LinkedIn is a social networking website aimed at business professionals, it allows you to create a personal profile where you can promote your skills, knowledge and experience while allowing you to connect with professionals in your field in order to do business.
As you build your profile you can request and receive recommendations from people who you have done business with in the past (colleagues, business acquaintances, clients etc). These recommendations add value to your online resume just like letters of recommendation and testimonials and will help build trust in what you have to offer.
Ten Tips for a Strong Profile
- Create a Personal Tagline – This is shown under your name, so it needs to summarise at a glance who you are.
- Elevator Pitch Introduction – Create an engaging 30-second introduction that succinctly describes who you are and what you do.
- Don’t Cut and Paste your CV – Describe your experience and skills as you would to someone you just met and keep it short and punchy.
- Use Action Words – Use words that project an image of a results-driven, action-oriented achiever, such as maximised, supervised, optimised, streamlined etc.
- Point out your Skills – List your specialities, abilities and interests, be sure to use appropriate industry buzz words where appropriate.
- List your Experience – Briefly describe each company, what it does and what you did there. Again use clear succinct phrases.
- Distinguish yourself – Add additional information to enhance your profile, join groups of interest and list trade associations or other organisations you belong to.
- Build Connections – The connections you make add credibility to your profile.
- Get your Profile to Rank in Google – Your public profile is available to view by anyone and will appear in search engines, so think carefully about what you want to share with the world and use it to your advantage.
- Answer and ask Questions – Asking and answering questions in your field will help establish your expertise and raise your profile on the network.
Photo used under Creative Commons from NickStarr
There has been an unprecedented rise in social networking websites over the last couple of years, and even with the success of sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter businesses have been slow to take advantage of the potential benefits they can provide.
The power of social networking is that it allows companies and brands to engage with their customers in a two-way dialogue rather than a traditional marketing broadcast approach. This allows businesses to manage their customer relations, talk to a customer focus groups, raise awareness of their products through different types of media, while allowing supporters of a brand to endorse your services and keep up-to-date on your latest products.
Creating a Social Media Strategy
Before you start signing up to every social networking site you can find, it’s worth deciding what you are trying to achieve and focusing your time and efforts in those networks where your target customer base congregate.
Define what you are trying to achieve:
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase customer retention
- Provide a feedback mechanism
- Target new or existing customers
- Get customers to share their ideas
- Involve customers in your product development
- Recruit employees
Then start building your communities on the social networking sites you have chosen, but make sure you follow the social etiquette and don’t fall into the trap that companies like Habitat did recently. Decide who in your organisation will be responsible for the up-keep of your networks and set processes in place for managing your online reputation.
Photo used under Creative Commons from caseywest