After logging into your LinkedIn account, have you ever thought: “What do I do now?”
LinkedIn has become the social media platform of choice for many professionals seeking to network with others in their respective industry and beyond. But many are still struggling to figure out how to effectively use and get the most value out of this online forum.
Some seem to think that their LinkedIn success is judged based on the number of connections they have accumulated. But more is not always better. One connection who is interested in you and your business/industry is better than a thousand connections whose only reason for linking to you is to increase their own connection count.
LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with colleagues and showcase one’s skills, but its potential goes far beyond that. LinkedIn is not only a place to network, but it also provides a new and easy way to sell. This may shock some who are staunchly opposed to any and all sorts of sales pitches that make their way into groups or posts on LinkedIn. But to look at it a different way, we are all guilty of incorporating sales pitches into our LinkedIn accounts. Our personal profiles, posts and the advice we put online are all ways in which we sell ourselves, and even our company, brand and/or products. So when I say LinkedIn is a great place to sell, I’m not talking about the hard sell. I mean the soft sell: selling yourself and company as a reliable industry resource. By promoting products through a company page, answering the questions of others, and sharing interesting articles/advice, you become a thought leader and go-to resource in your industry. People buy into you as a knowledgeable and reliable contact.
So don’t let your update history be nothing more than changes to profile pictures and work experience. LinkedIn is meant to be a dynamic forum for conversations and thought sharing. In theory, though it is not always used as such, LinkedIn should be the Facebook of the business world. But instead of posting images of family events or where you vacationed, on LinkedIn you should share images of industry events such as trade shows, information about new product launches, leadership advice, best business practices and updates on new technology or interesting news pieces. Engage others by providing them with new and interesting industry-related information.
“You get what you give” is very true of LinkedIn and social media in general. So next time you log on to LinkedIn, and you are wondering what to do next, look for an interesting article to share, ask a question, or post information about an upcoming event. But whatever you decide to post, be aware that what you share on LinkedIn is more than just a reflection of you. It may also be a reflection of your employer.
So what should you do now? Go start a conversation!
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