Over the last two issues I’ve introduced you to possibly two of the most popular social media platforms – Twitter & Facebook. Now it’s the turn of the often overlooked and considered ‘non-sexy’ social media network – LinkedIn.
LinkedIn was founded in 2002 as the business professionals social platform. It offers both Free and Premium accounts and it’s a place where you can connect with other business professionals, share work, comment, discuss and look for job opportunities.
Unlike Facebook, you probably won’t find yourself spending lots of time on the site. You’ll find you have a tendency to dip in and out on a daily basis unless you get involved in conversations within industry groups you’ve joined.
So what are the important features of a LinkedIn Free account? Here’s a quick rundown:
1. Professional Profile
As this is a business orientated social platform it’s vitally important to get your profile up-to-date and complete with skills and work experience – think of your profile as your online CV. In addition, a complete profile gives you more visibility in LinkedIn search results if someone in your area/industry is looking for people with your skill set.
It’s important to connect to people that you know personally or you can see would be of benefit to you professionally – don’t go off randomly connecting to people that are of no benefit to you – it’s all about quality not quantity. You can do a search for people by name and connect to them by clicking the ‘connect’ button next to the persons name. There’s also the ability, once you’ve made some initial connections, to go to ‘People you may know’ page to see if there’s more people you know based on your existing connections.
Like any social network consider connection requests carefully – whether you’re making them or you’re being invited to connect, will they be of benefit to you in your professional career.
3. Personal Updates
It’s important to remember that LinkedIn is business and industry focused so make sure your updates are. LinkedIn members don’t want to see the latest ‘cute, funny dog’ video you’ve found – keep that for your personal Facebook page. Updates can be shared to other social networks with the use of Apps. Check out your other social media platforms, as most will offer the ability to share your updates. For more control over what’s posted onto what platform consider using HootSuite.
Groups are made up of either ‘closed’ groups which require approval from the administrators before you’re allowed to join or ‘open’ groups, which require no pre-approval. Groups give everyone the chance to get advice, discuss current topics and generally network with other professional individuals. The key here is to get involved with other members to raise your profile – the more you interact, share your views and comment the more likely you are to be remembered by other members in the future. Groups can be created for brands, associations, societies, publications, industry groups and more besides. If you want to start your own group it’s best to join and interact with some first yourself and then evaluate whether you’ll have the time to manage and moderate your own group.
5. Create a Business page
LinkedIn allows you to create a business presence that can be managed from your own personal LinkedIn page, subject to meeting LinkedIns’ requirements for creating a business page. Like Facebook Business pages you can then share business updates, list and link to employees or publish press releases to your followers.
Employers can post job opportunities and with the sites’ great search features potential employees can search for jobs by title, location, company, salary etc. Personally I find this geared more towards the larger cities like London & Manchester but that’s not to say you can’t find locally available job opportunities.
So that’s a very brief insight into LinkedIn and what it can offer you as a professional. Hopefully it’s encouraged you to either join or make more of your presence on it.
If you want any help with your LinkedIn presence please don’t hesitate to get in touch.