31 Mar 2012

8 Tips to Get More Out of LinkedIn



By Justin Levy at Social Media Today
When we talk about social media platforms there is a tendency to point to Twitter and Facebook as the platforms where we all agree that we spend a majority of our time online. When we need videos we go to YouTube. When we need photos we head over to Flickr. And when we need to update our professional resume, we head over to LinkedIn. But that’s exactly the issue. Many of us only invest time into LinkedIn when we’re nearing or at the point of need. I’m guilty of it too. Twitter and Facebook are the dominant platforms in our lives and LinkedIn takes a backseat to those activities.
However, whenever I conduct social media training for groups of professionals, the platform that they always request we spend the time most time on is LinkedIn. It is the platform that they’re the most familiar with and trust the most. They can clearly understand the benefits of putting time into LinkedIn. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and the other social networks require more convincing for them to grasp the value that they can extract, besides any personal value such as staying connected with family and friends.
Have you kept your LinkedIn profile updated? When was the last time you provided a recommendation for someone? Are you taking time to explore Groups and Answers?
If you’re like me then you could be spending more time within the LinkedIn ecosystem using it more effectively, reaping benefits and building your foundation prior to needing your network. As with many things in life, what you get out of LinkedIn will only be as good as what you put in. So, here are 8 tips to get more out of LinkedIn that you can start doing today. Heck, you might even get a few extra sales out of using LinkedIn.  They may seem like basic tips but sometimes refreshers are good to remind us to keep up with the basics.

8 Tips to Get More Out of LinkedIn

  1. Fill out your profile completely including customizing your URL with your name. It’ll only take 4 minutes to optimize it.
  2. Connect with colleagues, friends, and others in your profession and areas of expertise/practice.
  3. Find relevant Groups to join and begin participating in them.
  4. Post relevant, helpful information via status update such as industry news and important updates.
  5. Search Answers for questions relevant to your industry and your areas of expertise. Provide thoughtful and helpful answers to show expertise in subject matter.
  6. Follow companies to receive regular updates on their status.
  7. Search on general terms and industries to find new industry peers to connect to.
  8. Write recommendations for colleagues and others in your network. Also, ask for recommendations, where applicable.  Need some tips on writing a good LinkedIn recommendation? Here are a few.
Do you find LinkedIn to be valuable? What other tips would you add to this list?

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