'Linked In' - Social Networking for Business - Top tips for growing your network

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'Linked In' - Social Networking for Business - Top tips for growing your network

Resource Techniques - Social Networking for Business Whilst there's much hype surrounding the social networking boom, main stream media focus is inevitably on personal social networking normally associated with the likes of 'Facebook', 'MySpace', 'bebo' etc, etc... There is however, an equally booming interest for social networking within the business community, 'Linked in' being one of the fastest growing business networking communities, and for the unenlightened, don't under estimate its influence and huge potential...

According to Nielsen Online, in June of last year the 'Facebook' site's traffic grew to 29.2M (that's Million) unique visitors, up more than 10 percent from May. Meanwhile, LinkedIn's site traffic grew more than 20 percent month-on-month to 9.5M unique visits. Year-on-year, that represents 77% growth for 'Facebook', and 187% for LinkedIn and the trend continues.

Many businesses have, and continue to ignore 'Social Networking', believing that it's something their children do, and whilst this certainly has been the case, growth within the business community with the benefits it brings is a compelling argument, there is now a huge weight of evidence in support of the ever increasing phenomenon of 'Social Networking'. Businesses, ignore it at your peril.

Those already persuaded will be only too aware that the signing up process is just the beginning of the mine field... But help is at hand.

Here are our top 5 tips for making social networking work for you:

1). Build your profile: Include as much information about yourself as possible, include previous job posts, education, information about your current business interests and don't forget to add your company and business web sites. This will help people find you and help your network grow.

Top tip - Make sure your profile is set as display 'Public' - your profile is then available to everyone.

2). Build your Connections: Go through your address book and search 'Linked in' by name and company, invite as many positive friends, relatives, co workers ex colleagues and as many potential business contacts as you can find, then see who they're connected too and link to those you know. The whole point is to build a network - don't be afraid to ask for an invite to connect!

Top tip - Try to add someone new each week.

3). Ask for Recommendations: There's no better way of growing your business than from personal recommendation, so once you're connected, ask previous employers, colleagues, clients new and old, and reciprocate the favour, those people that you have had good service from, recommend them.

Top tip - Add your 'Linked in' URL to your email signature

4). Join Groups: Within reason join as many as possible, make sure that they are relevant to your interests, industry, and background. LinkedIn lets you join 50 groups. If the group has little discussion, dump it and find a new one." Discussion boards within groups are a great tool for learning and for generating key contacts through 'Linked In'.

Top Tip - Participate in group discussions and add something of value

5. Update your profile daily: You can change your status text, upload a new photo, add a contact, change your work experience, etc. Perhaps even add to the 'What are you working on now' section, any investment or developer type property, with links back to your own web site. When you update your profile, you show up on the home page updates of every one of your LinkedIn connections.

Top Tip - NEVER select "I don't know" when you get an invite to connect. Instead, if you really don't want to connect with that person, select "Archive." When you click "I don't know", you're putting a red flag on that account. At the same time, when you invite someone else to connect, make sure that you tell them to select "Archive" if they don't wish to connect. You don't want red flags on your account either.

For help and advice on making the most social networking, email - troy@restech.co.uk