LinkedIn has more than 313 million members worldwide. With such a thriving community of business professionals, there’s no question you’ll be able to find the person you need to enhance your business while using the platform. It has grown to become one of the most useful places to find leads, learn about other companies, and discuss ideas in the working world. You can create content using LinkedIn Publisher, follow industry leaders using Pulse, and even join relevant LinkedIn Groups to connect with other like-minded individuals.
There’s honestly so much to LinkedIn (we haven’t even scratched the surface in our previous posts) that it’s common that new users to the platform have trouble getting started. Once you create your profile and import your current contacts, what’s next?
To offer assistance to business professionals and owners alike, we’ve compiled some of the best insight on using LinkedIn to the fullest. From avid users to publishers, we’ve run the gamut in trying to provide a variety of resourcefulness.
Without further ado, here are some top LinkedIn tips from several experts!
1. “Having third party recommendations go a long way in attracting new business prospects and they are great in making an impression even before they reach your website. When you add your products and services to your company profile page, you give a chance to your customers and partners to give you a recommendation. Testimonials from happy customers act as a confidence booster for your company’s brand and reinforce quality of your products or services.” - Karishma Srivastava
2. “You know the old standby, “Do unto others…”? Well, endorse others and they’ll likely endorse you, too! Endorsements validate your experience and accomplishments. Take an active role to make sure you have recommendations from a variety of people.” - Debra Eckerling
3. “You want to use your keywords liberally in your headline, summary and positions so you appear higher in search results for your keywords.
Note: LinkedIn is not like Google and ranks you in keyword search results more literally.” - Christine Hueber
4. “LinkedIn offers all of these built-in ways for you to reach out and stay top of mind with your connections and potential prospect and by taking a few extra minutes to personalize any messages you send, you can really make an impact and standout from the crowd. Yet the majority of people are still sending LinkedIn’s standard default messages.” - Melonie Dodaro, interviewed by Amy Baumcratz
5. “Building your connections for the sake of having a large following is not really a sound strategy if you want to effectively grow your business using LinkedIn. Every connection needs to be linked to your goals and objectives in business both now and in the future.” - Alex Pirouz
6. “One benefit of groups – your own and others – is that you can easily interact with individuals within that group without having to be directly connected to them. So I can send a message to a hot prospect through a group. That being said, LinkedIn Groups are not the place for a sales pitch! It is a good place to start engaging with someone that you want to eventually do business with. So if you tend to post extremely helpful useful and engaging articles, you’re going to up the level of your social clout, probably get more connections, and drive more business.” - Viveka von Rosen
7. “So how did I compare the groups with keywords “customer service”, “customer care” and “customer experience”? Actually, I focused only on those counting more than 10.000 members. Next, I compared their size, seniority & activity of members, and also relevancy of posts inside the groups. As there are some groups, which are private, I became a member. Following this process, I have selected 10 most influential LinkedIn groups, regarding customer service.” - Marek Didak
8. “Contribute to relevant discussions. When going through those emails, look for conversations that you can contribute to. Genuinely.
There are two things to look at when choosing to join a conversation. If no one has yet commented on something someone shared, this is a perfect opportunity for you to direct the conversation in the route you want it to go. Try to end your comment by sparking further engagement, and/or if possible, include a link to one of your relevant blog posts that could offer others more helpful information.” - Melissa Leiter
9. “Let’s say you find someone who could help really help you to generate leads. He or she has a huge network that includes a lot of folks who might need whatever you’re selling. That individual would make an ideal connection. Might as well invite him, right?
You’re better off reaching out to him and starting a conversation first. Don’t immediately try to persuade him to become a connection. Use LinkedIn’s “InMail” feature to send a private message to him.” - Bruce Jones
10. “Provide potential clients a preview of your work and/or services. Upload audios, videos, SlideShare presentations, for example. Present current projects you’re working on.” - Jean L. Serio
11. “Your LinkedIn profile needs to tell your story about what you can deliver and how your track record supports your credibility in your industry.” - Jasmine Sandler
12. “Instead of using the default “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn” connection invitation, personalize it for the individual. You’ll stand out from the crowd, and they’ll be more likely to accept.” - Sherry Sexton
13. “Share content. LinkedIn offers an influencer program whereby you can essentially get mentored by these amazing business people, like Bill Gates and Meg Whitman. Sharing [content] demonstrates that you’re active in your career, you’re invested in your career and you’re not just looking to take.” - Valerie Berrios
14. “Trying to keep a lower profile? No problem. As you’re editing, simply look for the white box that says “Notify your network?” and select either “Yes, publish changes” or “No, do not publish changes” before saving changes you’ve made. No more trying to remember what your original settings are, you can now make the choice in the moment to broadcast loudly, or keep things on the down low.” - Rom Bronfman
15. “It’s consistency now that’s really so important. It’s ensuring that all your social media platforms are sending the same professional message. Think about what your professional brand is: What kind of tone do you want to have, what kind of issues do you want to comment on, what kind of articles do you want to respond to?” - Nicole Williams
16. “You have a limit of 50 groups you can join, and you should join all 50 groups you’re allowed to. Talent acquisition professional (read: heavy LinkedIn user) Katharine Robinson tells the Undercover Recruiter that the more groups you join, the larger your network as well as the number of people who can find you in their own LinkedIn searches.” - Casey Meehan
17. “By connecting with like-minded professionals, you can extend your network, industry knowledge and also build up your market value. Personally, I had met some fantastic people via Linkedin; in one small way or another, they have linked me to many great opportunities which improve my personal brand reputation thereafter.” - Marketing Strategy Expert
18. “One of the main purposes for using LinkedIn is to introduce yourself to professional contacts and potential employers before they meet you in person. That means one of your goals in creating an effective LinkedIn presence should be to “channel” yourself, so to speak, onto your profile page – particularly in your summary section.” - Robin Madell
19. When your clients send you a nice note via email or a Facebook post, reply back thanking them, and asking them if they would mind sharing it as a LinkedIn recommendation. I bet they’ll be happy to.” - Karen Yankovich
20. “To truly build community, companies are often best served [by starting a LinkedIn Group] for a very specific group of people with whom the company hopes to engage and — crucially — who would find value in engaging with one another, and having your company facilitate that connection.” – Sam Ford, director of Audience Engagement at Peppercomm.
What do you think of our top LinkedIn networking tips? Do you have any of your own to add? Tell us what you think in our Disqus comments section below.