When choosing your social media strategy, it’s easy to get sucked into the hype surrounding Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. These are great starting points for a social presence for your company, but are they the right fit?
If you are in a primarily B2B industry, you might want to make some use of LinkedIn. By now, you’ve probably got a semi-finished profile and a few outstanding connection invites but aren’t really sure where to go from there. This social platform is generally used to connect like-minded business people and maximise your networking potential. These days, you can use it to find a job, give or receive industry advice and get references or ‘recommendations’ that can be visible to your prospective clients and employers.
On the top menu bar, you can hover over the ‘Companies’ tab and search for companies that you have worked for, or want to do business with. Once you’ve selected a company, you can connect with employees and former employees. Note, you can only connect to people with whom there is a 2nd or 3rd level connection.
If your organisation doesn’t have a company page, you can add one by clicking the ‘add a company’ link on the top right of the ‘Search for a Company’ page. The benefits of this are that you can make announcements about products and achievements as the voice of your company instead of your personal profile. Encourage comments and likes by asking questions, and participating in others conversations.
One of the quickest ways to get involved in a community is to join a few groups related to your industry or interests. You can search for them by keyword and language, as well as by which groups your existing connections are members of. Once you’ve joined, you can select to be notified when a new discussion, promotion or job listing is added, giving you the opportunity to participate, recommend or pass it on to someone you know.
While Linkedin isn’t specifically a job search tool, there is a resume builder so that you can keep your contacts up to date with your skills. You never know when an opportunity will pop up, not just to change jobs, but to win clients in your existing one because your credentials are up to date and relevant. The resume builder can be found at LinkedIn Labs
Available on Android, IPhone and Blackberry, this app is a great, pared down version of the site. Handy if you are at a social function and want to connect to someone you have met using CardMunch – an app that lets you take a photo of a person’s business card, and then automatically connects you on Linkedin.
These are like references that you would put on your resume, but are immortalised on the internet. If you have worked with someone whom you are connected to on LinkedIn, or have completed a project, you can request a recommendation that will be publically displayed.
Like any social media platform, LinkedIn does require some regular work to stay in the loop, but nothing like the ‘gimme’ attention you are used to on Facebook. Start slowly by exploring all the apps and tools, and remember to participate by leaving comments or posting news to keep your connections warm.