Should you be using LinkedIn? That depends on what you want to achieve. I’ve been helping a couple of clients to develop a LinkedIn strategy, and in the process, have been creating my own. To date, I’ve spent less time on LinkedIn to focus on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. LinkedIn is perfect for professional networking, so I’ll be more active there going forward.
LinkedIn shines in that it’s a network for business connections, rather than a purely social networking site; you won’t find the animated GIFs and cat videos that you find on the other sites.
Let’s look at how you could develop your own LinkedIn strategy.
1. Set Up Your Personal Profile
If you’re new to LinkedIn, here’s a good way to get started if you’re active on Twitter. Larry Kim suggests treating LinkedIn more like Twitter:
“… there was a huge opportunity there to network in more meaningful ways with a far larger group of people than those I’ve already met and connected with.”
Here’s an excellent video on setting up your profile page.
2. Set Up Your Company Page
Once you’ve established your profile, and have made some connections, it’s time to set up your company page. To set up a page, choose Companies from the Interests menu. On the left, you’ll see recent updates to company pages, and on the right, a button to create your own.
LinkedIn has a useful best practices page for company pages.
3. Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn has thousands of groups you can join, and allows you to join up to 50. If you don’t have time for even one group, let alone 50, consider that:
- You can contact people directly in groups even if you’re not one of their connections; and
- Groups help you to be found — if they’re open, you can be found on the Web too, so you might get a search rankings boost.
Groups can be members-only, or open. On an open group, you can share your updates to Twitter and Facebook. “Open” truly means open, because discussions can be viewed by anyone on the Web. This can benefit your search engine rankings.
4. Integrate LinkedIn With Your Marketing Activities
On LinkedIn, your options for marketing include:
- Your profile page;
- Your company page;
- A blog (yes, you can blog on LinkedIn);
Blogging on LinkedIn is simple. Go to your home feed, and click the pencil icon in the Share an Update field. You can add an image, and format your text as you can in any blog editor.
Tip: your LinkedIn blog is ideal for sharing and repurposing material you’ve posted on your own blog, or elsewhere.
Monitor LinkedIn Regularly
As with all social media networking you get out of it what you put into it.
So, is LinkedIn for you? If you’re a writer, certainly. the more contacts you have the better, and if you’re an author, ditto. LinkedIn offers many groups for self-publishers, so you can stay up to date with the latest news, and find connections for cover design, editing, and marketing your books.
Get started on LinkedIn, and check it out; you can form connections with past clients, and new ones.
Let’s connect on LinkedIn.
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