This blog post isn't meant to be a "how-to” guide to land your next job using LinkedIn. Instead, it’s meant to highlight the best ways for you or your firm’s employees to use LinkedIn. In the past, I've heard people say they didn't want to “get caught” using LinkedIn at work because it would signify that they were looking for new employment. Not true! Linkedin is a great tool for leveraging your network, and it represents you AND your company.
The following ideas are meant for inspiration. None of these should be mandated conformity – employees should be encouraged to update their profiles, but still be themselves in a way that best represents your firm.
Connect with Peers.
Recently, I was searching for a tax attorney, someone I can trust. I went to LinkedIn and searched “tax attorney” to see if any first or second connections were tax attorneys. [LinkedIn Connection Brainstorm] When I didn't find any, I shared an update asking if anyone knew an attorney. One of my first connections commented that her father was a tax attorney, she made an introduction, and he then connected me to someone he knew. For me, LinkedIn is the best platform for finding connection. The first-, second- and third-level connections allow you to reach further than you could on your own.
Think about the people in your network. Each of these people should be someone you would feel comfortable reaching out to, to ask “Do you know anyone who…?” And similarly, you could receive the same type of message (or appear in search results) based on a query from someone in your network reaching out, such as "I know your company develops websites, but do you know anyone who does apps?"
Even if you have only met someone once, only know them on social media or they are a friend of your mother's who used to come to dinner — add them to your network. The guy who changes your oil or sold you your living room set might not be on LinkedIn, but these are the types of relationships you can brainstorm when making connections. It doesn't hurt to have more!
Connect with your company page.
[Ascedia LinkedIn] When you fill out your employment, your company will drop down as an option if they are listed as a company page on LinkedIn (they should be!). Once you do this, your company’s logo appears on your profile and you appear as an employee of your firm on its LinkedIn page. According to LinkedIn’s Best Practices Blog, employees are 70% more likely to engage with your company updates.” Someone at your company is taking the time to craft messages for the company page and sharing updates about new site launches. In return, you should enthusiastically “like” and “share” company status updates. Show the people in your network you’re part of a proud and strong company!Follow your firm’s page. The more company page followers, the higher that page will rank in LinkedIn search results, sparking greater reach and potential interaction with shared content.
Connect with Groups.
I recently attended a presentation by LinkedIn extraordinaire, Wayne Breitbarth. He recommends joining 50 groups. His logic is that the more groups you are a part of, the more your network expands. I tend to disagree with his logic — I prefer quality over quantity.
Many national groups can be full of spam; however local groups are excellent resources for finding events and answering relevant questions from other members. Seek out advice in these groups — it’s often helpful to get input somewhere other than within your own company.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Best Ways for Employees to Use LinkedIn!