Ten tips to help you get (more) value out of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great corporate social networking tool. Its growth in Australia has been impressive over the last year – there are now more than 1.5 million professionals on LinkedIn in Australia (there’s more than 80 million worldwide) and the company is experiencing double digit growth.
To be honest, it’s about time – it was pretty hard to convince people about the benefits of the platform when no one in Australia was actually using it. Networking is just no fun when there’s no one to network with in your own neck of the woods – even networking of the social / virtual kind.
But for those who are just starting out on LinkedIn or who have a profile but haven’t started seeing any real value, and in particular for those who see it as a site “you only sign-up to when looking for another job”, we thought we’d put together a bit of a ‘how to’ guide on how you can get the most out of LinkedIn.
So, here are our top ten tips on how to get more value out of LinkedIn:
1. Make sure you’re profile is 100% complete
When starting out on LinkedIn, this is a really good guide that takes you step by step through the key areas you need to complete. Personal branding tools don’t come much better online than LinkedIn so its worth following their advice – and you’ll also find if you Google your name once you’ve achieved 100% completedness you’ll rank much higher.
2. Spend some time setting up your profile and keep it up to date
Again, think about what you want your personal brand to be – who do you want to connect with from a professional point of view and how do you want them to see you? Make the most of the different areas of your profile but keep the your words concise, easy to read and use bullet points when you’ve got a lot to say.
3. Get your custom URL
This is something you won’t find in the checklist to complete your profile but it makes a big difference. The URL is the link that you can use to direct people to your public profile – by default it looks something like this:
LinkedIn gives a step-by-step guide here to how to change yours to look like this:
4. Find some groups and join…but not too many
You’ll get the most value from groups on LinkedIn when you select only enough that you can actively participate in. Often the best place to start is by seeing what groups your connections are members of and if they are relevant to you.
5. Connect your Twitter, blog and any other social media profiles
If you have a Twitter account or a blog, this is a great way to keep your LinkedIn connections up to date without having to post a status update twice.
But keep in mind the professional nature of LinkedIn compared to other social networks such as Facebook. Again, it comes back to your personal (professional) brand and what you want to share with your professional network.
6. Add LinkedIn apps like slideshare
LinkedIn, like all social platforms, has continually updated the functionality and now offers a range of applications you can add to your profile. One of the best is Slideshare that allows visitors to your profile to view a presentation without having to leave your LinkedIn profile.
7. Change the names of the custom links
LinkedIn offers you the ablity to link to your website, Twitter account or any other relevant link with a number of templated options as below.
You can personalise these links so they allow visitors to your profile to see what exactly they are linking through to as below:
Make the most of this communication tool which connects with your highly targetted, hand-picked network by updating frequently in the status updates. This is the new customer / client newsletter and email.
9. Log into and check your Linkedin profile regularly
If you don’t have time for social media but know you can’t ignore it any more – make LinkedIn the one social network you comit to using. You’ll tap into the wider social space through your connections Twitter updates (linked to their account), blog posts and general status updates.
10. Customise your requests to connect with people
When asking to connect with someone, LinkedIn will produce an email template you can just send off. No one likes to receive any sort of mail that feels like its automated and LinkedIn is no different. This same rule applies for asking for reecommendations from people.
Of course, this list isn’t designed to be exhaustive by any means and these are general best practice tips – not tailored for specific objectives like job hunting, sales, market research or head-hunting.
There are many, many how-to guides out there about LinkedIn as you’ll see if you search on Google for LinkedIn guides that go into many of these – here’s our pick of some of the best.
For everything you ever wanted to know about LinkedIn and more and more and more.
This is a great post from Webbiquity linking to other posts with the best tips, tactics, updates, changes and guides for LinkedIn in 2010.
Fairly old now (especially in internet / social media years) but the basics remain the same and its comforting to know a techy-guru like Guy Kawasaki didn’t get it right first time either.