I know I know I can hear your disgruntled gulp in your throat, “Yikes, another social network to participate in? No way, no how!” I too feel the same way at times, but definitely not with LinkedIn! I don’t want to bore you with boring statistics, but it’s important for you to know…
* There are over 150 million professionals on LinkedIn.
* With over 1 million professionals joining each week, hence two professional join every second.
* Members are 2X more confident with information shared on LinkedIn than any other social site.
* Members use LinkedIn not only for networking, they are reading
business news and studying trends.
Source: 2012 Social Media Examiner, Mario Sundar
Please don’t fade away, these statistics matter to you. With the confidence level of information shared between members this provides an arena to build your expertise through varying networks. Oftentimes authors (as well as other professionals) fall into the rut of networking with only their peers, when we truly need to broaden our scope beyond our colleagues. LinkedIn, if used correctly, goes well beyond this and the thought process of only being an online resume.
First, if you haven’t already, signup and setup your LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com. It’s
easy and they provide step by step directions. Once you have your profile setup follow these five points to engage with fellow LinkedIn members:
1. Seek new connections daily and send invites. LinkedIn has a fabulous Advanced People Search broken down into several different categories… keywords, title, location, company, school, first and last name, country, and postal code. (i.e., elementary school teachers, librarians, the list is endless).
2. Don’t forget to reply back directly to your new connection once confirmation is received (i.e., I’m delighted to connect with you at LinkedIn and look forward to learning more about you).
3. Research groups of interest the same way as you do for people connections. Join and become active through conversations, questions and answers.
4. Update your status consistently providing a course of action for visitors with either a question or interesting news article (i.e., “New Google table to go against Fire” by Michael Liedtke, Associated Press and include link).
5. Engage with fellow members by sharing and commenting on their status updates, send private emails, etc.).
Automating your blog and twitter feed is okay, but if you don’t engage personally, connections will not feel compelled to engage with you. I know for myself the automation of customer service lines, doctor offices, etc., frustrates me to no end. I want to talk to a live person that knows what they are talking about.
Don’t fall into robot automation. Let your personality shine through cyberspace with consistent engagement. I’m sure you will be pleased with your results.
Donna McDine as a multiple award-winning children’s author and Social Media maven who can free up your valuable time so you can concentrate on your freelance writing career.