So, you’ve created your LinkedIn profile, and uploaded a photo, so you can tick the LinkedIn box right? Wrong! Congratulations on taking the first steps, but you haven’t even scratched the surface of what LinkedIn can do for you.
LinkedIn is a great social network, but unlike Facebook and Twitter, it has a number of different elements which you need to understand to get the most out of this social network. Whether you are looking to hook up with people you know in the off-line world, nurture relationships with new contacts or generate leads, an understanding of the different elements of LinkedIn and how they work together will help you on your way.
Your Profile Probably Isn’t Finished:
- I read last week that over 50% of LinkedIn profiles are incomplete. That is a high number (over 100m people), but I don’t necessarily think that you need to complete every part of your profile. You may want to ‘keep your powder dry’ with some parts, and I think that’s OK.
- However, there is one part of the profile that you really must complete, your summary. This is what’s used when someone searches for people on LinkedIn – so include the key words and phrases for your industry.
Straight from the Horse’s Mouth:
- There are millions of companies that have a profile on LinkedIn. You can find out what industry they are in, where they are based, how many employees they have and what products / services they sell.
- To receive updates from that company, you can follow it – useful if you are looking for a job at the company (don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone!).
Where My Target Audience Hangs Out:
- LinkedIn Groups is where LinkedIn really comes to life. Whatever your industry, there is a LinkedIn group where people are talking about your subject. Groups are where people with something in common talk network and discuss – it might be location, industry, skill, anything!
- You can use groups as a research tool, or even better to contribute towards the group – ask questions, answer questions and develop relationships with highly targeted groups of individuals.
- They are great for lead generation and relationship building.
I’ve Got Something To Say:
- If you want to share a message (either publicly or just to your LinkedIn connections), then you can send a message from your home page. It is this content that keeps LinkedIn an interesting place to hang out, so make sure you contribute!
- If you’re not feeling confident enough to post your own content, you can like, share or comment on posts from others.
Sharing the Love:
- LinkedIn lets you tell others about how great you think someone is! You can recommend someone by writing a quick recommendation for them, or an even quicker way of commending someone is to endorse them – you don’t need to write anything, just click on their profile, page down to get to the Skills and Expertise section, and click against all of the areas of expertise that that person claims to have.
Contributing towards LinkedIn doesn’t need to take hours every day, a mistake that a number of blogs make. Being able to fit these elements of LinkedIn together in your mind and prioritising where to spend your precious time (which will depend on your objective) will help you get the most out of this great social network.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you think about LinkedIn by leaving a comment.