LinkedIn has replaced the Rolodex as the hub of your business connections. Because each of us is responsible for keeping our own contact information up to date, even if you are a passive user, LinkedIn is a powerful tool.
Of all the Social Media platforms, I’ve been using LinkedIn the longest. I love the way LinkedIn reminds you of the power of connections – my own 693 connections, acquired one by one, have a reach of over 7 million people. Amazing, isn’t it? But how do begin to tap in to the potential of such reach?
The basic activities of LinkedIn include building connections, posting appropriate updates, and keeping your profile up-to-date. And these activities should be part of your weekly routine. But beyond the basics, here are a few tips to extract more from LinkedIn and develop even stronger ties with your connections.
Just recently I began doing a few things that have made LinkedIn an even more crucial part of my marketing mix. All of these things come with the free version of LinkedIn – I have not upgraded to the paid version.
1. Wider distribution of updates through Groups
When you post an update on LinkedIn, the update is shared with all of your connections. But did you know that you can also share your update with group members of the various groups to which you belong? You can and you should – as this will increase the reach of your update by the number of members in your groups. This is an opportunity to share quality content with a much wider audience.
Be sure to research which groups are a fit for you and request membership. Be a good citizen of the group and participate by reviewing and contributing to existing discussions. By doing this, you will be better known within the group and the content you share with the group will be more warmly accepted and you will have shown that you welcome discussion and comments.
The potential additional reach your content could enjoy can be 10, 100, or 1,000 times the reach you have with your one on connections.
2. Who’s viewed your profile?
In the right hand side bar, there is a box titled “Who’s Viewed Your Profile?” It will often say something like “Your profile has been viewed by 14 people in the past 15 days.” It’s hyperlinked so that you can click and, in most cases, see exactly who has viewed your profile. Checking this section regularly may uncover a prospect for your products and services or a potential referral partner. When I check this section, if it looks like a potential prospect, I add them to my mailing lists. If it looks like a potential referral partner, I add them to my referral list. This is a great way to build your lists.
Another way to make the most of “Who’s Viewed Your Profile?” is to reach out to the individuals if possible through LinkedIn. Is there a question they have about you or your business? How did they hear of you? While every view might not lead to a new and mutual beneficial connection, chances are many will.
3. Search to see common connections
Another valuable feature of LinkedIn is when you search an individual, LinkedIn will show you if there are people to whom you are connected that are also connected to the person you searched. There is great potential is knowing who among your network has a relationship with the person you’d like to meet.
If you would like to be introduced, or you want to ask the person to speak at a conference, etc., you can ask your connection to make an introduction. The chances of getting that first meeting scheduled or your phone call answered, are greatly improved with a warm introduction from someone they already know.
Relationships and connections are the key to navigating a more effective course to business success. LinkedIn gives you the additional intelligence to make a bit easier to connect in the first place.