For many of us, there’s a clear split: Facebook and the like for friends and family, LinkedIn for professional contacts. After all, with its origins in HR and recruitment, LinkedIn is dedicated to professional networking.
But do you have that nagging feeling you could be using it more? We talked to a few typical users about their experiences. How do yours compare?
Effort in, results out
Several interviewees admitted they linked up with people but then did little else. Like any networking activity, creating and maintaining real relationships takes effort. Keep in touch regularly. Share ideas. Invite people to events. And have a plan – haphazard activity will bring haphazard results.
Getting your profile 100% complete
Not essential according to our interviewees. On the other hand, updating your profile or adding information keeps you visible. If you leave your profile untouched for months (years), you send out signals like “I’m too busy” or “I’m not interested in networking like this”.
To recommend or not to recommend
A touchy subject. Some of our interviewees felt recommendations often read like “pats on the back” among friends or colleagues. If you are recommending someone, or asking someone for a recommendation, keep the focus on concrete ways in which the person adds value.
Join (the right) groups
Groups can keep you up to date on a topic of interest – you’ll receive regular updates on the discussions. There are a lot of groups out there and it can be a bit hit or miss when it comes to information of real interest. But cast your net wide enough and you can discover some real gems
Being active in a group is also a good way to contribute and increase your visibility as knowledgeable / active in that field. Our interviewees knew of people who’ve got assignments / speaking engagements through being active in LinkedIn groups.
Only link with people you know – right or wrong?
Mixed feelings on this. For some, it’s a question of “why be on a public site if you only want to connect with people you know already?” For others, it’s strictly people I know only. One suggestion: if a stranger takes the trouble to introduce themselves and why they want to link, it’s worth considering.