How do you use LinkedIn?

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How do you use LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is wonderful social space that I believe is probably the most powerful online business tool in existence. Saying that, only a very few of us are actually using this tool with any anger.

Recent research into how we use LinkedIn shows the following results:

  • 79% have a free account
  • 43% have less than 500 connections
  • 52% do not include any media on their profile
  • 39% are in only 9 groups or less
  • 75% spend 4 hours or less on LinkedIn in a week
  • 37% Linkedin is ‘extremely important’ to developing business

The usage of all social networks is varied, and LinkedIn is no exception. So I would like you to ask yourself the question – “How do I use LinkedIn?”

Supporting offline engagement

One of the most common uses of LinkedIn is a reference source before or after meetings or networking events. This where offline meets online. You can gather information on someone before you meet them to get to know their background, interests and skills so you are better prepared when you meet face to face.

Often it is the other way around, where you look someone up after you have met them to understand more about them and to possibly connect with them. Most people build their network this way.

Information gathering

Apart from information on individuals, LinkedIn can provide a wealth of other information. Your stream will provide relevant useful information and news shared by your network. The quality of this is normally a reflection on the quality of your network.

Pulse, the LinkedIn publishing platform, is a good source of information and opinion. The search function on Pulse is an area LinkedIn needs to improve.

Slide share – this has a better search function and you can find many presentations here. Often, though, I find that the slides are never as good as when you actually hear the person speaking around the slides.

Mail and contact

The mail/messaging function is used a great deal by many people. It is more messaging than email, as most communications are one to one. It can be a great way to keep in touch with contacts, ones that you would normally not speak to. I know people who regularly send an update (often business and personal) on an annual basis. What a great way to keep in touch!

Recruitment

LinkedIn has long been accused of being a hunting ground for recruiters. This is true! With everyone having a profile that is their online CV, why wouldn’t it be? Apart from recruitment companies using LinkedIn, as an individual, it is often used if you are looking for a new job or opportunity. Equally, it is used by companies to recruit new members of staff. As before, LinkedIn plays this role.

Groups

This can be another way to gather information. However, it’s also a great way to understand what the key issues and topics are in your industry or in your area of expertise. Groups vary hugely in terms of quality, so time needs to be spent on finding the right groups for your where there is regular and quality activity. 39% of people are in only 9 groups or less.

Business Generation

The above are all great ways to use LinkedIn and have a value. However, do they generate business opportunities for you?

Do you have a strategy about how you use LinkedIn? What is your end game? If you know what you want out of a platform like LinkedIn, it provides you with purpose, with a reason to invest the time in making it work for you.

How do all the individual pieces fit together so that you can really exploit the platform? What is your connection strategy? Why are building your network – who with? How are you going to raise your personal profile – how do you make yourself more attractive to more people?

Do you know how these all work to deliver a steady flow of business opportunities?

Is it not the time to really make the most powerful online business tool work for you and deliver the business opportunities you crave?

If the answer is yes, then please sign up to the BeSeen Digital Demystification workshop on Creating Personal Power through LinkedIn.

If you’re interested in coming to the workshop and as you’ve read this blog, I’d like to offer you a special price of £250. Please use discount code ‘SPECIAL250‘.

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