Most people are aware of LinkedIn and the importance of having a presence there, especially if you’ve been job hunting within the last few years. But the benefits of LinkedIn don’t stop with just placing your resume online for all to see.
For those who’ve been blessed with a job they’re firmly rooted in (that would apparently require no networking or even an internet connection), I’ll explain what LinkedIn is. Short and sweet, it’s the Facebook for the business world.
I’ve been using LinkedIn for approximately three years now and consider it an excellent business tool for networking and keeping up with trends in your industry. LinkedIn is more than a resume. There are several ways that you can be using LinkedIn to get ahead at your business.
So, How Am I Using LinkedIn to Meet My Business Needs?
For starters, the key to LinkedIn is making connections. These can be people that you’ve met in person, maybe over the phone, via email, or sometimes even a professional in the same industry as you that you’d like to keep their information for future use. I typically connect with everyone I interact with on the job or off the job. I figure, you never know when you could use help in someone else’s area of expertise and vice versa.
In addition, I also connect to people in the same industry as me that I haven’t met yet if they show a potential need or growing interest in our product – even if the timing isn’t right yet for a purchase. I want to be available to them should a question or comment come up.
One cool thing about having LinkedIn connections is visiting a random person’s profile that you’re searching for and checking the section dedicated to connections which will reveal if you share mutual connections. LinkedIn will also suggest “People You May Know” on your home page based off your connections. By establishing mutual acquaintances, you can develop talking points with your connections and learn more about them.
Put Your Best Face Forward
Okay, so we’ve added a couple connections, but it’s important to continue the upkeep of our own profile. This is a great opportunity to present yourself in a professional manner, from your picture to your information. Typically on my profile, I like to use a recent, high quality photo of myself that shows my professional side and then I optimize my profile by highlighting several specific sections including: my summary, endorsements, experience, recommendations, publications, and more.
My second favorite area I pay a lot of attention to is the Newsfeed. Here all your connections can post updates. I typically will post articles, case studies, and information that I believe my connections may have an interest in. When viewing my Newsfeed, I also “Like, Comment, and Share” on posts my connections made to share with the rest of my connections and then they can do the same with their connections.
Along with searching people, you can also search companies and people LinkedIn has named influential. I like to follow company’s specific to my industry and ones that are interested in our products/services. Now I can see whenever they make a post about their products/services, and public announcements. Furthermore, I follow several LinkedIn Influencers to see their weekly business related articles. Some examples include Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Marissa Mayer, etc.
Make and Maintain Relationships
Lastly, LinkedIn very recently added a new feature that I will be using a lot. It’s on your connections profile page listed as the “Relationship Tab”. It shows when you first connected with them, along with an area to make notes, reminders, how you met, and ways to tag them in groups.
How are you using LinkedIn for business? Please feel free to let us know or ask any questions in the comments section below. Also, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!