Much like the old adage that we only use 10 percent of our brains, you may fall into the camp of LinkedIn users leveraging less than a 10th of what this robust business-networking platform has to offer.
If you have been guilty of chronic LinkedIn underutilization this year, make these 2015 LinkedIn resolutions to jump-start your professional networking and development in the New Year. Your personal brand, company brand and career success have much to gain.
Leverage LinkedIn's new blog functionality available this year, allowing the publishing of long-form content versus just short status updates. It is an opportunity to share original content with your connections, establishing yourself as a subject-matter expert in your field. To access this feature, click the pencil icon in the "share an update" box.
Use the relationship tab as a simple contact database -- similar to CRM (customer relationship management ) software. When you view a person's profile page, you will find the Relationship Tab displayed beneath their photo. You can add notes, reminders for follow up, and details on how you met. You can even use tags to segment your database of contacts into colleagues, friends, classmates, etc.
Recommend and endorse your network. You will assist key connections in gaining credibility and likely encourage them to reciprocate. Giving a recommendation is the equivalent of writing a testimonial. With endorsements, you are selecting skills and expertise your connections have. Both can potentially be displayed on your connection's profile, if they so choose.
Actively post in LinkedIn groups comprised of your target audience (prospective clients, influencers or employers). Not only does LinkedIn report that active group users generally earn four times as many page views, there is the added benefit of being able to direct message those in a group with you.
Set a monthly calendar reminder to reach out to 10 old contacts to see how they are doing and offer some updates of your own. It can be awkward to reach out to someone you haven't interacted with in years, simply because you need something. Stay in touch for reasons beyond just your needs.
Spend five minutes per day minimum interacting with your home page newsfeed. Like and comment on posts, congratulate connections on new positions or awards, and make your presence known.
Create a LinkedIn company page if you don't already have one. Google has historically been particularly fond of LinkedIn company pages.
LinkedIn offers some robust analytics about your updates, followers and visitors. Document your baseline stats and then look for improvements monthly. A separate analytics tab can be found on your company LinkedIn page. For personal page analytics, click on "Who's Viewed Your Profile."
Resolve to better leverage LinkedIn this year, and watch your network and career grow.
Find more advice at www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).