Posted by: waynebreitbarth | March 18, 2012

Want to Know How to Use the Best LinkedIn Features?

When I released the results of my 2012 LinkedIn User Survey a couple weeks ago, I promised I would give you my “two cents” on some of the more revealing bits of data and go behind the numbers for some practical “Wayne insights.”  

 

This week I will concentrate on what people are calling the most helpful information in the survey, and that is what specific LinkedIn features they found most helpful in executing their LinkedIn strategy. The top five answers to this question and the percentage of people who selected these features were:

 

Groups (80%) 

 

What could or should this feature do for you?  Groups are all about finding people with similar interests, industries, backgrounds, affiliations, etc. as well as them finding you. Wgroupsith over 1.2 million Linkedin groups currently available, I recommend you find your max of 50, share your expertise and experience, and begin to build new relationships.  

 

What is a best practice for this feature?  You just heard it: Join 50 groups in which you have some point of commonality. Monitor and share information for the top 10 or so groups you are in on at least a weekly basis. These should be the groups you feel have the best opportunity to help you build new, productive relationships. I suggest you turn off the email notifications for the rest of the groups or you will be inundated with way too many emails.  

 

Also, take advantage of the member searching function. Use keywords to find the right individuals to reach out to. Remember — you can send messages directly to any individual in the group as long as you access him/her through the group.

 

What mistakes are people making with this feature?  The biggest mistake is thinking all kinds of new customers will line up to order from you just because you are a member. I’m sorry, but that probably won’t be the case. You have to be active by sharing good answers and information, and then over time people will begin to recognize you as a credible expert whom they will consider doing business with when the need arises. 

 

Other mistakes include joining only groups that your peers are in and forgetting a much more productive group — those your customers would join.

 

Can you do more with this feature if you upgrade to a paid account?  No.

 

 

People Searching (70%) 

 

What could or should this feature do for you?  Simply put, this is the money on LinkedIn. Why?  Because you can search through LinkedIn’s entire database (over 150 million business professionals) to find your next customer, vendor, employee, donor, etc.

 

What is a best practice for this feature?  Forget Google. Use LinkedIn to find not only the people you want to meet at a company or organization but also helpful information about them by reviewing the information included in their profile. This is your one-stop shop for finding all people you may need. Also, once you land on a productive search, save the search. LinkedIn allows you to save three searches. 

 

What mistakes are people making with this feature?  They’re not using it!

 

Can you do more with this feature if you upgrade to a paid account?  By upgrading, you will get to see detailed information for more than your first 100 results in your search. You will also get more than three saved searches and additional criteria to search by.  

 

 

People You May Know (66%)

 

What could or should this feature do for you?  It helps you find more first-level connections, and since connections are the gasoline in the tank on LinkedIn, be sure to check this often. After you have been on LinkedIn for a while and think you have connected with everyone you know, think again, and click this.

 

What is a best practice for this feature?  Check this from time to time and not just the first three entries that show up on your home page. Click through to see a much larger list that goes on forever. It really does!

 

What mistakes are people making with this feature?  They’re not using it!

 

Can you do more with this feature if you upgrade to a paid account?  No.

 

 

Who’s Viewed My Profile (64%)

 

What could or should this feature do for you?  This shows you who is checking you out, which means something may be brewing that you may want to be a part of. I used to think of this as interesting but not overly helpful, but I am now starting to hear about many people who are making hay with this feature. 

 

What is a best practice for this feature?  Be sure to look at this daily. Check out the profiles of people who have been looking at your profile. If someone looks particularly interesting, contact him/her. Lots of people have shared with me how productive these steps have been. Try it. You may just like it.

 

What mistakes are people making with this feature?  They are completely ignoring this feature.

 

Can you do more with this feature if you upgrade to a paid account?  Upgraded account holders get to see the full list of people who are checking them out but no additional personal details for those individuals. The amount of information that is displayed about you, the person whose profile is being reviewed, is based on your settings, not on the viewer’s choices. 

 

 

Company Searching (60%)

 

What could or should this feature do for you?  This is a great way to begin your information gathering when you are targeting companies because it puts in one place all kinds of information about the company, employees, competitors, products, services, status updates, and so much more.

 

What is a best practice for this feature?  Click the “follow” button on all the companies you have interest in, regardless of the reason for your interest. Also, be sure to take advantage of the available features for sharing your own company’s information. These include status updates, products and service pages, and posting job openings. 

 

What mistakes are people making with this feature?  They’re not using it. 

 

Can you do more with this feature if you upgrade to a paid account?  No.

 

 

Need more help? Get these free downloadable resources for the top two features:

 

LinkedIn Groups – Ca$h in on this powerful tool

LinkedIn People Searching – Your ticket to improved ROI

 
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