With over 50 million users, LinkedIn has become one of the most popular social networking website for professionals. LinkedIn just got valued at a little above a billion dollars with a maximum number of high profile executives and CXO's on any social network. If you are looking towards building deeper relationships, getting more engaged and becoming an active member of LinkedIn, here are some tips which may be helpful:
1. Be Visible - Add as many connections as possible. By adding connections, you increase the likelihood of appearing first in people's searching when people are looking for something. People would rather work with someone in an existing connection rather than to look for a new provider.
2. Improve connectibility - Make sure that your profile is up to date and you've added all your professional details. Many people put only their recent company details in their profile and by doing so they severely limit their ability to connect with people. Based on your professional details, LinkedIn recommends you to potential colleagues whom you can connect with. Also, when a prospective employee or client searches, your name would appear in the list.
3. Connect with influencers - Use the data on LinkedIn to connect to influential people. The data will help you identify the networking events you should attend or arrange speaking engagements in good events. The detailed resumes on LinkedIn will help you identify people who share similar interests and you can connect with them. Influential connections can help you go a long way in your career.
4. Maintain connections - Most of the time we ensure that we make connections but don't maintain them. Become genuinely interested in your connections, appreciate their activity and take the relationship to the next level. If you do not use the deck of cards collected from your networking event, your time and money have gone waste in attending the event. Get connected to all members on LinkedIn, share thoughts and discuss things. If you are running newsletters, it may be a good idea to get their email ids and put them in your mailer system. That way, you ensure that you communicate with them regularly. Don't overdo it so as not to irritate people.
5. Contribute, Contribute, Contribute - Give away your best and the best will come to you! An old saying but still very effective in our digital world. LinkedIn answers are one of the best way to contribute to the network and gain visibility and credibility. Answer questions, respond to other people's answers and if your answer is ranked #1, a badge will appear on your profile signifying that you are an expert in that industry. The LinkedIn answers do get ranked well in search engines like Google and that is another way you get visibility.