Social media has become a part of our everyday lives. It is the quickest, most effective way to stay in touch with family, friends and business contacts. Whether you have embraced it or not, it is here to stay so I would like to share a few simple strategies that can help you maximize your time and efforts while properly representing yourself and your business. If you already are using social media to your advantage, you can use these tips to enhance your results.
Start with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is your professional presence online and the gold standard business social media site with over 332,000,000 members and growing.
- Develop a first class profile. Maximize your skills, education and experience. You have a great story to tell and you have to tell it. You wouldn’t show up to a job interview with a blank resume’ or without researching the company and employees who are interviewing you so why would you do the same online where millions have access to you with a few clicks?
- Always include a professional looking picture of yourself. Profiles without pictures are looked at less than half of those that do and are considered incomplete.
- Sell yourself and company/product. Describe what you do, where you do it and how it helps others. Look at your goals. Is your LinkedIn profile helping you reach them? (Tip: If you are working on your updating your profile, you can temporarily turn off publishing your profile changes. LinkedIn Settings, Privacy, Notify your Network)
- Grow your contacts. Connect with people you know and trust. You may be surprised to find that almost everybody you know is already on LinkedIn. People you know and trust want to help you succeed, just as you want to help them.
- LinkedIn provides tools under the “Connections” tab that can help you quickly search your contacts that may already be on LinkedIn.
- Include a personal message vs. standard on your invitation to connect. Taking one minute to personalize can make a big difference. Remind people where you met or last interacted with them: “Enjoyed our conversation at the XYZ conference”
- Having a detailed, professional profile will help you help you grow your network faster because potential connections will immediately click on you before they decide to connect.
- Use LinkedIn Weekly. Once you have a complete and professional profile and you are building your contacts, you need to understand the many ways others are interacting and using the site to their advantage.
- Look at other profiles, status updates, groups, conversations, connections and company pages. LinkedIn gives you the ability to share relevant news stories, press releases and create discussions.
- Join groups, and follow companies that are in your industry or you want to stay informed about. Joining a group gives you access to people that you may not otherwise be able to connect with.