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How do you use LinkedIn?

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Most business people have heard of LinkedIn, the online business community of more than 8 million people, but not many know how to use it.

Some of our Marketing Mentor clients have been experimenting with it, so we’re gathering together some preliminary "best practices" on how to use LinkedIn.

First, here’s an example of a profile (mine!) on the site:

I wrote about LinkedIn in a recent Quick Tip from Marketing Mentor here.

One of our regular contributors, Mary McCauley-Stiff, wrote about it here.

Readers sent in these comments:

From Alan Seiden:

LinkedIn has a feature called "Answers" where members can share questions and answers
in their area of expertise. I’ve been hearing "buzz" about Answers. People are using it to position themselves as experts.

From Bill Weber:

LinkedIn seems like a very nice idea, but I’ve found that people don’t check their LinkedIn mail very often (who has time to check another email every day?!?).  Mary is using LinkedIn to show how savvy she is. But I would bet that her new LinkedIn buddies, after the initial thrill of joining wears off, will hardly ever use it.

The bigger problem is when you want an introduction to someone in someone else’s network. My experience is that people don’t  "pass on" requests from people outside their immediate circle.

So the promise of opening doors through referral networks doesn’t happen.   

If you want to reach someone, it’s better to do a direct cold call than to wait for the "step referrals" to work.

And here are some articles passed along from others that shed some light on the actual nuts & bolts of the topic:

Can you add to our knowledge base? How do you use LinkedIn? What have we missed? Let us know in the comments or by email and we’ll keep adding to the knowledge base.

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