how to use linkedin

Don’t Overlook the Obvious: Using LinkedIn to Build Business Relationships

By Social Media

The other day I went to set up an event in Facebook for a tech group I’m in, and was interrupted by an email. The email had great deals on some pretty bags I wanted so I pinned them in Pinterest, then went back and bought one, which reminded me I needed some office supplies, so I went to another website and bought those. What was I doing again? I was so distracted that when I did create the Facebook event, I made it for the WRONG DAY. Luckily the group knows we always meet on Wednesdays, so they harassed me about my mistake and life went on.

I think of this stream of choppy activity as internet ADD and I generally don’t allow myself to fall into this spiral, but I can see how easy it is to do. If we, as individual consumers of content, have this problem, think of what a business deals with when looking at the broad array of tools, platforms and applications to use in support of their business branding and marketing.

There are solid, proven tools, platforms and networks: blogging is CRITICALLY important. A Facebook presence puts your brand in front of a potential 800 million pairs of eyes. Twitter is excellent for customer service and engagement and Pinterest has stepped into place as a serious contender for brands marketing to women.

But what about LinkedIn? Are we forgetting about the social network CREATED to foster business relationships? I assert that LinkedIn is the most solid, reliable place for individuals within companies to build a network in support of their careers and the brands they represent. It’s a professional space, so many of the concerns that plague businesses about the division between personal and professional are lifted. It’s been around a LONG time and the users who have realized its benefits have cultivated deep relationships using the tool.

Like all of us, sometimes the internet blinders are necessary. A plan to help your business stay focused and use the RIGHT tools at the RIGHT time is critical.

How have you used LinkedIn, lately?



What Has LinkedIn Done for You Lately?

By Social Media

Individuals and companies struggling with the plunge into the social media pool can consider this: try LinkedIn first. LinkedIn is a business network, first, foremost and always, and for the uninitiated, the perfect place to establish a social network for business growth that is easy to understand and not overwhelming.

LinkedIn is a constant resource for my business. Here are just a few ways I’ve used it in the last week:

  1. I connected with client contacts so they can have access to my network as second degree contacts
  2. I’ve reviewed who is interested in my profile, to see if there are any likely warm leads to whom I should be conducting outreach
  3. I researched client prospects and their businesses and sent messages to individuals I want to meet
  4. I posted news from my own company, as a way of sharing our growth and capabilities

LinkedIn is a very useful business tool — for companies that are not otherwise engaged in social networking tools at all, it is absolutely necessary to take advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer.

If we have a working relationship and we’re not already connected on LinkedIn, feel free to reach out: http://www.linkedin.com/in/marijeanjaggers 

6 Reasons Telling Someone You’d like to Add them to your Professional Network is Lame

By Communications, Social Media

You’ve all gotten this message: “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

Here are 6 reasons why you should never, ever send this default message.

  1. It demonstrates to the contact that you don’t really know much about social networking.
  2. It is a lazy approach — you should put some thought into it instead of using the default message.
  3. It doesn’t give the contact any context at all! You owe people in your network a reminder of how it is you are connected and why you should share your professional world. Tell them WHY you want to add them. You owe them that much.
  4. It makes me think that you’re just trying to build your numbers and don’t represent any value to my network whatsoever.
  5. It doesn’t give me any detail about you — I’d love to know that I’ll be connecting to you to help you find a job or endorse your work or introduce you to a connection of mine.
  6. You’re part of a professional network; act like it. Is a default message a professional invitation?

P.S. The image above is from an actual invitation I received from someone I’ve never met or heard of. I did not accept the invitation.


12 Things to Do On LinkedIn Today, Instead of Sitting around Picking Your Nose

By Communications, Social Media

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I hate nose-pickers. If I see someone picking their nose in public, I will tweet about it, tell you where I am and what this person looks like. I am the Nose Picking Police. I don’t know why nose picking is so popular, but it clearly is. By the way; note to nose picking drivers everywhere — WE CAN SEE YOU. Here are 12 things to do today to further your career and improve your online profile using LinkedIn, instead of sitting around picking your nose.

  1. Upload your e-mail contacts from all sources.
  2. Get your profile to 100% by completing all of your information and adding a photo (of your face . . . and a recent shot.)
  3. Develop a keyword-rich professional headline — the headline is NOT your title but should be searchable phrases to attract people to you.
  4. Rename the default Website and Blog settings to personalized names including the name of your company and what it is that you do.
  5. Add your Twitter account and the Tweets application — follow your connections on Twitter.
  6. Write a recommendation for a colleague, partner or friend (and hope they return the favor).
  7. Google thyself — do you like what you see when your LinkedIn profile shows up in Google results?
  8. Delete connections you’ve accepted that are with people with whom you don’t truly have a business relationship.
  9. Add your skills to your profile.
  10. Join a group that interests you.
  11. Manage how often you get updates or notifications (I have it set up so I don’t get ANY notifications — preferring to log in to the site and see what’s new there.)
  12. Write updates regularly, sharing articles of interest, blog posts and upcoming events.

Look out nose pickers — I’m watching you.

More helpful LinkedIn advice.


WTF? Friday: Four Ways Facebook and LinkedIn are Different

By Communications
[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/TimFree/status/112157907902136322″]

My friend Tim fired off a cranky tweet this morning — and I agree with it wholeheartedly. Four ways Facebook and LinkedIn are different:

  1. LinkedIn is specifically for business relationships; for the most part, your friends on Facebook aren’t there to do business.
  2. A person’s LinkedIn profile is their resume. A person’s Facebook profile often tells you far less about the person professionally, and more about them personally.
  3. We connect to people on LinkedIn to improve our careers, to endorse others with whom we do business and to seek new opportunities. We connect with people on Facebook to find out if that guy we went to high school with is still hot. (Pro tip: he’s not.)
  4. Facebook calls connections “friends” which is amusing and mislabeled. I’m not really friends with most of the people I’ve “friended” on Facebook. LinkedIn connections, however, should be held to a higher standard; it will happen you will be the link between person A and person B and if person A asks you for a reference regarding person B, you don’t want to say, “I don’t really know them.”

So don’t go accepting all those offers to connect on LinkedIn willy-nilly, you dope. Make sure they’re people with whom you actually have a relationship you can reference.