Social media is important to business success, yet many people are still unsure how to use it. Additionally, social media keeps changing, eliminating tools that people have come to count on and adding new ones. How can you benefit from social media? It comes down to the 3 Cs: Construct, Connect, Communicate.
Construct: The first step is to construct your profile. Keep in mind what your purpose is. If you are looking to build your business, focus your content on your business specialties. If you are trying to find a job, focus your answers on that. Social media is a great way to get seen, both through its member searches and from outside search engines, but to capitalize on that you must use SEO techniques in the same way you would on a website. Target what you are saying on your profile based on who you want to locate you.
Connect: Start with people you know, but don’t stop there. I am amazed at how many times people tell me, “I don’t connect to people I don’t know.” If someone walked up to you in a networking meeting and wanted to meet you, you wouldn’t turn them away. Don’t turn them away on social media. That doesn’t mean accepting every invite and begging people to connect. Be selective since the people you connect to will reflect on you. Also, join groups that are of interest to you to meet like-minded people.
Communicate: Social media doesn’t work if all you do is put up a profile and connect to people. You need to be actively communicating. Participate in group discussions. Post status updates (remembering that this is a business site, make them appropriate). Show your expertise by sharing ideas and passing along interesting and relevant articles you find. The most important thing to remember when communicating on LinkedIn is be professional.
If you remember the 3 Cs, you’ll find LinkedIn to be a valuable tool in your arsenal.