LinkedIn recently announced that they’ve reached the milestone of 150 million members.
Reach alone makes this network a worthwhile platform for any executive, but the professional network also offeres unique advantages that cater to expanding your personal and company network.
For example, LinkedIn profiles often show up at the top of search results for your name. Plus, LinkedIn user demographics mirror those of executives: 77% of LinkedIn users are age 25 and above, and the average household income of LinkedIn users is $109,000
Check out these 10 tips on how to maximize your LinkedIn efforts:
1. Be thorough
Include positions of past and present and provide a thorough description of your responsibilities at each post.
2. Link to your profile in your email signature
This is an easy way to point contacts to your credentials, and it’s more subtle than saying, “Hey, take a gander at my resume.”
3. Customize your LinkedIn URL with your name
www.linkedin.com/in/yourname looks clean and is easier to remember than a series of arbitrary characters, plus changing this setting takes all of two minutes. See instructions here.
4. Use the keyword tool to maximize SEO
Like anywhere else on the web, keywords are important on LinkedIn. Fortunately LinkedIn offers a keyword optimization tool (still in beta) called Skills & Expertise. Use the tool to search skills (i.e. “presentation development”) and find out which terms are being searched more or less, and get suggestions on related terms. It’s a simple way to make sure that you and your company are coming up in search results on LinkedIn, and can pack a powerful punch with inbound leads for your business.
5. Use the mobile app(s)
LinkedIn’s recently released mobile app has highly acclaimed UX and makes connecting on the go (before you have the chance to forget) quick and easy.
CardMunch by LinkedIn takes business cards to the 21st century. When you scan a card, the app automatically integrates profile data with the cards so you not only see the info contained on the card, but also the contact’s LinkedIn profile, photos of contacts, common connections and everything else you would find on the actual platform. You also have the option to add contacts to your phonebook, connect on LinkedIn, view your entire collection of cards or add notes to cards within the application.
6. Personalize your invitations to connect
When you invite someone to connect on LinkedIn, the text defaults to “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Instead of sending this generic message, be specific and genuine. If you met someone at a conference or had a class with them back in college, make sure to mention it here.
7. Use LinkedIn to do your homework on potential clients
LinkedIn is a great way to learn a little more about the individuals you are meeting with. Having an alma mater, hobby or personal acquaintance in common can help you start a meeting off on the right foot and make personal connections that matter.
8. Use LinkedIn for competitive analysis
Find out what other companies are doing and check out the kinds of people they hire.
9. Create a profile for your company
LinkedIn company profiles serve as an opportunity to generate a professional following, interact with potential clients and employees and also allow you to show that you employ top talent at your company.
10. Get apps for your profile
LinkedIn offers a number of applications that can set your profile apart from the rest. Include a feed to your blog with the WordPress application, tell your connections what you’re reading with Amazon’s Reading List or share your presentations using SlideShare.
Do you have any tips on how to maximize the power of LinkedIn? Share them with us on Twitter.