Let’s explore LinkedIn together and see if you can identify new ways to enhance your experience. These tips will reference both personal and company perspectives.
- Applications – As LinkedIn suggests you can add third-party applications to enrich your profile, share & collaborate with your network and get the key insights that help you be much more effective. There are currently 19 applications to choose from. Depending on what you want to highlight you can give a good example of your specialties, areas of interest and work samples.
- Blog Links – You can import your blog posts into LinkedIn with applications such as Blog Link WordPress LinkedIn. It’s a powerful way to engage your connections (network) with material you have written. And if they haven’t already been visiting your blog on a regular basis, your posts will automatically appear on their newsfeed in their LinkedIn updates.
- Company Pages – LinkedIn now offers “company pages” where they can showcase much more about their business. With the new products & services tab, companies are able to feature products & services with descriptive content. Videos can also be embedded on the page; one per product or service. At this time you can only upload videos from YouTube; although YouTube expects that to change in the near future.
- Direct Ad Campaigns – LinkedIn Direct Ads allow you to target ads by industry, company, geography, job function, seniority, age, gender, and other demographics. Ads can appear as a media box, banner ad or text hyperlink. Ads are pay-per-click or by impressions and can be stopped at any time.
- Events – With the events application you can browse by event type, topic, location and even add your own event for people to find, promote and attend. You can share with your network and also purchase paid advertising options targeting specific audiences on LinkedIn.
- Follow Companies – This makes it easy for you to follow events or breaking news of the companies you are interested in. You see information regarding new job openings, new hires & promotions, employee reviews, and how to contact a recruiter.
- Groups – LinkedIn Groups are a great way to keep abreast of topics of interest to you and to network with others in your field. To find groups go to LinkedIn Group Directory.
- Help Center – You can reference LinkedIn’s help center when you have questions and receive step-by-step instructions.
- Images – A profile picture is one of the key elements to make your profile complete. LinkedIn allows you to resize your photo, but not edit it. Choose your picture carefully, taking into consideration, clothing, location, good lighting, and is professional. You can specify who see’s your picture: my connections, my network or everyone.
- Jobs – When looking for a job you can look into companies of interest to you and see if you know anyone who works for that company in your network. You can use LinkedIn’s advanced search to look by company, location & title. Check it out if you’re looking for ways to enhance your job search.
- Keywords – Use keywords to optimize your profile in three main areas: Tagline, summary & specialties. Copy your keywords, word for word in each area to ensure you get high rankings within LinkedIn. Use keywords that are specific to your industry & skills. In the specialties section be sure to include your location so you come up in searches. (Learn more about SEO in #19)
- Link to your LinkedIn profile – Be sure to include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature, on your website, info tab on your Facebook profile, and blog. As well as your print marketing materials & business card.
- Mobile – Connect with LinkedIn on your mobile phone. There are apps for iPhone, Blackberry & Palm. For all other phones go to LinkedIn Mobile. The iPhone app for LinkedIn has recently been updated. Learn more about the latest version.
- Network Statistics – With network statistics you can see information about your network, including how many users you can reach through your connections. Your network grows every time you add a connection. To get there, click on the profile tab, and you’ll see four more tabs: My Connections, Imported Contacts, Profile Organizer and Network Statistics.
- Organizer – Profile organizer is a feature on premium accounts that enables you to bookmark LinkedIn searches on profiles, company pages, and job you may want to apply for. You can save the information to a folder of your choice, and add details and notes that you may want to keep track of.
- Proactive – Use LinkedIn proactively. Don’t create an account and let it go stagnant. Here are four ways to be proactive: 1). gain more visibility by adding more connections, 2). increase your rank with search engines by making your profile public & customizing your public profile URL to include your actual name (LinkedIn is ranked very high by search engines) 3). get business advice by finding answers to your most important questions and 4) conduct market research by asking your potential clients or customers what their greatest needs are.
- Questions – One of the most utilized features of LinkedIn is their questions & answers section. Questions can be used for networking and marketing purposes. Many people make answering their questions a way to demonstrate their expertise. Here are four unique ways to get traffic to your blog from LinkedIn Answers:
* Create a new blog post in response to a question
* Answer a question linking to relevant existing posts
* Create a stand signature for your answers
* Create a blog post asking a question that includes pictures
18. Recommendations – they are a very important part of your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn suggests that users with recommendations are three times as likely to get inquiries through LinkedIn searches. To initiate a recommendation request, go to the profile tab and select Recommendations. There you will find a list of your jobs & eduction you can choose what you want to be recommended for. Decide whom you will ask, create your customized message and send from within LinkedIn.
19. SEO on your LinkedIn profile – Customize your LinkedIn profile to include your real name (versus the default one LinkedIn gives you) and edit the links to your websites.
20. Tools – LinkedIn has a number of productivity tools that you can use to search, build your network and manage your contacts. You can download a toolbar for Outlook, browser toolbar, email signature, Mac search widget and a Google toolbar assistant.
21. Updates – You can add Twitter to your LinkedIn profile and when you update your LinkedIn network by asking a question, sharing a thought or posting an article, you can choose whether to share it on Twitter at the same time. It’s a very powerful way to integrate the business side of your tweets. You can also see the activity of your LinkedIn connections when you sign into LinkedIn on your home page; where you can take three actions on your networks updates: e.g. like comment or send a message.
22. Videos – The new Products & Services tab on LinkedIn’s company pages gives you the ability to add product videos to your page. This is an incredibly dynamic way to showcase and market more about your company.
23. Weekly – Make LinkedIn an active part of your social networking and be sure to update your profile at least once a week (e.g. making a connection, requesting a recommendation, asking a question, adding a video or slide presentation, or simply by updating your status).
24. Experience – Use the summary part of your profile to highlight the most important aspects of your experiences (be sure to use keywords) and what you have to offer. Add specific specialties as well.
25. YouTube – YouTube’s LinkedIn Channel is a great resource where you can see videos and short “in-tips” on topics such as creating a 100% complete profile, sharing your basic information, telling your job story through job history, and including details about your education. You might want to consider subscribing to LinkedIn’s YouTube Channel so you can be notified anytime when new videos are added.
26. Zero in on connections – Focus on developing a quality network that can actually help you achieve your goals.
Final thoughts about LinkedIn – researching and writing about this blog sure has been an eye-opener for me about the number of robust features & possibilities for using LinkedIn. I didn’t utlize it as much as I should have in the past, and after attending quite a few workshops & researching I am now going to make it a daily habit of getting on LinkedIn and making new connections.
What LinkedIn tactics would you add to this list? Which ones are you already using? What do you plan on looking into? Enter your comments in the box below.
Courtesy of SocialMedia Examiner & Jen Martin