Using LinkedIn to connect, become eminent and start conversations

I am having a lot of success by participating on LinkedIn, in terms of growing my network and getting “thought ware” out there and thought I’d share a few points with you that work for me. I am always open to advice, comments and tips so please connect with me on LinkedIn if you have anything of value to contribute to the conversation. 

Did you know that LinkedIn is THE social network of choice for business people globally, that over one million people are registered on LinkedIn in South Africa (and is gaining popularity in the rest of Africa) and that there are over one million groups on LinkedIn?

Why should you use LinkedIn?

  • Your LinkedIn profile enables colleagues, clients, prospects and employers to have visibility of your competencies and experience
  • Links you provide on your profile drive traffic to your website, newsletter subscription, LinkedIn groups, Twitter feed, Facebook fan page,etc. 
  • LinkedIn ranks high on Google so your profile becomes visible
  • It is easy to identify and connect with colleagues, business partners, clients and prospects
  • Your LinkedIn profile follows you and the people you connect with
  • Your participation in LinkedIn groups enables you to identify potential opportunities
  • You can post updates with links to content that may be viewed on your profile 
  • You can incorporate your blog posts and Twitter feed into your LinkedIn profile
  • Engaging in group discussions enables you to build credibility
  • Individuals are easier to approach on LinkedIn
What you should do next
  • Register on www.linkedin.com
  • Upload your photo
  • Update your profile focussing on your core competencies  (ie where you add value) and projects you have been involved in over the past 3 – 5 years
  • Add links to your website, blog, Twitter account, Facebook page to your LinkedIn profile
  • Connect with others regularly
  • If you have a Twitter account and/or blog, incorporate them into your LinkedIn profile 
  • Identify appropriate groups, start discussions and comment on existing discussions
  • Create your own groups and start discussions (You are able to tweet comments from LinkedIn)

If you require assistance, connect with me on LinkedIn. I am more than happy to assist you.

 

15 thoughts on “Using LinkedIn to connect, become eminent and start conversations

  1. Ahuvah Berger

    I agree 100% with the content of this post and I have a few more words of wisdom.

    1. Make sure your Profile is SEO friendly. This way when someone is looking for an expert in a specific field, you will appear higher in the search results. Tips on how to do that can be found http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/optimize-your-linkedin-profile-for-best-results-howto

    2. Personalize the general LinkedIn Connection request message. There is no need to write a whole long email – just a line or two as to why the two of you should connect.

    3. Follow up with a new connection with a personalized thank you email.

    4. Request LinkedIn recommendations from co-workers and colleagues/customers. This will help build both your personal and corporate brand.

    5. LinkedIn has integrated a third party app that monitors for movement from one job to another http://www.jobchangenotifier.com/ <- these notifications are quite helpful but make a note that if you change the title of your current role, even if you havent moved jobs, those that have subscribed to these notifications are going receive a notification.

    Reply
  2. Claude Super

    Thanks David, this is a great social place where everyone (professional) must be !
    Just want to mention a tool which is very helpful to help you to make your profile easy to read for hunters and/or new relations.
    Try http://www.linkedin.com/skills/?trk=skill-rank to precise your main skills and add some metadata to your profile.
    Enjoy it and let’s empower ourselves !
    Have a great day 😉

    Reply
  3. Barry Tuck

    Excellent post, Mr Graham. LinkedIn is such a popular social network, yet is badly under utilised by so many people, even the vast majority of the 100 million that now have profiles on it. It’s great to see the ground you are making/breaking here, leading the way for other South African professionals, and all of us at Gorilla avidly follow what you are doing in this space. Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

    Reply
  4. David Greenway

    I must admit that although I have a LinkedIn Account I hardly ever use it. I haven’t linked my Twitter account to it as my tweets are usually not very business like in nature and would not put forward the image that I wish to present in a corporate environment.

    I have almost completely updated my profile to be as complete as possible but have not really found the time to be proactive and utilise it as a platform for connecting with others.

    I personally find that it is easier to network with the people I want to on Twitter. The ease of use of the apps designed for Twitter and mobile phones outstrips the use of the apps for LinkedIn and because of that I find that I use it to communicate more often.

    Reply
    1. Ahuvah Berger

      LinkedIn is my personal professional page where others can see my work history and my connections.

      I too prefer Twitter for engagement purposes. The 140 character limit allows for concise conversations that can be moved off twitter when it is necessary.

      Reply
  5. Neil Morrison

    Very interesting read and I agree, LinkedIn is definitely a social network for professionals and B2B marketing. A great way to make new professional/business contacts and is constantly growing. But unfortunately not all people on it realise or use it to its full potential (including myself)

    I have to agree with David Greenway and say that i do not spend as much time (as i would like to) on LinkedIn and also do not have my twitter linked as i do not want to mix my personal with my professional.

    I do believe i need to focus more time and energy on LinkedIn and after this article i will be doing so.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. David Graham Post author

      Hi Neil

      Thank you for your comments on the LinkedIn post. Our primary reason for focussing on LinkedIn is the simple fact that this is where most of our clients and prospects participate. We do however engage on the other social networks for those clients that prefer Twitter, Facebook, etc. Should you start using LinkedIn, I look forward to interacting with you. I have a social media group where members add new material on a regular basis. This may be of benefit to you.

      All the best
      David Graham

      Reply
  6. Dave

    Howsit Dave,

    A highly valuable post. I am partially to blame for my lack of knowledge around the LinkedIn network. As a related industry colleague, I have been exposed to many platforms over the years and have unfortunately ignored the LinkedIn platform due to a lack of user experience. I feel as though the LinkedIn, as valuable as the content and connectivity can essentially be, I still feel as though the platform falls flat on it’s face in providing me with a rich and user friendly experience and for that very reason, I have stayed away from really engaging with the groups I belong to and with the people and content create within it to consume.

    Profile platforms such as Zerply provide me with a unique experience that I can easily use to not only elevate myself as a professional but can be proud of when visiting my own profile. Another network which I am proud to belong to is A Small World where I have been lucky enough to connect with international businessmen who have provided me with what can only be considered life changing advice, both personally and for business.

    As for how it is being effectively used by professional, well Dave, I look at you. Your use of the platform is by far one of the most interesting and is something that I pay attention to on a daily basis. I think what you have accidentally become is the “Mr.LinkedIn” of South Africa. Your insights and use of the platform is not only valuable for all of us looking in, but what you’re essentially doing is breaking new ground for what both an individual can do with this kind of platform and what a business like Deloittes can do when leveraging the platform to its full extent.

    Thanks for inviting me to come through to read and comment! Always enjoy spit-balling with you. Keep it up, from one Dave to another.

    Regards,
    Dave of Aqua Online

    Reply
    1. David Graham Post author

      Hi Dave

      Thank you for your comments on the “Using LinkedIn” post. I originally put this together to be used internally as I still spend a lot of time selling the benefits of social media and social networking within my organisation. This is a slow process but rewarding as realisation slowly starts dawning as individuals start seeing results. The primary reason why I focus on LinkedIn to engage and communicate with Deloitte’s clients and prospecs is that this is where MOST of them are. We have a specific target list of clients who I polled and asked which social networks they use and what their communication preference is. Based on the results of the poll, we still focus predominantly on email and the social networks where our target market participate. The “most used” is LinkedIn. I have conducted an exercise to see who uses Twitter and came back with a VERY short list 🙂

      Thank you for the information relating to Zerply and A Small World. I will definitely have a look at these. Thank you also for your comments relating to my participation on LinkedIn. It is good to hear positive affirmation of my social networking activities from a person of your calibre and from a reputable agency such as Aqua Online.

      I look forward to our continued digital interaction (and personal interaction in the Aqua Online “chill room”)

      Regards
      David Graham
      Deloitte Consulting

      Reply
  7. Elise de Beer

    Thanks for a great article & to all of you for the insightfull comments and tips. David – I am sharing this with all the “Why should I do LinkedIn?” colleagues. Let’s start a LinkedIn revolution! 😉

    Reply

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