LinkedIn is a massive social networking tool; it is the Facebook for professionals. On LinkedIn you can create a professional profile, connect with colleagues, friends, associates and even potential employers and employees. It’s an excellent way to find a professional niche, discover new audiences, join groups, generate ideas and explore new opportunities.
With so many users on LinkedIn, it can be quite a daunting task attempting to stand out and build a network with other serious professionals. Following are a few ideas to get you started.
Think of LinkedIn like a blog: you not only have to have something for people to read, you have to have something new. Try to update your profile a few times a day and make sure you comment on and share other updates.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn members only check in a few times a week, so it’s important that you have something new to share whenever someone looks at your profile. Doing this shows that you are serious and dedicated to building your network and connecting with other professionals.
Another easy way to build your network is to build your network. But make sure that the connections you make are worthwhile. Don’t accept a connection simply because you need one more to break a hundred. Spend time finding and making connections with individuals that can actually help or teach you. Be sure to connect with local professionals first.
Time it Right
You can make as many connections, comments and updates as you want, but you should do it at the right time to truly capitalize on the capabilities of LinkedIn. A majority of members are on during the afternoon, so plan your activities during this time to make sure that you can receive maximum exposure.
That being said, each industry has different peak hours. Experiment with different times and record the amount of exposure you receive and patterns that you notice. A fishermen must rise with the fish, and a hunter must hunt when their prey is in season.
Participate in Groups
Whenever you join a group, make sure that you are an active participant. This is not only a great way to gain knowledge and find new opportunities, but to make new connections as well when you make comments and participate in conversations.
What you share on LinkedIn is your personal brand. If you share valuable information, then you present yourself as a professional, an authority in your industry. Not everything you post has to be of your own creation, you can share news, articles and other posts as well. Bringing value brings new connections when members realize you have worthwhile information to share.
If you are a member of other social media websites, be sure you have a link to your LinkedIn profile. When writing and responding to business e-mails, add a link to your LinkedIn profile in your e-mail signature. This opens up several new opportunities to build your network.
While Facebook may be used more for friends and old high school classmates, it can actually serve as a good tool to build your network on LinkedIn. Join and participate in Facebook groups related to your profession. Whenever someone sends you a friend request, inform them that your Facebook account is personal, but your LinkedIn account is for your professional life. Rather than looking at LinkedIn and Facebook as an either/or deal, look at them as one massive tool with multiple uses.
Get the most out of your LinkedIn experience by following these easy tips. Ask yourself how you can apply real work networking strategies to social media, and how you can create new networking opportunities suited for online interaction.
Jennifer Carrigan wrote this article on behalf of Promotional Pencils, where you can get custom pencils to advertise your business.Subscribe to the Podcast