Communities, Tribes, Social Networks; whatever term you use to describe “your peops” most people fall short on the most important thing in social media:
In this post I want to discuss how to best engage your LinkedIn community versus just “having a profile” on LinkedIn. To my surprise many people are still unaware of the largest social network for business professionals. Here are a few facts pulled from LinkedIn’s page.
- LinkedIn has over 85 million members in over 200 countries.
- A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of their members are outside the U.S.
- Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.
Although your personal reach may not be 85 million, you should engage the LinkedIn community, here are a few tips for social engagement (Note: all links in this section will take you to a screen shot of the specific topic/page);
- Check out the “More” section: This part of LinkedIn can be your best friend in engaging the community! You will find the following useful sections under the “More” tab; Companies, Answers, Events and Polls.
- Engage Company’s: You can follow companies and receive updates on their hiring, departures and internal promotions. This gives you an opportunity to congratulate and identify needs within companies and engage people in recent company events.
- Engage the Answers section: You can search by topic, ask questions and answer questions. This is a great place to show your expertise in key areas, share knowledge and most importantly engage in dialogue that is relevant to your area of interest.
- Engage Events: Find popular events in your geography and topical interest, create an event to invite others and see other events members of your tribe is attending. Yes you can engage on-line tribes, off-line!
- Engage in Polls. You can engage a broad group of people through these resources just by responding to simple/quick polls. It is really easy to create your own poll for data and engaging the community. Don’t know where to start; there is a section to the right called “polls you may like”, this is a great place to start engaging based on your profile and previous polls.
- Applications: there are many to choose from, I highly suggest sharing your presentations via SlideShare, attaching your blog and many others. This will appear on your profile and update in your network feeds. Great opportunity to present without “presenting”!
- Engage Groups: Search, find and engage groups that may be of interest to you. One thing I highly recommend is connecting with networkers who have the largest reach (see TopLinked Group) and engage them! Most are open networkers and more than willing in assisting you build your community.
- Update your status frequently with relevant information and links that reflect your expertise (not just your blog post, although ok to post those). Avoid updates with cliché’s and sayings; your professional audience does not care what Confucius say, what do YOU have to say!
LinkedIn is a great tool for networking, but the heart of networking requires an engagement. Would you move into a neighborhood and meet any of your neighbors Would you start a new job and never speak to others outside your immediate department? NO! Your social media engagement plan is as follows: participate in active conversation on a regular basis (no flow chart required for this simple process)!