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It May be Time to Link Up your Countertop Company with LinkedIn

Posted on 28 August 2013 by CRadmin2

By Jean Kelley

Mention the phrase social media and most people automatically think of Facebook and Twitter. However, if you have any dealings in the corporate world – whether you’re an owner, CEO, salesperson, manager  or anything in between – you’ll want to take a closer look at LinkedIn. You may find it a useful tool to make your business relationships more meaningful and profitable.

Before you dismiss the idea of using LinkedIn because you only know it as that bland social media site where people go when looking for a job, realize that there are currently 90 million LinkedIn users worldwide. One new user joins every second, and unlike social media sites like Facebook, which many people use for entertainment, all LinkedIn users are business minded. That means the connections you develop on LinkedIn are more likely to positively impact you and your company in some way. Therefore, if you want better or more professional business relationships, LinkedIn is the place to be. Even if you have a business profile on Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn makes a perfect addition to your personal and business branding tools.

A Business Resource

The key to making LinkedIn work for you and your company is to use the site regularly. That means posting something, such as an update, a question or an answer, every seven days at a minimum. The more you use any social media site, the more likely Google’s algorithm will notice your account and assign it a higher ranking on searches than it would otherwise receive. Additionally, the more you interact and post on LinkedIn, the more prominent you’ll become within your network. Your name recognition will grow.

Fortunately, staying active in LinkedIn is simple when you understand how it can benefit you professionally. Use the following ideas and suggestions to make the most of your account:

  • Show off your skills. It’s as easy to set up your profile in LinkedIn as it is in Facebook. Make sure your profile is written well and that it highlights what you currently do, what you have done, your strengths, your talents, your key attributes and your education. Remember that people will access your profile for many different reasons, not just for recruitment, but also for background information and professional contacts, so be thorough and always make your profile public. Because your profile is essentially a dynamic resume, keep it updated, tasteful and accurate at all times.

  • Say something meaningful. By posting status updates that contain valuable content, you show your network that you are a team player and that you care about other people’s success. Remember that status updates are not the place to advertise your company’s products or services. A better idea is to share a best practice, announce a seminar or event or give a quick tip. If you can’t think of anything to post, it’s perfectly acceptable to post a meaningful or motivational quote. The key is to post something interesting and relevant to your network, and always remember that what you post stays on the Internet forever.

  • Uncover conversation starters. LinkedIn is a great place to get an inside glimpse of people. For example, you can look up potential clients or vendors on LinkedIn to see what kind of books they read, where they went to school, what their main interests are and much more. Now, you’ll have more to talk about when you meet the potential client, vendor, or networking friend. Think of it as a way to have a professional relationship with someone much quicker than with traditional methods of communication. In fact, some estimates show that by using LinkedIn to research the people you plan to interact with, you can have a six-month head start on the relationship.
  • Spot trends and hot topics. An amazing amount of real-time information is available on LinkedIn. By being a member of various groups that interest you, you can see what people are thinking on a certain topic by the questions they’re posting and the responses they’re getting. So, if you want to know what the current trends or best practices are in lean manufacturing, you could join several lean manufacturing groups and track each group’s activity. You can then use the information you discover for your own company.
  • Get an “in” with top companies. Whether you’re looking for new clients or new vendors, with LinkedIn you can search the companies you want to work with and see who in your network has connections there. You can then ask your connection for an introduction to a decision maker who can help. Even if you find that no one in your network has connections with a particular company, perhaps someone in one of your groups works there. That’s why it’s important to belong to every group that interests you. Continually build your LinkedIn relationships and make those key connections before you actually need them. As Harvey Mackay says, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.”

The Missing Link to Your Success

Even though 82 percent of people use some kind of social media regularly, social media itself is much like the Wild West. It’s not tame yet, and best practices are still being formed. The key to making LinkedIn work is to work it regularly. Commit to spending time posting your ideas in updates, asking and answering questions, participating in groups and reaching out to potential connections. Yes, it’s one more thing to schedule in your calendar, but by building relationships and gaining new information on people and topics, your job can become easier and your company can attain a better position.

 

About the Author

Jean Kelley is the founder of the Jean Kelley Leadership Alliance. Her faculty and trainers have helped more than 750,000 leaders and high potentials up their game at work in the U.S. and Canada. Coupled with her books, Dear Jean: What They Don’t Teach You at the Water Cooler, and The Get a Job Keep a Job Handbook, Jean has earned the name North America’s workplace coach. For information on leadership programs and availability email [email protected] or go to www.jeankelley.com.

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