Linkedin is past 40 million members now, and if you’re like me, you’ve seen your contact list growing steadily. With its incredible reach and network of hungry business professionals, it has the potential to rival any other Social Media space for effectiveness.
The advantage over platforms like Twitter is that you can be nakedly ambitious here. You don’t have to talk about the weather before you head for the jugglar. This is business. Are you getting enough out of it?
Let’s assume you have your profile completed, you don’t look like Max Schreck in your photo, and you’ve added a bunch of business contacts, colleagues and people you met travelling in India. What to do next? Check out these navigators:
>Search. Because my contacts are based primarily in my industry and geographic region, whether I’m looking for a contractor, an outsource partner or new staff member, I can let my contacts know. They’re my contacts because I respect them. And because this is a Social Media place, I keep my eye out for other people’s search requests and help as I can.
> Groups. Join a bunch of groups relevant to your industry and follow the topics that interest you. Great way to get up to speed in areas you’re weak in. Also gives you the chance to collaborate with smart people outside your contacts list. They could be from anywhere in the world. You can be emailed notifications of comments within the discussions you are following using Linkedin tools, so you don’t have to keep checking back.
> Answers. Here’s where you can pitch that pressing question out there to the business world. Are NEO’s more likely to be online gamblers than traditionalists? Can email and Social Media be better integrated? Linkedin is a great place to ask away.
> Status Updates. Post your latest blog here, throw a link to an online article that blew your way, attach a white paper. And check your contacts’ status updates when you sign in. You never know what kind of value you’re going to find.
As Bill Whitehead Sr. – the founder of T-CAAN – is fond of saying, “it only works if you work it”.