You already know how great social media can be as you grow your business and develop your marketing strategy. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are exceptional tools to help manage your virtual presence. To me, LinkedIn stands out from the rest in many ways. It conveys a more professional image; but are you using it to its fullest potential?

Let's talk about a few ideas:

  • Personalizing website and blog links
  • Recommendations
  • Groups

Personalizing website and blog links.

When adding your web site or blog url to your profile, choose "other" to add it instead of choosing "website" or "blog." (See the screen shot below.) In the first field, you can identify your site or blog and in the second field you'll add the url. The advantage is two-fold. First you identify your site by name.

Those viewing your profile will see:

"Words Etc. Writing" or "Words Etc. Writing Blog" instead of just "Website" or "Blog"

Not only does this personalize your profile, but helps with the indexing of your LinkedIn content. (As you probably know, indexing is how search engines read the words on your LinkedIn profile page.)

 

Recommendations

Invite colleagues or clients to recommend your work. And make sure you reciprocate if they do! In case you don't know how to do this, go to your LI page to the Profile tab and choose Recommendations from the drop down list. The rest is pretty self-explanatory from there. And be sure to move those recommendations to your website as well to expand their power.

Control your profile

There are lots of options for your under settings to help you control your profile and share your activities. Here you can manipulate your Twitter activity, blog posts and other sharing activities, along with a variety of other aspects of your profile: what activities you want to share, change your photo and more.

Groups

LI groups offer a world of opportunity. No matter what your industry or field of interest, there are valuable groups to help you build your marketing strategy or to learn more about what works for others. And you can share your own expertise with others as well. You can search for groups on your LI home page. Click on the "Groups" tab to do a search or select "Groups Directory" from the drop-down list.

Some groups require approval for your acceptance. But once you're in, be sure to get involved in discussions, post questions, or share your blog posts. Don't forget to read the rules for the groups you join so you don't cross any lines of protocol. Some great groups to join if you're a blogger are The Blog Zone and a sub-group under this called The Blog Promoter. These groups welcome sharing of your posts to help increase your traffic and to see what others are blogging about.

And be sure to connect with other group members to expand your LI network. You'll find that most other members of the groups welcome your invitations. Once you get in the habit of being involved in the group discussions, you'll know which people you'll want to connect with. From job opportunities to brainstorming about marketing ideas to answering a software question, you are sure to find people that you'll want to add to your list of connections.

Personalizing your profile, requesting and providing recommendations and getting involved in groups are just a few of the ways that LinkedIn can help you maximize your marketing strategy and increase your exposure to potential clients as you grow your professional network.

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