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According to figures published by Statista LinkedIn had 364 million users globally, as of the third quarter of 2015. Whilst this is an impressive figure, many of these accounts are dormant.
Even though LinkedIn is the top global business-related social media network for job seekers, recruiters, networkers, consultants, small business owners, large corporation and marketing and sales people, there are millions of LinkedIn accounts that have as yet to reach their full potential.
If your account is barren, you are most probably not reading this article on LinkedIn however it has been shared with you from LinkedIn. To reap the tremendous benefits of LinkedIn, I have listed four things you should consider doing.
1. Have a plan
Most people create a LinkedIn account without any idea of what they hope to achieve from the platform, and for this reason, they do not complete what they started. Decide what you want to get out of LinkedIn. Do you want to connect and network with current and past business colleagues? Do you want to expose your skills, expertise and experience to a large, global business community? Do you want to be seen as a subject matter expert and thought leader?
2. Get the basics right
If you were going to a job interview or submitting a proposal, you wouldn’t present a half finished resume or proposal would you? So why do it on LinkedIn for the entire world to see? Individuals have lost dream jobs and companies have lost large projects because of incomplete LinkedIn profiles.
There are a myriad of resources available online to assist you with the completion of your profile. LinkedIn provides learning webinars and there are also many LinkedIn specialists who provide on demand training and one-on-one coaching.
3. Make the right connections
Even though this forms part of point 2 above, I wanted to give it a special mention. Who you are connected with on LinkedIn is a major contributor to your success on the platform.
Before connecting, make a list of the people with whom you would like to connect. Depending on your LinkedIn strategy, these people may include current and past work colleagues, peers within your industry, current and past customers and business partners, journalist and editors within the media and prospects.
4. Get noticed
How you complete your profile will determine your visibility on LinkedIn. If you use the right keywords in your title, experience, summary and skills, there is a good chance you will be picked up in search results. The best way however is to share value-adding content with your network. You can do this via LinkedIn updates, the LinkedIn publishing platform, on LinkedIn groups or through direct messaging. Remember when sharing content, never sell. Focus on presenting solutions to business challenges.
To sum up, put a place in place, update your profile, get connected and start sharing value-adding content. What I have presented are the absolute basics. There is a lot more you can do to fine tune your LinkedIn presence, and believe me, if done correctly, you will reap the rewards.