Dave Folkens

5 Tips for Individuals to Help Companies Get More Out of LinkedIn

linkedin marketing tipsLinkedIn officially launched on May 5, 2003 with a total of 4,500 members in the first month. Known mostly as a business social network, LinkedIn has been adopted globally with nearly 2 billion people searches in 2010 and over 90 million users in January 2011. To top it off, a forthcoming IPO will raise even more money for expansion.

Yet amongst many business professionals, LinkedIn seems to fight perception that it is strictly a site to visit when you need a job.

With new features added regularly and all of the Fortune 500 represented, LinkedIn is a valuable source of data and connections that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’re not a regular LinkedIn user, I encourage you to look beyond the basics and see the opportunities for businesses to showcase their productsadvertise in and out of network, and content sharing/syndication.

Here are 5 tips for individuals to help companies get more out of LinkedIn:

1. Use Your Profile as a Destination In an informal check of LinkedIn search strength, I did a Google search of 20 contacts. In every case, regardless of how visible they are on the web, LinkedIn profiles appeared on the first page with the vast majority appearing in the first five results. Keep your profile current to highlight your experience and expertise at all times. It can serve as a great way to share your history not only with other LinkedIn members but anyone online given the strength of search results.

2. Linking Content via Applications As the site has evolved in the past few years it now offers a number of opportunities to share content from the site directly. Your LinkedIn network should be a strong source of support for your news and updates as your contacts are likely connected to your industry. By utilizing the available tools to link to your blog, twitter feed, or to create polls you can share helpful information with this network that may be passed along further to create new connection opportunities for you or your business.

3. Connect with New Contacts in Groups and Answers LinkedIn Groups are a great way to identify other users with similar interests and needs. In addition to the inherent benefits of learning from others, Groups offer a number of benefits for each user. You are able to view other members contact information and participation in a group or the LinkedIn Answers section allows you to highlight your ideas and insight. By providing useful information to others you will improve your own reputation as an expert resource on select topics. The creation of Open Groups is of benefit in a broader sense as well since discussions can be viewed by anyone on the web and picked up by search engines.

4. Research Potential Most LinkedIn users are familiar and comfortable with the people search capabilities of the site to find potential connections. Don’t forget to utilize other search tools on the site though as there is extensive data available to you. A very simple search of “public relations” provided over 11,000 listings nationally and indicates where I have a direct or indirect connection to that company. LinkedIn Marketing Using the search tools available it’s easy to track current openings, identify key leaders at the organizations, and recent additions or departures. Are these helpful for job seekers? Absolutely, but this information is of tremendous value for a new business discussion or a sales inquiry as well. Perhaps you have a contact from a prior project now on the inside.

5. Recommendations As either an employee or a business, a recommendation can carry a great deal of weight in the eyes of future customers. By essentially collecting success stories in advance you have the ability to create a testimonial page on a highly-trafficked, well-established site that can lead to future opportunities based on your work appearing in searches for specific keywords by others.  These provide concrete examples of a (hopefully) good experience with you in a personal manner. It’s word of mouth promotion in a neighborhood of 90 million professionals. Not a bad target audience for most and one that shouldn’t be missed.

With a rich set of data available to you at no cost (these features are all available without having to go with the premium membership), LinkedIn should be a part of your networking and online marketing mix.

Do you have a great business success or a unique personal story based on your use of LinkedIn? Perhaps an unusual connection that highlights the full reach of tiered networks?

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Comments

  1. LinkedIn is a unique resource, and I’m glad to see this post highlight some of its best features. In the past, I’ve used it to locate major players in my industries, and it now has a robust interface that allows you to actually create content just by interacting with its audience. That’s the reason those SERP entries are at the top of the heap. Although some may not think of it as a “traditional” social media source, it has tremendous power for making connections and demonstrating value for your business.

  2. It’s indeed an advantage for professionals and companies to have their account set up at LinkedIn. I personally believe it does good to you most specially if you have service/s to offer or you wanna market your skills. To be part of LinkedIn you can meet potential people and companies because people there are professionals.

  3. I definitely need to step up my LinkedIn game because I have definitely been slacking on it.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a lot there if you are interested in spending some time evaluating. They have a large, credible network and I really enjoy the ability to search and identify how to make connections where you aren’t certain any exist.

  4. Subrato Bose says:

    I use Linked regularly for research and contacts. LinkedIn is an excellent site for social networking. I am glad to note the above post and shall try to explore the features and benifits as much as possible.

  5. I think for too long people have thought that the best way to approach Linkedin and to get noticed was to go in to the Q+As and just get involved in random discussions but I just don’t think that works because there is so much noise. You only have to look at Twitter and how quickly you can build yourself in to an expert there and I think that is why Linkedin have moved towards the more live stream news feed.

    I think they had a rough couple of years but they seem to be getting back on track now with some good innovation like the recent mapping of connections visually. I do think they still need to do a lot of work on their design though and generally make it easier for people to do and find stuff on there.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a good point regarding the Q&A section. There are many more features that can be utilized versus trying to use one portion of the site exclusively. Especially when, as you point out, there may be other alternatives out there for some reputation building.

      The work LinkedIn has put into adding a lot more apps and features like the new mapping are smart steps forward in my mind.

  6. Kazuya Komada (駒田和也) says:

    I am glad that I got to see these great 5 tips. Linkedln is a great social networking tool, but I do not really know how effective and efficient I can use this tool. I need to start using these 5 tips from today.

  7. Kazuya Komada (駒田和也) says:

    I am glad that I got to see these 5 tips. Linkedln is a great social networking tool, but I didn’t really know how efficient and effective I can use this tool. I am going to use these 5 tips from today!!! @dr4ward, #mkt3730

  8. Cherry Rahtu says:

    Frankly speaking, nothing new 🙂

  9. I think joining groups is one of the best benefits on Linkedin network. I think so because, groups acts as great communication tools. Communicating with those you don’t know can be possible when you join a group with many members. There should be compelling message to communicate with strangers though.

  10. It’s interesting that LinkedIn has moved from being a Professionals / Resume service to being a full-on networking tool. Not exactly a social media site but still an immensely powerful place for individuals and companies to build their personal/corporate brand

  11. Yup great tips like that i also get mroe traffic via linkedin it’s great site love it…more space for work.

  12. Lisa | SEO Brisbane says:

    I am certainly noticing that more and more friend requests are coming through from linkedin now than facebook – maybe that says something about the circle of friends I have more than anything else.

  13. Great article Dave. LinkedIn is definitely a great platform for building relationships and networking with other people in the same industry. I really appreciated your tips.

  14. Yogehs Sharma says:

    Pls give all process for leads generation by linkedin   thanks 

  15. Jason Baudendistel says:

    This is great info thanks!

  16. Fantastic tips that I see a lot of people ignore.  The emphasis on LinkedIn’s appearance in search is a huge one.  This is why you MUST have an updated, complete, optimized, and meaningful profile.

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  18. shajid shafee says:

    Yeah exactly Valuable post for Linkedin users. 

  19. shajid shafee says:

    Fantastic Post Mate, Really Helpful to people who don’t know about Linkedin. 

  20. The beauty of LinkedIn when configured and used properly is you don’t have to prospect, no cold calls! By contributing to the discussions and establishing yourself as an expert in your field potential clients will be contacting you!