LinkedIn is a destination of choice for business professionals online, but there are still many not taking advantage of what it offers.
LinkedIn now has well over 100 million registered members, approaching 1 million groups (as of 2:23 PM on 7/11/11, 982,417)- 6,022 groups that have something to do with "government", and a ton of ways to make yourself known.
But most of those 100 million members are not leveraging LinkedIn in ways that will pay long term dividends. Inactivity by many, spam messages from many others, groups that remain un-managed or poorly managed, it seems like a waste.
However, for those who seek to gain some recognition on LinkedIn, here are a few tips to stand out & stand apart.
First, fill out your profile to 100%. Use short sentences and short paragraphs and make it interesting. Don't simply cut & paste your resume. Also use a professional picture, not a family photo, or one with a pet. Edit and update your profile regularly, at least twice each month.
Second, the way you fill out your profile should define the audience you wish to connect to- so make certain you state clearly what you do and what your niche is. Your SUMMARY" area is best for this, although each job description is also important.
Third, join pertinent groups and participate in them. Joining a LinkedIn group is like joining an association- there is no value unless you participate. Comment on or start discussions, ask and answer questions. There is no harm in joining groups then leaving if you don't find them useful.
Fourth, remember this is a network for professionals, so act like one. Avoid flip answers and don't make fun of people who ask seemingly silly questions.
Fifth, if you have a paid LinkedIn membership, monitor those who view your profile. often these are people you may want to connect to.
Sixth, if it is your company, start and manage your company profile. Make it, like your summary, readable and interesting, and clearly state what your company does. Avoid platitudes.
Seventh, tie your LinkedIn profile to your company web site and to your email signature.
Eighth, if you blog, post the link to LinkedIn. There is an app which allows you to have your blog show up on your profile.
Ninth, use the Twitter-like update box at least once a week. You can also connect this directly with your Twitter account if you tweet.
Tenth, check your account in the early AM and the late in the day. You don't need to monitor your LinkedIn account throughout the day, but you should check it once early and once late.
This post is meant to offer a few tips that work if you use them and feedback is always welcomed.