For any established or upcoming professional, membership of Linkedin is pretty mandatory given its current worldwide membership which is upwards of 332 million users across 200 countries, 20 languages, 187 million logins/month and with 2 new members joining every second. LinkedIn passed the 200 million mark in January 2013, 300 million by April 2014 and its target (unconfirmed) is reported to be 3 billion users.
Linkedin despite its size and diversity of professional uses is still basically underused by many as a Marketing platform and as a development aid to you becoming a “thought leader” within your sector.
So if you feel that you are not leveraging enough business, or brand building, from your membership of Linkedin then it’s time to stop, focus and start to build that capability.
Firstly you must remember that Linkedin is a professional networking platform so all your content and interactions must be just that, professional. However you can if you wish “like” an article or congratulate somebody on a job change, etc.
Firstly you must choose which connections you would like to make. Having a large number of random connections (via the various Open Networker Groups, for example) is all very well but a smaller targeted group of employees, friends, business associates etc will probably be more beneficial. The way you build that quality network is to allow your existing connections make recommendations about you to their friends and leave you to make the judgement as to who you want to connect with and who you don’t.
Make sure you upload a photo headshot of yourself as you are 14x more likely to get your profile viewed and fill out the summary lines with 40+ words including your sector keywords. It makes you very much more searchable.
Keep your profile up to date but do not change it too often.
Join relevant Linkedin groups to enable connection with the right people and engage with their conversations first before launching into discussion about your business and issues.
Doors can open for new business when your interactions with your groups start to identify you as a thought leader. People love to be associated with such people. You can also opt to join Linkedin Pulse and establish yourself as a writer and expert in your field.
So engage and leverage Linkedin fully to gain as much benefit from this platform as possible.
Steve Blythe (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator).