These tips are courtesy of business communications expert Elena Acoba, as part of the ongoing series of social media classes at the Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce. Elena is a writer/editor who provides business communications support for companies and organizations. You can reach Elena on LinkedIn, Twitter or at acoba at dakotacom dot net.
Basics: Decide what LinkedIn will do for you.
1. Determine what you want to use LinkedIn for.
2. Determine with whom you want to connect and the parameters for new connections.
3. Determine how LinkedIn connects with your other social media and marketing efforts.
4. Make commitments on how much time you want to spend on LinkedIn.
5. If important, figure out how to determine results of your efforts and set benchmarks or goals.
Profile: Introduce yourself.
6. Complete your profile.
7. Add value propositions to your experience profile.
8. Obtain as many recommendations as possible. Don’t be shy to ask!
9. Update often so it shows up in your status announcement to connections.
Connections: Create a useful network.
10. Decide if you will connect with most everyone or be selective in your invitations and acceptances.
11. Always add a personal note to the people you invite to connect with you.
12. Always send personal notes to the people with whom you connected as a result of their invitations.
13. Always thank people who connect with you or with whom you’ve connected.
14. Always offer to do something for your connections. I end each thank you note with “Let me know what I can do for you.”
15. Comment as often as possible to your connections’ status updates.
16. Check the connections of new connections to find other people you’d like to connect with.
17. Pledge to contact so many people each month from your connection list.
18. Organize your connections into lists to more easily find people to send messages.
19. Don’t be shy to ask for introductions from your connections to their connections.
20. Offer to introduce your connection to another of your connections when it would be advantageous to them.
21. Thank connections or anyone else who responds to your comments or recommends you in groups.
Status: Show your expertise and experience.
22. Update often with information about you that is meaningful to your connections, whether personally or generally.
23. Update with news of what you’re doing, what you did and what you’re going to do professionally.
24. Update with information on events you’re going to attend, lead, plan, etc.
25. Update with awards you’ve just received.
26. Update with new postings on your blog or others’ blogs.
27. Offer to provide information or assistance to your connections.
28. Share job, intern and volunteer opportunities.
29. Avoid using automatic tweets if your purposes for each social medium are different.
Applications: Enhance your profile.
30. Add a blog, video, PPTs, slides, work samples to show your expertise and experience.
31. Follow events to attend. Post events of your own, even if you’re just attending.
32. Use collaboration apps to get your contacts working together on a project (innovation).
33. Use Learning Center to get the most out of LinkedIn.
34. Use Skills to find contacts, jobs, industry.
35. Use Company to see who’s come on board and some career information
36. Use Settings to have status information and group discussions sent directly to your email in box.
Groups and Answers: Share and learn.
37. Sign up for special interest groups.
38. Participate in discussions where your expertise shines.
39. Read to learn about your industry/profession.
40. Read to see how you might improve or target your product, service or expertise.
41. Read to learn what keywords you can incorporate in your profile to reach your audiences/customers through search engines.
42. Ask questions to engage the community and get answers.