By Colleen Miller
Everyone’s busy. We all face the demands of work and family daily. With this whirlwind lifestyle that many of us are living, I am often asked, “Who has time for social media?”
Well, if you only have time for one form of social networking, it should be done through LinkedIn. Why? LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, can connect you with other professionals and support your offline networking which will hopefully lead to business contacts, career development and more. (If you have been involved in Princeton Community Works, even a little, you know how much our group values networking!) So plant a little social media seed. Water it a little and grow your network in LinkedIn. You will find the professional connections are very valuable.
- Set up a profile. Make sure you fill it out completely and accurately.
- Use a professional photo. This is not the time to use a photo of a pet, a blurry party shot or one you would not show your grandmother. Hire someone for this picture.
- Connect with people you know. Ask for their recommendations. This speaks to your experience and lends credibility.
- Promote your organization or company. Add a link to your organization in your Contact Info area.
- Share helpful content, such as links to professional articles or events. This is not challenging. Everyone reads and sees information about related issues that may be useful to others. Curating content is quick, easy and very efficient in increasing your visibility.
- Communicate with others. Use the messaging ability in LinkedIn to touch base, set up meetings and find resources. Do not use it for “cold sales calls” or spamming. No one likes that!
- Be friendly to searchers. Make sure you do the little things that help people find your profile when they search.
- Customize your LinkedIn URL. You can edit this on the public profile page on the right hand side. Use your name or other keywords.
- Use your three website links in your contact information. You can edit the text of these links, rather than using the default “My Website.” Select “Other” in the drop down, and then you may customize the title text. This is helpful in search!
Publish Your Thoughts
This takes a bit more time, but is well worth it. Write a post. There’s a button on your profile that says “Write a Post.” Use it! Draw on your knowledge and experience to write something brief and focused. This tool to publish posts has been added into LinkedIn and tons of professionals are taking advantage of it.
Most of all, use LinkedIn to be an online presence and connect with others. You will reap the harvest of planting a few seeds and caring for them.
Colleen Miller is the founder of Miller Social Media and has presented at Princeton Community Works several times.