LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site mainly used for professional networking.
This is not just another social media site, as evident from its increased popularity & importance as part of the digital marketing mix. Registered users have consistently increased over the past 18 months to reach well over 200 Million Registered users. LinkedIn has been publicly traded since 2011, outperforming Facebook in the process. There are numerous purposes of the site, as follows: 1. Connections: To people you know from previous engagements, following the leaders and mentoring the followers. 2. Introductions: To people you wish to know through a mutual, trusted contact. 3. Review: People you are meeting for the first time for an interview or a new prospect 4. Recruitment: LinkedIn is a cost effective way of recruiting, whether through advertising, listing available vacancies or contacting the potential straight away – also an effective way for job hunting 5. Knowledge: Gain valuable industry knowledge by actively participating in groups and discussions 6. Exposure: As a professional, you can expand your network and establish yourself as an expert in your field 7. Business Pages: Another venue to position your self (as a company/brand) in a professional manner Now that we have given a bit of background on this tool, lets look at how to effectively use it.
1. Profile: Completing your profile with genuine information is critical to your LinkedIn success, it has to reach 100% for optimum results. Your headline should transmit value, your summary should illustrate passion and recommendations is evidence that all above information is genuine. 2. Photograph: This is not Facebook, and hence your picture should not be casual. The photo you use has to look professional, remember you are here for business networking. If you want to show off your boat, car or your dog, Facebook / Instagram / Flickr are much better vehicle than LinkedIn. 3. Recommendations & Endorsements: Continually grow recommendations through colleagues (past & present), customers, clients and suppliers. Always request with a personal message, being specific when asking. Regulate the amount of requests you send out for recommendations, you don’t want to be labeled as spam. Grab any opportunity to ask for feedback after interactions. Remember: recommendation is evidence that you are genuine. 4. Invitations: Send out invitations to connect with people you wish to get connected to, yet please be reasonable with the amount of invites you send out. Always, always, always tell the person you wish to connect to how you know them or the reason for getting connected. 5. Groups & Discussions: Look for groups that are related to you industry and get involved. First you need to look and listen, then contribute (add value) and praise others, ask questions and provide insights, and start your own group and send out invitations to your network for participation. 6.Interactivity: Depending on your purpose for joining LinkedIn, allocate a time every day to interact with your network. Use the information (and there is plenty) to position yourself as an expert and enhance your reputation. Reach out to new prospects (companies and people).
Help people in your expert field. LinkedIn is a powerful resource if used properly, for example, if recruiting you will save tones of money by searching for the ‘right’ candidate directly on the site without the need for advertising. If you are a job seeker, follow the companies you wish to join and apply whenever an opportunity arise. If you are a business owner, you can build & reinforce your reputation – while ‘deep searching’ prospect customers (B2B) – LinkedIn is a great traffic generator for B2B.
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