Over the last three parts of this LinkedIn course you’ve learned how to set up your profile correctly, connect to others, and be of service in your target market’s groups. There are several other ways you can boost your brand throughout the site and become the “go to” source for your industry. Schedule the following LinkedIn activities into your social networking plan and you’ll be able to make good use of the site.
Plan Your Status Updates
LinkedIn has a status update feature that is similar in function to the social networking site Twitter (http://www.twitter.com). LinkedIn Status updates can be changed by editing your profile. Your updates will be posted on your profile right after your name and professional headline. By frequently updating your status, you can let people who visit your profile know what you’re doing, and also signal that you are an active user. Your status updates will appear in the Network Updates of your contacts. Unlike Twitter, LinkedIn status updates are generally kept very on point and professional. For example, you should update your status to announce a new blog post, but you shouldn’t post about what you had for lunch.
Ask and Answer Questions
The Q&A section of LinkedIn can be found visiting http://www.linkedin.com/answers. The Q&A section allows users to post general questions for other members to answer. You’ll find questions as simple as “How is your business going this year?” to specific industry advice that relates to a particular job function. You can ask your own questions to get the conversation going and you can also search for questions to answer. Since the Q&A section is open to everyone, you can reach out beyond your network to be of value to others.
If you are ready to answer questions in the Q&A section, you can either browse through recent questions by topic or you can search for keywords. If you use the search method, be sure to click the option “display open answers only” so you can find the most recent questions.
Review and Update Your Profile
Even if you are on LinkedIn once a week you can forget about the content that is on your profile. Review your profile information every few months to be sure that your description is up to date and it reflects any recent changes in your business.
Explore your Professional Network
Learning more about the people who are connecting with you is easy. All you have to do is look at where your connections participate. You may be linked with someone because of your previous experience with them, but realize through the site that you could actually share a much deeper professional relationship. You may also discover others who you should be connected with by exploring your connections’ networks.
Using LinkedIn is a completely personal experience, but the tips in this series will help you understand the basic guidelines so you can use the site to meet your goals and brand your business.
Research Analyst, Cloud Virtual Office
Courtney’s research focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and virtual office infrastructure.