With over 200 million people on LinkedIn, this social media site has become a must for anyone in business, seeking new business, employers and hopeful employees. Many don’t know however, that LinkedIn is its own search engine that can bring you more media, speaking, and business.
We asked LinkedIn expert, Wayne Breitbarth to share with us some tips on how to make the most out of your LinkedIn experience.
He came up with ten things LinkedIn can do for you:
1. At a glance, LinkedIn’s “In Common With” feature shows you what you have in common with another person (e.g., schools, groups, companies, locations, skills, causes, and interests). No more fumbling around looking for conversation starters to break the ice. And here’s a little secret. Birds of a feather like to flock together—and they also like to do business with each other.
2. Ever wonder if anyone on LinkedIn is talking about your company, your products and services, your employees, your industry, and your markets? LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to quickly and easily keep tabs on who’s talking about you—whether they’re sharing good news or bad news. Capitalize on this by sharing the good news with your network and quickly nipping any problems in the bud before the whole online world hears about it. And it’s a great way to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, too.
3. LinkedIn is a great personal branding tool. It’s easy to put your best foot forward with the help of the following special LinkedIn profile sections: Skills, Publications, Test Scores, Patents, Projects, Volunteering & Causes, Courses, Languages, Honors & Awards, Certifications, and Organizations. Include these sections to get a leg up on your competition and boost your credibility with potential customers, employers—everyone who views your LinkedIn profile.
4. Because LinkedIn shows you who knows whom, it’s easy to:
· See if anyone you know is connected to a company that just received your resume
· Turn a cold call into a “warm call” by getting a personal introduction from someone in your network
· Find potential donors or volunteers for your favorite nonprofit
· Recruit the best candidates even when they aren’t actively looking for a job
· Discover new vendors and suppliers
· Find experts who can answer your questions and help you solve your problems
5. SEO experts charge hefty sums to help individuals and companies find their way onto Google’s page 1 search engine results, but your LinkedIn profile and LinkedIn company page almost always appear on page 1—and it’s free of charge.
6. The Saved Search feature on LinkedIn is like having a 24/7 virtual assistant that constantly searches LinkedIn’s 200 million person database and periodically sends you a list of people who meet your specific search criteria. And best of all—this virtual assistant doesn’t demand a salary and benefits.
7. LinkedIn has more than 1.6 million groups. Many are industry specific and enable you to show your thought leadership and build credibility with potential customers. You can also make connections, send direct messages, and review job postings. Post and/or participate in group discussions to increase your visibility in the marketplace.
8. LinkedIn enables you to “legally stalk” companies and organizations. Simply “follow” the companies you are interested in, and you will have access to any company information they share—press releases, job postings, new products and services, personnel changes, etc. Hiring managers are always impressed when candidates are well informed about the company.
9. You can send mass direct messages to a targeted group of people in your network. Because the message is sent to their LinkedIn inbox and their email, you can expect a higher open rate.
10. Most people have a warm-and-fuzzy feeling for people who attended the same college or university—and this can mean more business for you. A general LinkedIn search will help you uncover people who have mentioned in their profile that they attended a specific school, but LinkedIn’s Alumni feature takes it a step further and summarizes:
· Where they live
· Where they work
· What they do
· What they studied
· What their skills are
· How you are connected to them
The search capabilities will blow your socks off. For instance, a simple search can show you all the company presidents in your target market who attended your alma mater—and show you how you are connected to them plus a host of other insider information.
Wayne Breitbarth and his book, The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-start Your Business, Brand, and Job Search, has helped more than 40,000 business professionals—from entry level to CEO—access the full power of LinkedIn for their companies and their careers, including networking opportunities, brand building and business generation.
We know you’ll immediately connect with Wayne’s pragmatic teaching style and engaging sense of humor and would love to send you an advance review copy of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success (Second Edition – Fully Revised) if you’d consider him for a review, interview or feature on your site.