LinkedIn seems like the middle child of social networking, and is a hugely underrated site. The fact that it’s a “zero cost” business networking tool should definitely play to its advantage and it will surely hit its prime in the future. Like everybody else, the only reason I got to join LinkedIn is because I kept on getting invitations to it until I gave in and gave it a shot. I spent a few hours filling up my profile and adding connections; the whole business only approach was very appealing and a fresh change from the very personal nature of Facebook. Some even argue that it’s not even a social network.
The goal of every business is to be ahead of the curve. To help bring up to speed on how to use LinkedIn effectively, here are several tips and tricks to help you become a LinkedIn power user.
Tip 1. Connect With People You Have Met
Adding connections to your network will definitely make you more visible. Make sure to add people that you meet in real life to your network. It might be a good idea to include a mention of your LinkedIn profile on your business card since it will serve as a reminder to others to add you. Also be sure to send a custom message of invitation to others because reading the same generic message of invitation gets old really quickly.
Tip 2. Use Status Updates to Stand Out
Completing your profile fully, including a picture and a description for your prior occupations and education is a given. What you should do to stand out is to use the status updates on your profile. Since so few people use this, it will certainly make you stand in your network.
Tip 3. Use Lots of Keywords
Use as many keywords as possible. Think of your profile as an SEO page. The more relevant terms there are on it the more likely it will get a hit when those words are searched for. Be sure to link to websites using those keywords rather than the default “My Web Site”.
Tip 4. Be Out There
Improve the accessibility of your profile. Make your profile public and create a custom url for it. This will make it available to a Google search and it is a good idea to include your profile in your email signature and placing it on your business card.
Tip 5. Recommend Your Connections
Be generous with your recommendations and use custom requests to get recommendations. This will make you more visible and will provide references for you in the future. This will provide prospective employers/employees a good understanding of who you are.
Tip 6. Be a Groupie
Join Groups, even if you don’t think that you should. The value of LinkedIn is in its groups. By being a member in groups of interest to you, and joining in the discussion it will provide you with more visibility. It will also allow you access to fresh leads on new openings and recommendations to those jobs by those who are familiar with you on those groups. Also it will keep you in touch with what’s new in your industry.
Tip 7. Scope Who Is Out There
Use it for research. LinkedIn can be a great resource for gaining a better understanding of a business. Use it to search for new start-ups and keeping up with their news. Also utilize it in your next interview by gaining an understanding of the company and the person doing your interview, or if it’s a new job you can get a better a understanding of your colleagues. You can also use it to gauge the health of a business or even to gauge the health of your business in comparison to some of its competitors.
Tip 8. It’s Worth The Subscription
Upgrade your membership. If you are a business or an employer consider upgrading your membership. Beside the ability to send a mass mail message, better search results and more room to organize your contacts, you get another valuable extra. You will be able to see who viewed your profile, and this will provide you with a valuable opportunity to head hunt individuals who are already interested in your company.
How do you use LinkedIn? Do you have any additional tips to share with us? Let us hear your thoughts.