Networking or building relationships is probably still the most important aspect of LinkedIn.
Like traditional networking, you get out what you put in. If you attend an event and do not talk to anyone, you will find it a waste of time.
However, if you chat to people and listen to them you will find it much more productive. So too with LinkedIn – if you just build your profile but rarely log in or actively post or comment, you are not going to get much from it.
The more connections you have, the more effective LinkedIn will be.
Think about the magic ‘50’ – the minimum number recommended for your profile and the first 50 people to engage with your posts and help with organic reach.
Some people only connect with people they have actually met. Others will connect with anyone who invites them to build their network, as well as actively approach people they do not know.
Decide what works for you. It’s a good habit to look back over your emails once a week and see who you have communicated with and invite them to connect.
Use the groups
Groups are a particularly useful feature of LinkedIn. They give access to huge numbers of people who are all interested in the same topics.
You are allowed to join up to 100 groups, so research a variety and join ones that are likely to present you with the best networking opportunities.
Look for groups that are related to your area, social causes and alumni. Try and find ones that have lots of members and activity. For example, there’s the Mortgage Brokers UK group with nearly 6,000 members.
Winning business should not be your primary motivation for being on LinkedIn.
We have all come across people who invite us to connect and then immediately launch into a blatant sales pitch. Instead use LinkedIn for building long-term relationships.
Nevertheless, such a large network of professional contacts can be very useful. If you focus on building a group of people that you know you like and trust, it is only natural that at some point you will recommend people or do business with someone.
The following stats speak for themselves: 51 per cent of companies acquired a business-to-consumer customer through LinkedIn and LinkedIn is responsible for 64 per cent of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites.
With 562m members, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for recruiting. By posting job vacancies on the platform, you are likely to increase the possibility of attracting the right type of candidates as the site will present qualified candidates with your posting.