LinkedIn and their network of over 161 million professionals (at the time of this writing) can be one of your strongest tools when it comes to social media marketing. However, a vast number of LinkedIn members are not taking full advantage of their network. They are signing up, filling out part of their profile, adding a few connections and then forgetting about it altogether.
If that’s the extent of your involvement on LinkedIn, it’s not going to take you very far. Just like anything else in social media, it takes continuous effort to see results. I’m not talking about going crazy and becoming a LinkedIn power user; I’m simply suggesting that you take a few minutes each day or each week (if that’s all you have) to work on making the most of this powerful networking tool.
To help you get started, here are five simple things you should be doing right now on LinkedIn:
1. Make sure your profile is 100% complete and optimized
Your profile is only as good as you let it be. According to LinkedIn, in order to reach 100% completeness, you should add all of the following to your profile:
- Industry and postal code
- A current position with description
- Two more positions
- At least 5 skills
- Profile photo
- At least 50 connections
- A summary
Additionally, make sure you’re using the right keywords in the right places when writing your summary, work experiences, skills and professional headline. This stuff really matters to search engines and other users.
2. Join and participate in LinkedIn Groups
Getting involved with groups on LinkedIn is one of the best ways to connect with professionals who share similar interests or for generating new leads. There are groups of all sorts for pretty much every industry you can think of. The main reason you want to be participating is to position yourself as an expert in whatever it is you do.
3. Answer questions related to your industry
Another way to position yourself as an expert is to participate in the answers section of LinkedIn. Many people don’t even know this feature exists. Take a few minutes every now and then to see what others are asking regarding your industry and jump in with an answer if you can. Do this enough times and it will surely get your profile noticed, especially by job recruiters, if that’s what you’re looking for.
4. Ask for and give recommendations
Recommendations and referrals are the lifeblood of business. People trust what their friends, family and coworkers say, more than they trust what a stranger says. It’s super easy to leave a recommendation on LinkedIn for someone else and if you do it without being asked, you’ll be remembered for it. Want to know how to get recommendations? Start leaving them and you should see folks returning the gesture. Try leaving one recommendation per day for 30 days. You’ll probably get 10 or more recommendations in return.
5. Use the LinkedIn Events app
Here’s how LinkedIn describes their events app:
LinkedIn Events helps you discover the events you should attend to become a better professional. See personalized event recommendations based on your industry, connections, and more. Search events in your location or your industry. Once you’ve found an event, make the right connections by browsing Attendees You May Want to Meet, or by filtering the attendee list by current company or industry.
As an event organizer, create your event on LinkedIn to get exposure to millions of professionals. Your event will automatically be listed in our directory and recommended to the right members.
As a business professional, you’re probably attending and/or hosting events on a routine basis. Take advantage of technology and make the most of every event. I’ve personally discovered a bunch of great events that I would have never known about if it weren’t for this app.
Well, there you have it. These tips will hopefully allow you to make the most of LinkedIn starting now. If you’re already doing some of the suggestions above, that’s great. The interesting thing about LinkedIn is that what I’ve covered here barely scratches the surface of what is possible on the platform. Start using it today and see for yourself.