Time and time again I hear folk saying “What is the point of LinkedIn?” and every time I seem to come up with another reason why folk should embrace it, so I thought I would put together some ideas and suggestions below to get the most out of LinkedIn and hopefully convince folk that it’s not just an online CV and glorified recruitment platform…
- Profile – Before all else on LinkedIn ensure that you make the most of your profile! Choose a professional and up-to-date profile picture, ensure all your contact details are in place, have your most recent position displayed below your name, use the summary box to really sell yourself and if you have got a company video then add it to your summary. And it is always good practice to go back into your profile every few months to make sure it is kept up to date.
- Connections – ‘Quality over quantity’ is the best phrase I can use to describe connections on LinkedIn. Connections on LinkedIn should only really be made with people you already know or have worked with or people that are connections of your connections. People using LinkedIn to try and sell their services to folk they don’t know in certain industries is bad practice and should be avoided. And don’t feel that you need to accept invitations from everyone who sends one to you. Check out their profile to see how your connected and what they do before hitting the accept button. To find new connections I recommend using the ‘People You May Know’ suggestions from LinkedIn.
- Updates – The one thing I love with LinkedIn over some of the other social media channels is it gives you a break away from the ‘what I had for dinner’ or ‘here’s some photos from this weekends party’ scenario as it is much more business led meaning that updates folk share are more about company developments, events, useful articles, etc. But remember that in order for you to get interaction it is like any other social media platform, you need to be social…ask questions, share your expertise, share interesting content.
- Groups – Anyone using LinkedIn can set up a group and if you use the search facility should be able to find some really useful local or industry led ones to join and get involved with. Once you join a group you can set the frequency of discussion updates, with some groups you might want daily updates with others you might want weekly and you might even want to switch off notifications/updates and just dip in and out when required. Groups are a way of sharing knowledge and expertise and making new connections.
- Company Profile – On LinkedIn you also have the ability to set up a profile for your company, almost like a LinkedIn page where you can have all key information, share updates and gain followers. Just ensure that your company profile on LinkedIn is consistent with all your other social media profiles and website and make it visually engaging.
So my advice now is to login to LinkedIn, get all your information up to date and be proactive, LinkedIn won’t work unless you put something into it!