Since the site was created in 2003, LinkedIn has continued to grow as one of the most popular social media sites and has become the number one social site for lead generation. The business-oriented social networking site connects 450 million business professionals each day. Many of these users market themselves and their brands on both Facebook and LinkedIn; however, the way you properly network and maintain a LinkedIn channel differs from the way you would promote your company on Facebook. These simple Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn will help you establish yourself as a brand, and connect with potential clients and industry officials online.
DO: Connect with professionals you do not know personally.
Connecting with users who are in the same industry as you is a great way to network with people you otherwise may not have been able to meet. These connections could lead to potential referrals or partners in the future. Spend time searching for users who could become potential clients or who work in a similar field and may be able to refer business to you.
DON’T: Oversell your services to new connections.
On your personal LinkedIn profile, you are selling yourself, not your company. You want to establish yourself as an expert in your industry so potential leads will come to you for business. Instead of constantly promoting your company through your LinkedIn page, focus on educating your connections about your company and the skills you bring to the business. When making new connections, introduce yourself and offer to introduce them via LinkedIn to other connections that may direct them business, asking for them to reciprocate when appropriate.
DO: Join groups
Search for groups that apply to your industry. Groups are a great way to find new connections and contribute to the conversation about topics relating to your business. Make sure the information you are providing is beneficial to the group and never spam groups with “self-serving” content that does not add value to the conversation.
DO: Post often, but not just about yourself.
Unlike other social media platforms, it is not necessary to post to your LinkedIn page every day. Make sure you stay active and check the site every few days. Post content you find interesting and try to generate conversations about those topics. Don’t post about yourself or your company every day. Instead, create meaningful conversations and show off your expertise in the industry.
DO: Ask for recommendations
Don’t be afraid to ask your connections for recommendations. These recommendations should come from connections that you have done business with that know about your skills. Avoid asking new connections or strangers for recommendations before you have a chance to network and create a relationship with them.
LinkedIn was created to bring business networking online. Utilize the site by sharing your knowledge of your industry and creating new business relationships. Remember, not all social media sites are the same. You can market yourself, and your company different ways on different sites. Find out more about why you should be using more than one social media channel here.