Linkedin is in a resurgence. Since adding applications and mimicking some other Facebook-style functionality, the Grandaddy of social networks is becoming more relevant.
Its important to recognize that Linkedin has different demographics than Facebook, Myspace and other social networks. Linkedin is older (68% are 35+), wealthier (66% make $60/year+), and better educated (72% are college grads).
The Good News
For many people that enjoy social network connectivity, but are not ready to live and breathe it, Linkedin is an ideal option because it’s safe, and it’s strictly business. There are very few interactivity options on Linkedin, and you are never faced with the “wow, I wish my client didn’t see that picture” dilemma that’s all too common on Facebook.
Linkedin works because it purposefully does less than Facebook and MySpace. Connections are controlled. Easy to use. Very little layout control. Minimal advertising. Few applications. No multi-media. And organized like an address book, a familiar paradigm.
The Bad News
The trouble is that the address book approach makes it easy to treat Linkedin as nothing more than Outlook contacts with personal profile data. The reality is that Linkedin offers an amazing opportunity to grow your network and your business – whatever it may be. But, because it’s much less flashy and in your face than other social networks, you have to dig a little to find the good stuff.
22 Ways to Dominate
Here are my 22 tips for dominating Linkedin. I put this presentation together for my good friends at Off Madison Ave in Arizona. Slides are available below via SlideShare.
1. Upload a Good Photo
2. Complete Your Entire Profile, Including Prior Jobs
3. Include Email Address In Your Last Name (easier to contact you)
4. Use Keywords Liberally in Your Profile (think of it as an SEO page)
5. Link to Web Sites Using Keywords, not “My Web Site”
6. Link to Your Blog’s RSS Feed
7. Update Your Profile Often (keeps you on your contacts’ news stream), but Not Egregiously
8. Create Status Updates (like Twitter and Facebook)
9. Activate Linkedin Applications that Connect to Your Content
– WordPress & Bloglink
– Company Buzz (Twitter search)
10. Invite Anyone You Meet in a Business Setting
11. Use Custom Invite Text
12. Find Connections Through Linkedin Search (company search is especially good)
13. Browse Your Connections’ Connections to Find People You Forgot or Missed
14. Invite Your Contacts from Outlook, Gmail, et al
15. Liberally Provide and Request Recommendations
– Use Custom Request Text
– Provide Guidance to Reviewers on Themes and Keywords You’d Like Included
16. Send Messages to Your Connections About Job Openings, Events
– Breaks Through Clutter of Inbox
Build Your LinkedIn Reputation
17. Set up a Search and Answer Questions in the Linkedin Answers Section
– Search can also be set as an RSS feed
18. Join Groups (only enough so that you can participate in each one)
– Great way to meet new connections through group discussions
19. Consider Creating Your Own Group
Using Linkedin for Business Development
20. Connect with Clients, Former Clients, and Prospects
21. Use Search to Find Appropriate Contacts at Target Companies
22. Use Search to Find Background Information on Personnel at Target Companies
(photo by DidbyGraham)