If Facebook is about old friends and Twitter is centred around your interests, then LinkedIn is the social network that’s all about doing business. Here, your profile is essentially your CV and people you ‘connect’ with are more likely to be someone you’ve worked with than someone you sat next to in maths years ago.
Having an account is a bit like being at a worldwide free networking event – so if you have any sort of business at all, you really should be interested and get involved. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with colleagues, counterparts at other firms, old colleagues, and even potential new ones.
If you’re clever, you can also use it to find new customers, improve brand awareness and increase traffic to your website.
So what should you be doing?
- You can post long (or short!) articles linking to your website, blog or shop. Be the expert that other people recommend!
- Show off all your good news – the louder you are about your successes, the more reason people have to talk to or about you . This is your chance to show why you are more experienced, more interesting, more authoritative and yes, probably better at your job than the opposition!
- Search for potential new customers – depending how well you’re connected, it’s very easy to find in-depth information on people who could be clients one day.
- Meet like-minded people on LinkedIn groups and help each other as part of the business community. Position yourself as an authority on your subject.
- When you get notifications that your ‘connections’ have a new job, contact them to see if you can be a supplier at their new organisation – when relevant, of course.
- Have an individual page, but add a company page too. A good LinkedIn profile makes up an important part of your corporate identity.
- Lots of businesses use LinkedIn for recruitment, and you can too – whatever size you are. You can use it to advertise or simply for further insight into potential hires. While individuals’ profiles are often like their CVs there are still differences.
- And let’s not forget that it’s an easy way to check out the competition, too. You can find out who’s working for who and who’s leaving to go elsewhere.
- Remember to connect to new people you meet or work with. Every time you extend your network, you’re extending your pool of colleagues and customers.
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