person when you have responded to a question. You clearly have a common interest.
- Thank all contributors to your questions in the Q&As. Again, building relationships.
- Get recognized as Thought Leader. Answer many questions and collect the best answer badges that you can proudly display on your profile.
- Test new thinking by throwing it out to the Linkedin network for a response.
- Review news updates from Linkedin Today. Read the news headlines and join the associated discussions. This too will increase your visibility.
- Develop a company presence by completing Linkedin company pages. Currently there are 2+million company pages on Linkedin.
- Request recommendations for your company products and services. Do I really need to say why?
- Monitor your competition. Review the Linkedin company pages; monitor news and movement of staff within that business.
- Plan events. Schedule network meetings using the event tool.
- Conduct a poll when you want a pulse on a particular subject.
- Tweet your polls.
- Respond to polls. Note who else has responded. You may want to pursue a connection with more professionals who share this interest.
- Gain knowledge outside your scope of work by joining groups that are not related to what you do.
- Gain knowledge within your scope of work by joining groups asking questions of your network or Q&A
- Mentor students who seek guidance. They may be your boss one day.
- Mentor other professionals when they seek advice. It just feels good.
- Pay it forward by sharing and supporting other Linkedin members.
- Post your blog on your Linkedin profile
- Post your interesting docs and presentations on your Linkedin profile. There’s that Linkedin profile again.
- New to a country? Let your Linkedin network know and make new connections
- Not sure of a new country’s etiquette? Let your network know and ask the question.
- Going to a new country? Let your network know.
- Have a problem? Ask your Linkedin network for advice. There is a pattern here. About to break the pattern.
- Have a cause? Create a Linkedin group to start mobilizing that cause.
- Drive traffic to your website by posting related items.
- Advertise by using the promotions tabs in the Linkedin groups or using Linkedin Ads.
- Submit interesting papers you have prepared – there are many call for papers opportunities for conferences. This provides exposure opportunities; Thought Leadership positioning.
- Lead generation– follow the yellow brick lead generation road by exploring the connections.
- Keep your profile current. As you move around, you should update your profile so you continue to stay in touch with your network.
- Visit the site regularly to see who has recently joined. Keep current with the membership.
- Connect with your network regularly. Not only when you have a need. This may be a challenge when you have a large network however there are ways to remain visible.
- Be assertive.
- Be respectful.
- Be Social.
- Have coffee with your local Linkedin members. It is a good thing. Don’t like coffee, have tea, water, air… as I said, it is a good thing. Respectfully borrowing someone else’s tag line but it sure works here!
- Share this post. LOL! I thought I would slip that in. I couldn’t help myself.
There! A Rolodex…Not. That felt good. These are my learnings since I joined Linkedin in 2006. In closing, I would like to leave you with a quote from J.D. Gershbein, (specialist in the Art and Science of LinkedIn aka Thought Leader in my eyes) who I met on Linkedin- probably about the same time I joined! He is certainly one of the success stories of Linkedin with his 200+ recommendations. I asked him to write a quote for this post and he graciously did just that. So I will leave you with his perspective (Thank you JD!)
“LinkedIn is one of the greatest engines of business opportunity ever conceived by man. It is an instrument that, when leveraged properly, can transform people’s professional lives. Your LinkedIn profile is arguably the most flexible and elastic medium of self-representation that you have in marketing today. Your personal brand is your most prized digital asset and must be tended to with great care. Via the LinkedIn vehicle, you can become global in your business reach, connect more easily with influencers, and create win-win scenarios for others that otherwise could not exist.” ~ J.D. Gershbein, CEO of Owlish Communications
As always, thank you for joining me. Let me know how you have used Linkedin. If you enjoyed this post, found a few pearls, give the post a +1 or like and do share with your network #84 on the list. LOL!
Cartoons used by the permission of the Cartoonist
- 7 Pro Tips for Expert LinkedIn Marketing (hubspot.com)
- 81% of LinkedIn Users Belong to a LinkedIn Group [Data] (hubspot.com)
- Three ways to make the most of LinkedIn (theglobeandmail.com)
- Status Update: LinkedIn Adds Value to Company Pages (ogilvypr.com)
- How LinkedIn can help you (keracottingham.wordpress.com)
- How To Optimize Your Linkedin Profile (Mashable)
- How to Optimize Your Company’s Linkedin Profile (Mashable)
- Create a 100% complete Linkedin Profile (YouTube.com)
- JD Gershbein Discusses Linkedin on WGN 720 AM Radio