We updated our Facebook page yesterday with a press release from Bloomberg that mentioned LinkedIn was gaining ground in the social networking arena. So, without further ado, here is an updated post from last year that goes into more detail of how you can maximize your influence through LinkedIn. Enjoy, and remember to ask questions!
LinkedIn is known to be the social networking site for the professional, and it has become a necessity for individuals in business to have a LinkedIn profile. However, solely having a profile in today's social networking atmosphere isn't good enough to set you apart from the rest of your competition. You have to make sure that you are getting the most out of your LinkedIn account and maximizing your business opportunities. Here's how you can start:
Build Up Your Online Sphere of Influence -- While you want to make sure that you get quality contacts through your LinkedIn experience, you also want to make sure that you don't nit pick and lose out on contacts that could potentially help your business or overall professional experience. In almost every situation out there it is better to have more connections than fewer as your sphere of influence can increase by a significant margin with just that one person.
Personalize Your Profile -- This step is simple and adds an unspeakable amount to your profile page....a picture for your avatar. Without a picture, you are just someone else in the business world without a face. In other words, you are only a number to your social network. However, with a picture, people can now put a face to the name and start to have an emotional response to your already blossoming business relationship.
Update Your Status -- I know this sounds like something that you would do on Facebook, but (trust me) they are completely different! While Facebook is the now for personal online social networking, LinkedIn is all business related. So, utilize that difference to the fullest and broadcast your personal status over Facebook (where people want to know what kind of ice cream you had at 2:00pm yesterday), and publish your professional updates on LinkedIn. This also ties in with our topic about e-mail marketing and being consistent. Once you are a consistent "status updater" people will look forward to reading your updates and (consequently) forwarding more people to your profile.
Search Engine Optimize Your Profile -- That's right, your LinkedIn profile can be a huge driver of traffic for you and your business! For what it's worth, it is not that hard to have good SEO for your profile, and if you need help you know exactly who to contact. Either way, block out 30 minutes of time to go into your profile and optimize as much as you possibly can (without getting spammy, of course).
Just Ask -- That's all you have to do for recommendations; just ask! As soon as you complete steps 1 through 4 you will start to find that your search engine hits each month/week/day will increase. After you are comfortable with the increase and your current audience (which should be almost immediate, by the way) just ask for the recommendations! You will be significantly surprised at how easy it is for people to write something nice about you.
The bottom line with LinkedIn is that you have to treat this, like any other piece of your business, as a marketing plan. Similar to you attending rotary, the chamber of commerce, or social networking events, you need to take the time to make LinkedIn work for you. Take the time to do these quick 5 hints and you will be on the right track to being a top-notched professional on one of the greatest professional social networking sites out there! Now, go get connected!
If social media marketing is something that you are interested in but don't know how to get started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.
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