Do you have a LinkedIn account? If the answer is yes, continue on. If no, stop what you’re doing (presumably reading this blog post), and take 5 minutes to create an account – trust me – you’ll thank me in the future.
Now, safely assuming everyone reading this has a LinkedIn account, the question remains: “How can I make the most out of my time on it?” It doesn’t have the entertainment appeal of Facebook or Twitter, it doesn’t have the visual appeal of Instagram or Pinterest. Truth be told, it might not be the social media site you spend hours a day on. But that being said, the value you get out of 30 minutes on LinkedIn may be far greater than the 2 hours you spend mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed.
One of the downfalls of LinkedIn is its connotation—people often think of it as just an online resume – but it’s much, much more than that. While it does serve this purpose, it also functions as an online networking portal, a news source, and a search engine for individuals, companies and even jobs themselves. After all, it is the world’s largest professional network. Did you know LinkedIn is responsible for 64 percent of all visits from social media channels to corporate sites? (To contrast that, Facebook accounts for 17 percent and Twitter accounts for 14 percent of such visits).
Next time you get on LinkedIn, don’t just log in, accept a few connections and log off. Spend a few minutes browsing, checking out the site’s capabilities and reaching out to new connections. It’s crucial to incorporate LinkedIn into your daily social media routine and to consider it as more than just an emerging platform. With 259 million users and growing, it’s becoming one of the fastest growing social networks of its kind.
Some quick tips:
- If you see an interesting article, or you just wrote a great blog post, share it. One of the most powerful capabilities of LinkedIn is its ability to share with other social networks—take advantage of this.
- Upload a good, high-quality picture of yourself from the shoulders up, or invest in a professional headshot. People will remember your face. This is not the place to post the picture of yourself from last Spring Break.
- Nicely ask people you know (friends, family, etc.) to endorse you for skills. Do the same for them.
- Join groups, and participate in them.
- For more tips, check out this blog post about building your brand with LinkedIn.
Have you discovered any tips you’ve found especially useful on LinkedIn? What about specific features that are particularly helpful to you? Please leave any and all advice in the comment section below.