In the last of our LinkedIn tips series of blog posts, we’ll take a look at some of the more advanced features of the platform – including groups, content sharing and advertising.
Tip #1 – Find Groups & Learn to Participate
I recently completed a social media training course for mortgage professionals, and during this training several of the loan officers who were active on LinkedIn talked about the ways they connect with realtors, builders and borrowers online. The ones having the most success were using local groups.
Now, there are many types of groups on LinkedIn. In fact you should have no problem finding a group for just about anything you are interested in. But professional groups can be scary for those who are new to LinkedIn; so I suggest starting with something easy and moving up to professional type groups.
For example, here in New Orleans one topic everyone loves is food – especially “po-boys.” In one of the local groups I found a harmless question “What is your favorite po-boy?” Now this is a great question to start with because really there is no wrong answer.
The idea is that by participating in group discussions that aren’t related to business, you can get a feel for how they work, and also learn to spot what not to do. Because in that same group, someone had posted “The best po-boys are at my shop (unnamed here) and you can get one for (xxx) price on whatever days of the week.” The rest of the group slammed this person for advertising on the forum as that was not what the group was there for and this type of blatant selling on LinkedIn is considered spam by most.
Once you have a better feel for how it works, it’s time to venture into professional groups where you can really showcase your expertise.
Tip #2 – Create and Share Your Content
If you are taking the time to create a newsletter, blog post, newspaper article or other content, there is no better place to share it than LinkedIn. Although Facebook has much larger numbers in terms of members and usage, I would argue that LinkedIn is the better place to share your professionally generated content as those who have connected with you have done so on a professional basis.
Sharing your content on LinkedIn will help build your online reputation as an authority in your area and is a great way to provide value to those in your network. This is especially true if you take the time to create content that is focused on what your connections want.
And don’t forget about sharing your content in groups. If you are active in a group and present your content in the form of sharing expertise, don’t overlook the fact that it could get in front of hundreds of potential clients with the click of a mouse!
Tip #3 – Apps, Apps, Apps
These days everyone has “apps” and LinkedIn is no different. The trick is to find the apps that you can use quickly and easily to get more out of your LinkedIn experience. A few we recommend are:
- Mobile apps – this is a “must have” if you want to make posting updates a snap. Most smartphones will allow you to download some version of a LinkedIn application that will allow you at least the basic functionality like posting status updates and responding to messages via your phone.
- Browser Toolbar – Many web browsers have toolbars that you can download and use for quickly posting new content to your favorite social channels. Shareaholic for Firefox is one that we like but there are many others out there depending on which is your favorite browser.
- Aggregators – Tools like Ping.fm and Hootsuite are called “aggregators” as they allow you to manage multiple social sites in a single dashboard. These tools are free and can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to either post to sites like LinkedIn or keep tabs on what’s happening on those sites.
You can view a full list of the LinkedIn Apps on their website and see which ones interest you.