Getting More From LinkedIn

LinkedIn is my go-to social media tool, primarily because most of my work is in the B2B space, but also because of the real value the site provides business professionals, whether they are seeking jobs, doing business development or furthering their careers.

I was an early adopter of LinkedIn, and I have two accounts – one for my marketing communication consulting work and one for my freelance writing activities. I also manage LinkedIn accounts, and Groups, for clients. In addition, as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where I teach courses in advertising and marketing, I work with students to develop and improve their own profiles.

The basics:

  • Fill out the profile completely – consider it your “online resume.”
  • Include a professional photo of yourself alone – no friends, pets or props!
  • Start connecting with people who reflect favorably on you – be selective.
  • Join Groups – up to 50 – to help you expand your network and your visibility to others; post Group icons on your profile page if they reflect positively on you. (Some may *not* choose to put groups like “Looking for a Job” on their profile page.)

Beyond the basics:

  • When completing your profile, think with search in mind — what are the terms/phrases that recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers are likely to use when looking for candidates for the types of jobs you’re interested in. Not sure? Check out their websites, and look at their job postings – the words/phrases used there can be a good starting point.
  • Evaluate the competition by doing an advanced people search based on the geography and key words, etc., that represent those who might be vying for the same types of positions you are – evaluating their profiles can give you some insights and ideas for making your stronger.
  • Follow companies that you may be interested in working for or that you just find to be interesting and, again, are relevant to your desired “brand image”
  • While you should join the 50 Groups you’re allowed to join, choose a few of these to become active in – base your choices on your specific goals, and choose Groups that are active, professionally-oriented (versus marketing-oriented or “spammy”), and whose members would be good professional contacts for you. Pose questions to the group, monitor conversations for a while and then become engaged in the discussions. Reach out to Group members, and request that they connect with you.
  • If you have professional information to share that members of LinkedIn may value, consider posting long-form posts — you can do this by clicking on the little pencil icon in the “Share an Update” box.

LinkedIn can be a great tool for B2B marketers and business professionals. It’s a great way to build your professional network, to learn from others and even to build your business!

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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