Many people use LinkedIn, but I have not seen a lot of people use LinkedIn very well.
|LinkedIn is a great marketing resource that gets less respect than Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.|
I see quite a few people with lots of Connections, but they do not seem to do anything with them once they are connected.
Other people have LinkedIn profiles, but they do not have many Connections.
Even though LinkedIn has fewer people using it than either Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn can be an extremely effective for you to build an engaged network.
Here are over seven (7) ways to be more effective on LinkedIn.
- Review Your Connections - Check Their Connections
- Join Groups
- Respond to Messages - Don't Just Shout Your Message
- Share Cool Things You Find on the Web
- Ask Questions
- Answer Questions
- Send Personal Messages
- Endorse People Publicly
It is great to have YOUR Connections on LinkedIn, but are you really connected with all of the people that you want to be?
You might know more people but did not realize that they were on LinkedIn. Maybe they weren't on LinkedIn the last time you looked, but they joined after you looked.
Review the Connections of your Connections. Obviously, I am not suggesting that you stalk anyone, but you have already done the "work" in your offline life to meet these people. You might as well find a way to start as far from "Zero" as you can. You've MET these people, already.
Suggestion: Review the Connections of your Connections...and become connected to THEM.
2. Join Groups
You might know a lot of people, and you might not. However, one idea of social media marketing (SMM) is to meet people that you have NOT met, yet.
Most people simply use LinkedIn to connect to people that they know, already. This is okay, as it helps LinkedIn become a more accurate and useful database.
However, most of us are FAILING to use LinkedIn to meet people that we have NOT met, yet.
LinkedIn has all sorts of Groups. LinkedIn suggests Groups, based on things you entered about yourself, and a lot of their suggestions are pretty good.
You can also search for Groups, just like you use Google. Enter the topic area, and the Group Search Engine will return Groups that might match.
Take a look to see how many people are in the Group. Also, notice whether there are discussions or just a stream of advertisements.
When you join a good Group, you will have a chance to meet a lot of people that you might really want to meet.
Suggestion: Join Groups that match your interest (or where you will find your customers).
3. Respond to Messages - Don't Just Shout Your Message
This is something that is really good about Facebook and LinkedIn.
There are people who simply make their own comments, but they really are not paying attention to what anyone else is "saying." They are not responding in a way that other people will want to follow for themselves or refer to their friends and associates.
You will notice that MOST people do not really offer true responses. They just talk without regard, and this is EXACTLY where you can separate yourself--in a POSITIVE way.
When you take time to react to someone's post with a sensitive comment of your own, you will make a positive impact. In fact, many times, this person now wants to spend more time "with you."
I am not suggesting that you make thoughtful responses to people's posts just so they will be your "Connection," but it often seems to work that way.
Suggestion: Find posts and comments worth your time, and make thoughtful responses to them. Make connections where "connections" are made; don't force them, though.
4. Share Cool Things You Find on the Web
We do not always have new information to create or time to create it, even if we really HAD that much new information to create.
However, there is ALWAYS some new material somewhere that is interesting.
Other people will appreciate it. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are all places where this is a good idea.
Kristi Hines on Twitter makes her social media marketing living off sharing really cool things with other people. She also makes really good blog posts, but she is always sharing things from other top people.
People look to her as a person "in the know," and you can easily be that person, too. The best part is that you do not have to spend as much time sharing cool material as you do creating new material.
Suggestion: Seek and share material that other people will find interesting or useful, but be sure to offer your own unique things, too. Don't ONLY share.
5. Ask Questions
What is the best way to start a conversation?
Ask someone a question.
Is there any reason that it would be different on LinkedIn (or any other social media platform)?
When you ask questions, it allows other people to show off their expertise. They like this, and you and your followers benefit from their insight. Plus, it attracts people who know things, which could possibly lead to a legitimate Connection from a worthwhile person. They are usually willing to share, and it is usually a very good idea to connect yourself to these types of people.
Suggestion: Ask questions, learn from the answers, and learn who knows and explains things well.
6. Answer Questions
I see a lot of people bragging about themselves. They really want people to know how good or smart they are. They might be, but actions speak so much louder than words.
If you see a question that you can answer with unique insight, go for it.
When you answer a question, you are being helpful. You are helping make your online community smarter.
You are also bragging--in one of the best ways possible. When you provide a good answer that really helps people, you can really establish yourself as one of the more visible experts.
Suggestion: Answer questions in a way that really helps people. Try to answer questions in areas where people will actually SEE them, though.
7. Send Personal Messages
This is the most valuable piece of information that I can provide.
Sending personal messages takes extra time, but so few people do it, you will DEFINITELY make a mark in that person's memory.
Obviously, I do not want to encourage anyone to stalk anyone online (or offline). However, you might notice something the person said that is not quite right, you can gently inform the person in private--instead of running the risk of embarrassing them by pointing out their possible oversight in public.
You can also send a personal message to tell them what a great job they did, or you can offer to help them with a problem they seem to be having.
Suggestion: Send a personal message to someone you are just meeting or inviting into LinkedIn. It will help them see that you are not just like everyone else.
8. Endorse People Publicly
This is true for ANY form of social media.
When someone is really good at something, PUBLICLY congratulate or acknowledge them.
If you have done business or have a legitimate experience with them, make a Recommendation.
If the person makes an insightful comment or post, make sure to share this with everyone.
If you know that the person has a neat website or blog, share this with your other Connections and encourage them to visit or somehow otherwise observe this person's great work.
Suggestion: Find excuses to praise people publicly. It makes your own network of people stronger, and your network's trust in you will be stronger.
Some of these suggestions are entirely based upon my personality, and they might not work for everyone, but I know that these things seem to work well for me.
What other suggestions do you have?
Like this post? Other posts you might like are
- Internet Marketing Tip: 10 Tips for Writers Using LinkedIn
- Over 7 Things in Your LinkedIn Profile That I'm Checking
- Why I prefer using LinkedIn over Facebook
- Marketing Tip: Recommend People Who Deserve It
To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.