Using Facebook and Twitter to connect and engage with consumers is a great way for you to market your brand. Afterall, this is the audience that will buy your products and visit your business. But what about your professional growth, how are you building that on social media?
What do you use when you want to reach out to colleagues, partners, investors or vendors? They might have Facebook and Twitter accounts - but something doesn’t seem right when you can recommend someone professionally and play Farmville at the same time.
You should be using LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social network that caters to the business/professional community. You use it to connect with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to help the growth of your business and build a stronger professional network.
LinkedIn’s mission has always been to connect the world’s professionals. In 2003, it was a place to post a resume and find co-workers. Now, business owners can create pages to help promote their brand. Users can join groups to help connect and share ideas with other industry professionals. Job seekers can use the site as a place to look for employment opportunities.
It’s a captive audience. An audience that wants to read about your business and your professional career. In fact, according to a 2012 Hubspot study, traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of all social media channels.
LinkedIn has become the social media destination for professionals.
With more than 300 million users, it’s the biggest professional mixer, without the cocktails and awkward small talk.
Some things to keep in mind about setting up your Linkedin profile.1) “Who are you?” - When creating your profile, share all of the relevant information. Keep your profile professional. Talk about your education, degrees and certifications achieved and past work experience. That doesn’t mean you can’t be creative when describing yourself, but do so thoughtfully. In the summary section share your skills, accomplishments and goals. Give people a sense of who you are. In the experience section, list that same information in detail for each position you have held.
2) Post a photo, but not THAT photo - First impressions mean a lot whether it’s meeting face-to-face or online. People are expecting to see you and how you represent yourself. It doesn’t have to be too formal, but it should be a picture where you can see your face - and hopefully you’re smiling in it.
3) Add friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances - Don’t be afraid to add everyone you know. When you are finished creating your profile, LinkedIn will want to know if you want to import your email contacts. Do this. It’s the fastest way to find who else is on LinkedIn and connect with them. Building a professional network has never been easier. Plus, LinkedIn’s greatest feature is giving you the ability to engage with your connections and potentially even their connections.
Now, do I think I’m going to be sitting down with the leader of the free world anytime soon? Of course not. And I doubt if Mr. Obama is actually monitoring his own LinkedIn account. However, this showcases that one connection through LinkedIn can lead to other opportunities.
So take some time and fill out your LinkedIn profile. Connect with as many people in your network as you can. We invite you to follow us on LinkedIn. Utilize the tools LinkedIn offers to help build your professional reach and cultivate relationships.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at email@example.com.