Most professionals have a LinkedIn profile, but a significant percentage of those people are only using part of this useful tool or aren’t using its features effectively or efficiently. Failing to spend some time establishing, building, maintaining, and promoting a solid, engaging LinkedIn profile is a significant missed opportunity in today’s marketplace, and not just for job seekers. To that end, today, we offer our Top Ten Tips for LinkedIn Engagement.
1. Be there. As with all forms of social media, LinkedIn is an organic, changing entity that requires attention and engagement so that you can ensure that you’re keeping up with your contacts and with changes to the platform itself. Set a reoccurring appointment in whatever electronic calendar you use, reminding yourself to check in on LinkedIn at least twice a week.
2. Update your status. When you provide a status update, it appears in your contacts’ news feeds, just like it does on Facebook. This keeps your name in front of your business contacts regularly, even when you’re not having any actual interaction.
3. Share. Consider posting useful articles and information relevant to your industry, so long as you’re certain the material is reliable, well written, and worthwhile to a significant portion of your contacts.
4. Be brief. LinkedIn is not a place for wordiness and long blocks of text. Craft yourself a concise, unique “About” section, and remember that this part of your profile is about you, not your company. Keep it informative and to the point without being afraid to show a little personality.
5. Get involved. Join professional groups via LinkedIn to strengthen your connections, increase your networking effectiveness, and gather great new information.
6. Use the apps. Explore the apps in LinkedIn and add a few that demonstrate your personality and show that there’s more to you than the professional designations after your name.
7. Let people know you’re there. In your email signature, make sure you either list your LinkedIn profile or embed a link. Wisestamp is a great tool for integrating social media links neatly into your signature.
8. Make it meaningful. Rather than clicking around, sending random connection requests to anyone who seems remotely involved in your industry, build an account filled with real-world connections. Meet someone at a work function, seminar, or meeting? Instead of following up via email, follow up with a LinkedIn inmail and connection request. You’re more likely to retain the contact information in a useful way because the person’s name is associated with an account and a photo as opposed to when you enter someone’s email into your Gmail account.
9. Tweet. If you use Twitter for business, connect your accounts so your LinkedIn statuses push to Twitter.
10. Finish what you start. Last, but definitely not least, make sure your profile is complete. You wouldn’t hand an incomplete resume to a prospective employer; don’t provide professional contacts with an unfinished profile.
How do you use LinkedIn? We want to hear from you!