Social networking sites have each a unique protocol and don’t usually provide members with practical how-to advice to help use their sites effectively. They let us figure out the how-tos on our own.
I share in this article my basic LinkedIn how-tos that may shorten your learning curve and save you time and frustration. They are merely suggestions, not rigid guidelines. If you have an idea or advice you find helpful, please share it with us in a comment.
Here are ten tips for maximizing your LinkedIn social networking success:
- Your LinkedIn profile is your resume. Put at least as much effort into creating and perfecting your profile as you would your resume.
- SEO can help you to be findable on LinkedIn, as well as other social networking sites. Employ keywords that are relevant to your work when crafting your profile, so that you and your profile can appear in search results.
- LinkedIn permits members to view profiles of other members within three degrees of separation from each other or who share common LinkedIn groups. Increasing your visibility increases your reach.
- To increase your vertical reach (in your areas of interest), join every relevant LinkedIn group. To increase your horizontal (i.e. overall) reach, increase your number of LinkedIn connections. I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn!
- To increase your number of connections, connect directly to as many other members as you can, especially well connected members. You can send direct connections messages or emails whenever you wish.
- Don’t invite people to connect haphazardly, as LinkedIn will restrict you if people you invite complain that they don’t know you (as they sometimes do). Instead, join LinkedIn open networker groups, such as Top Linked, for people who welcome (but don’t necessarily accept) all connection requests. Reach out to fellow group members, and be receptive to members who reach out to you.
- Join discussions in groups by posting or commenting when you have something valuable to add, but don’t spam the discussion board or post anything inappropriate.
- Tell new connections you’re on Facebook (if you are) when thanking them for connecting. Facebook has made it hard to add friends, so this tactic is useful. (See 3 Key Social Media and Web Marketing Strategies for 2011: Good-Bye Facebook Open Networking.)
- Provide your Twitter handle (if you have one) where requested by LinkedIn to appear in your LinkedIn profile.
- Keep at it. It takes a very substantial amount of time to build a strong presence on LinkedIn or any of the other social networking sites.
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