We are all addicted to Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg has literally made us addicts. We are consuming content, watching videos and posting comments. Facebook has over 2 billion monthly users which shows its power; however, we need to improve our online activity now and move to other platforms.
It was March 2020 when I managed to watch some videos on how LinkedIn could help you. I am on LinkedIn for over 8 years now but was not posting regularly. After watching the videos, I got to realize that LinkedIn is the platform to invest time in.
If you are a student and aspire to get employed soon or you are an entrepreneur, LinkedIn is where you need to spend more time. LinkedIn is world’s largest professional network with 756 million members in over 200 countries and territories on a global scale.
For a more deeper insight about LinkedIn’s popularity and for generating leads, you would be amazed to know that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter as per Hubspot.
Let’s dive deep into the strategies to make the best out of it.
How to Set Up LinkedIn Effectively
LinkedIn is not a regular social media platform. It is a professional network. The first and foremost important thing is to update your profile. Take a look at these aspects of your profile:
- Profile Picture (A decent picture which reveals a professional side of you should be there on LinkedIn. You acn post funky pictures on Instagram or Facebook but LinkedIn is not the place)
- About (Reveal the professional side of yours here. If you are a student, mention your majors and your ambitions.)
- Website (I have already wrote about the importance of a personal blog. Even if that blog is free, it adds value to your profile)
- Experience (As a student, you might have done some internships and you should mention those. Leave this blank if you don’t have any experience)
- Education (This is the most important section for students. Try to select the school from the drop down menu. Keep in mind that your school must be on LinkedIn and select that option which shows the picture or logo of your school or university or college)
Some other portions like skills and Languages need to be updated as well. Just keep this aspect in mind that you are showing your digital Resume to the employer in the form of your LinkedIn profile. The completeness, conciseness and correctness of your LinkedIn profile can direct opportunities at you.
This is one of the most valuable sections. The ‘Activity’ is a log of what you do on LinkedIn. For instance, your comments, likes would appear in this section. When recruiters want to know the mindset of any potential employee, they can sift through this portion.
To improve this, you need to engage with people. The simple solution to that is to read more. Read the posts completely of professionals on your network and comment wisely. You can disagree, agree or add a different perspective to the post; however, decency should be the top priority of yours.
Avoid posting comments like nice or other regular Facebook standard comments. Know the spirit of LinkedIn. It is for the professionals and you should use it accordingly. People post stories and experiences on LinkedIn. You need to read them and then add comments of your own. Remember, a wise thought even in the form of comment, can drive more engagement than your own post even.
Add People to Your Network
As they say:
Your network is your net worth.
Keep this in mind. Start searching for people on LinkedIn with a mindset that you have to improve yourself professionally. Use the ‘search’ bar to search for top minds of your industry. You can also follow organizations on LinkedIn. These organizations announce job vaccancies on LinkedIn.
Most importantly, I would suggest to add professionals and interact with them. Remember, a comment on a top professional’s Facebook page is not that worthy than on his LinkedIn profile.
Your comment on Facebook can go unnoticed; however, if you post an engaging comment on LinkedIn, you can be noticed by top professionals as well and that can help you professionally.
Boolean Search on LInkedIn
This is a search technique that I came across a few days ago. You can do Boolean search on LinkedIn by combining keywords with operators like AND, NOT, and OR while searching. AND, NOT and OR are logic gates but forget about that for a while.
- Excluding results from search: Type the word NOT (capital letters) immediately before your search term to exclude it from your search results. This would limit your search results. For instance, if you search “writer NOT coder”, your search will not include Coders.
- Broadening Search: To broaden your search, type the word OR (capital letters) to see results that include one or more items in a list. For example, “writing OR coding OR marketing”, will reveal results from all three industries.
- Results for all items: Type the word AND (capital letters) to browse through results which include all items in a list. This will limit your search results but would pinpoint you to the ‘multi-talented’ individuals. For example, “marketer AND accountant AND CPA” will show the results with all three talents.
To do a complex search tailored to your needs, you can combine terms using parentheses. For example, to find people who have “VP” in their profiles, but exclude “assistant to VP” or SVPs, type VP NOT (assistant OR SVP). A complete guide to LinkedIn searches is also available here.
This search can be used for finding jobs. You can also search for hashtags like #vacancy, #job, #jobopening for searching jobs and then applying for those opportunities.
Engage, Engage, Engage
The key to LinkedIn success is engaging with your network. You can read stories from other professionals and can post comments. This should let you be more related to the professional. As you engage more and more with your network, you will be able to create a common ground and familiarity.
Know the rule of social psychology that we are attracted to those we interact with. If you interact frequently with a profile in a decent manner, you are in a better position to be hired if vacancies open.
To go a step further, you can tell stories. You don’t need to lie. What you can do is observe your life and extract stories. You can share how one incident shaped your mindset or narrative about a particular case. The incident might appear dull to you, but it is new to your readers.
Remember, everything in this world has already been done. What others are posting is not new but as it is new to you, so it fascinates you. Same is the case with your stories. They might appear repetitive but so is the case with every other thing in this world.
Top professionals say LinkedIn is a gold mine. As a student, you just need a single oppurtunity. Instead of wasting time on Facebook waiting for likes and comments, post on LinkedIn.
When you would see people interacting with your posts, you will get that instant gratification you derive from Facebook. Another advantage on LinkedIn is that it reveals the location of those who see our posts. Your post can be viewed in a far off country and it gives you pleasure.
LinkedIn might sound boring initially; however, as you start posting, you can love it. The key to success is engage more with your network and post more. Avoid posting your everyday selfies on LinkedIn but do post whatever you can in the form of text.
They say: Your Network is your Net worth.
Stop the Facebook activity or reduce it and invest that time to LinkedIn. Your next opportunity could be inside LinkedIn and not Facebook. Reserve Facebook for entertainment and enjoy that but for a limited time daily.
The author is on LinkedIn and can be followed here.