We consider LinkedIn to be one of the most powerful business-related social networking tools ever created. You can:
- Use LinkedIn to keep you in front of existing clients
- Use your existing LinkedIn network to introduce you to more connections
- Find your next job
- Research the activities of targeted companies
- Publish your own articles that get viewed by hundreds of individuals and businesses
You can accomplish these impressive feats for free. While LinkedIn has more sophisticated activities available for a fee, this platform allows for robust networking that won’t cost you anything but an investment of your time.
How to Use Your LinkedIn Network
Individuals should make sure to add a professional profile picture (see if yours is up to snuff here) and an interesting profile that includes some work history as well as your philosophy and approach to doing your job. Sharing what makes you interesting and unique in a professional setting just might yield a phone call from your next place of employment. Have a business? Start by building your brand page profile. Begin by uploading your logo or a graphic from your company website, then add succinct copy that tells the story of your business.
Start Building Connections
Next, upload your contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, or other another email platform. LinkedIn will allow you to send a generic message to each contact inviting them to connect, but instead, we recommend customizing your approach by reaching out individually to these contacts.
You’ll notice that LinkedIn is especially helpful when it comes to growing your network. The platform will immediately begin to suggest ways to expand it by connecting with “people you may know.” We recommend you decide early on what kind of a network you want to build, and follow the rules you establish to build a strong and effective cohort of business connections. Asking to connect with someone you really don’t know is always risky. But what if your review your existing contacts to see whom they know – then ask them for an introduction via email?
As you’re sorting through all the connections, note that you can also organize your network via tags for location or lead source, as well as other categories. Once you’re set up, we recommend logging in at least once a week (if not more). You’ll see on your “Home” screen you’ll be able to respond to posts on your newsfeed, join groups, and publish your own posts. LinkedIn has all the benefits of a personal social media platform like Facebook, but was strictly designed for the industry professional. Keep more personal posts to other platforms, and to use LinkedIn in the way it was intended.
But Wait, There’s More
We’ve only touched upon a few benefits of this robust platform. Social media works, but it takes time and effort. If you’re a business interested in expanding your social networks, contact us today to find out how a social media expert could help extend your reach and build your business.
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