LinkedIn: An Overview
If you want to establish and expand your online presence, then there is no better tool than LinkedIn. With more than 75 million users, LinkedIn is by far the best and largest social media network available in the market.
Let us go through some important tips that can help you get started with LinkedIn and use it effectively.
a) Create a LinkedIn account: Alike other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to create your free account. You can add your interests, website links, picture, and Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile. Once started, you can start connecting and interacting with other LinkedIn members.
b) Add connections to your LinkedIn account: Once on LinkedIn, you can find various ways to add connections to your account. There are multiple ways in which you can add connections to your account. You can directly import your contact list from your Yahoo! account, Gmail account or Outlook Express account to get new connections. Or you can search for people you may know and who might have presence on LinkedIn. LinkedIn groups is one of the ideal ways to get connections.
c) Share updates: It is very essential to stay in front of your contacts, therefore, it is advisable to share frequent updates. This makes easier for other people to find you on LinkedIn and get connected. This may also help you in connecting with potential lead or customer for your business.
d) LinkedIn groups: LinkedIn groups is one place where you can find right connections, forums and topics of your interest. You can choose groups as per your preference and can be a part of them. Once a group member, you can start fresh discussions, comment on discussions started by other group members, and most importantly, connect with other group members. You can also start your own group and invite other people to join that group.
e) Customize profile URL: Alike Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to create your own customized URL with your name. For example, my customize LinkedIn URL is - http://www.linkedin.com/in/kapilmudholkar. This makes easier to manage and expand your online visibility on web. You can create your own customized URL by editing your personal profile.
How to use LinkedIn Groups:
The most important feature of LinkedIn. LinkedIn groups are really the most effective tool to be used for extensive marketing efforts. With the ability to create, find, and join targeted groups, small businesses will find it easier to connect with industry experts, potential customers, and network with right people in the simplest possible way.
Once joined, you can start new conversations or become a part of existing conversation by replying to them. This allows you to enhance your group identity and interact with fellow group members. Later, you can invite these members to be a part of your LinkedIn network, allowing you to expand your network.
A very simple, yet, effective way of connecting people and bringing them on the one platform.
However, one has to follow certain guidelines to make this presence more interesting and interactive.
a) Avoid spamming
b) Do not use marketing language
c) Identify correct group for your posts. Do not post topics that have nothing to do with the group identity
d) Listen, interact and then react
How to promote LinkedIn Groups:
LinkedIn allows its users to create and manage group of their own choices. Once you create your own group, it is very essential to promote that group and add new members to it.
Let us go through some tips that will allow you to take your groups not only to other LinkedIn users but also enable you to share it on the platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
a) Find groups similar to your group
b) Join these groups (some groups are open to join and some require approval from the group moderator or manager)
c) Share your group with the members of group you have joined. You can directly past your group URL in the discussion tab
d) You can share your group URL on the other platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Follow this path to get your group URL Goto groups>>Manage>>Send Invitations. At the left bottom of the page, you will find your group URL to share.
e) Use bit.ly to customize your group URL: You can customize your group URL by copy pasting it in the bit.ly. You will get a short URL, which can be customized as per your choice. You can have your group name as a part of your URL. This makes sharing of your group more specific and precise, as this will allow other users to identify your group's identity.
f) Share your group as an network update: You can also share your group with other LinkedIn members as an network update. You can attach your group link to this update, making other members find it easily.
g) Use precise group information: While creating a LinkedIn group, make sure you are entering a very precise and specific information about its interests and objectives. This makes other LinkedIn members find it easily while searching for the groups of their interests on LinkedIn.
h) Use Attractive logo: LinkedIn allows its users to add logo to their groups. This helps groups establish their own identity amongst other LinkedIn groups.
Customizing your LinkedIn profile URL:
LinkedIn profile is one of the premium ways of finding place in Google search results. And a customize LinkedIn profile URL can really help finding better results on Google.
There are some simple steps to be followed to customize your LinkedIn profile URL.
a) Create a LinkedIn profile if you do not have.
b) Once you create your profile, you will see you LinkedIn page with tabs like Home, Profile, Contacts...
c) Click on the Profile tab.
d) Once you click on the Profile tab, you will get drop down menu items like 'Edit Profile' and 'View Profile'.
e) Click on the 'Edit Profile' tab.
f) With this tab, you can edit all your personal information like current working profile, past experience, education and etc.
g) This tab also displays the option of 'Public Profile'. Here, you will find a random profile URL generated by the LinkedIn for you.
h) But you can edit this URL by clicking on the 'Edit' button available besides your profile URL.
i) This allows you to update your URL address as per your choice. However, it is advised to have your name as a part of this URL. For example, my LinkedIn URL is -
Using LinkedIn for lead generation:
Every business has some lead gathering mechanism in place on its website to collect leads. Now, the important is to generate traffic from other social media resources including LinkedIn to the company website and convert those visits into potential leads.
But how one can use LinkedIn for lead generation? Here are some useful tips on how to use LinkedIn for lead generation.
a) LinkedIn network updates: I strongly believe that LinkedIn network updates can strongly be used for lead generation; however, one has to be alert and active on this front. You should share useful information through these updates on a regular basis, encouraging other users to follow you. This helps you reach maximum target audience in one go. The more you share information with others more are the chances of getting connected to like-minded users on LinkedIn. This way you can build your targeted network and drive traffic to your company website.
b) Groups: This is the best LinkedIn feature for me. This platforms allows you to share, connect and get engaged with specific audience you want. You can build a strong momentum around your business through your active group role. However, you have to be very precise in your conversation with fellow group members. One important thing is that your updates or inputs should not fall under the category of spamming.
c) Connections: LinkedIn allows you to find and connect with people you want. Once connected you can build a strong relationship with that specific user. LinkedIn search is a great way to find right connections. You can also find specific users to get connect with on groups. So you can narrowed down your search and get connected with correct audience at the earliest.
d) LinkedIn profile: Your LinkedIn profile is the most important aspect of your LinkedIn visibility. Correct and target-specific information on your profile allows you establish unique identity on LinkedIn. Your individual specialties and business experience enables you to get connected with more and more people. So it is very essential to highlight correct and specific information through your LinkedIn profile.
Adding video to your LinkedIn profile:
LinkedIn allow its users to add various third-party applications to their profile. Later, those applications can be shared with other LinkedIn users. Sharing video is one such important utility that LinkedIn has offered to its users.
So, let us see how can we do it.
a) Log in to your LinkedIn account.
b) Once logged in, click on the 'More' tab
c) Click on 'Get more applications'
d) Scroll through the list of available applications
e) Click on the 'Google Presentation'
f) Add this application to your profile
g) Once you add this application to your profile, it will ask you to sign in to your Google Docs account to add presentation
h) Once in your Google Docs account, click on the 'presentation' in 'Create new' tab
i) Then click on 'Insert' tab to add video
j) Then it will ask you to search video from YouTube
k) Once the appropriate video is selected, rename it and save it
l) GO back to your profile to see the uploaded video
m) Finally, post the video to your profile
This video can be shared with all of your LinkedIn connections. So when somebody visits your profile, he/she can see this video directly on your profile. This is an influential way to communicate with your target audience without sharing any external link on LinkedIn.
I am very much sure that this compilation will definitely help you improve your LinkedIn performance. More tips, trends, and insights will follow...
Till then, stay connected!!!