Social media success for professionals starts with the world’s biggest professional social network with more than 130 million business professionals logging in at least weekly.
So here is our brief guide to building an effective LinkedIn social stream and the valuable opportunities to look out for to connect with other professionals.
Perhaps standing out from the crowd on LinkedIn is the biggest challenge facing anyone wanting to exploit the opportunities this platform brings. The trick is to establish a solid business foundation from which you can build your influence and then generate introductions and referrals.
A complete LinkedIn profile is the first essential. The profile should showcase your experience, interests and talents.
Most successful profiles include a personal photo, as this helps with making a good first impression; then you should write an effective headline.
Your LinkedIn Profile Page
It’s important that you detail your current position and at least two of your previous jobs. Again you should be using keywords to describe the role you had in each position.
The summary is the chance for some freestyle text to say more about you are and how you can help others on LinkedIn.
In the ‘specialities’ section, use keywords to describe your experience and remember to give recommendations to others who will then recommend you.
Once your profile is seen judged ‘complete’ by LinkedIn, optimise your profile to boost traffic to your pages by editing your URL address so that your name will be found in search results.
The profile also allows three URLs to be listed – the first should be to your company website, and the others should be to your blog or possibly your Twitter account. Don’t forget to integrate keywords into the URLs.
Once your profiles is up and running, start putting together a network by connecting with people you know and work with, plus previous colleagues and classmates.
You should also browse the connections made by others in your network and use the LinkedIn search facility to find yet more people with whom you have connections in common.
Your LinkedIn Business Page
Look at relevant industry groups on LinkedIn and consider joining them – you can even set up your own group.
Most people are aware that they can set up a page on LinkedIn for their company and that guidelines for building the page are similar to those for building a profile. Personal and business pages on LinkedIn are separated in much the same way as they are on Facebook.
By using LinkedIn regularly you’ll find that your network of contacts will grow naturally, especially if you share your knowledge with others particularly in the LinkedIn Answers section.
Don’t think that your efforts on LinkedIn are wasted. You will network and generate interest from potential clients and measure the return analytics.
Ultimately, your success on LinkedIn will be directly linked to the effort you put in for networking and sharing your knowledge.