5 Tips to Build and Grow Your LinkedIn Network
At Fundraise.com we recognize that you’re only as strong as your network. That said, LinkedIn has a worldwide network of over 150 million–members. If you’re looking to tap into this rapidly growing community, it’s important to focus on the right kinds of activities that will yield the best results.
Here are 5 tips to help grow your LinkedIn network:
#1: Build Connections Constantly
One of the best things you can focus on in growing and engaging your LinkedIn network is constantly looking for connection opportunities. You can do this by searching through:
Email Contacts – LinkedIn allows you import all of your email contacts to see whom you know who’s already using LinkedIn
Alumni Connections – By entering the schools you attended into your LinkedIn profile you can scroll through lists of people in your class and others. You can also narrow the alumni selections by geographical location.
People You May Know – LinkedIn recently enhanced it’s “People You May Know” feature. Take advantage of this opportunity to review who you may know and send them a personalized invitation to connect.
#2: Update Your Status
Only one-third of LinkedIn members visit the site every day, and another one-third of members visit the network several times a week.
When you log into LinkedIn, notice each time who shows up in your home feed. Most likely you will see the same few people frequently. Active LinkedIn users will show up more frequently in your home feed.
These individuals are getting more visibility because they are more active. You can do the same if you commit to staying active on the network. This is a subtle but powerful way to build influence with your network connections.
If you make the commitment to become more active in the network, you have a real opportunity to shine! It takes time, effort and dedication, but the payoff from staying top of mind can be significant in developing new introductions, relationships and business opportunities.
#3: Become an Active Member
Here are a few ideas on how tobe an active LinkedIn member:
- Update your status on the LinkedIn site, itself, versus using third-party tools so that you have full control over your message to expand engagement.
- Share and comment on theupdates of your first-, second- and third-degree connections.
- Send an invitation to connect to at least one new person per day.
- Start and/or participate in LinkedIn Group Discussions regularly.
- Answer questions on “LinkedIn Answers” regularly.
- Comment on profile updates from the companies you follow on LinkedIn.
Important note: Be careful about sharing your tweets directly on LinkedIn. When you do this, you don’t give your LinkedIn network connections any opportunity to engage with you within LinkedIn.
When you send a tweet to LinkedIn, your network connections are unable to engage with your update within LinkedIn. Instead, if they click “Reply” or “Retweet,” they’ll be taken to Twitter. There may be some value in saving time and increasing visibility by doing this, but realize no further engagement will take place within LinkedIn.
Be selective about the tweets you choose to send automatically into LinkedIn from your Twitter account. Sending all of your tweets into LinkedIn can get very annoying for your connections.
#4: Join and Participate in LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are one of the most active areas of the network and the participation stats are quite compelling. LinkedIn Groups allow you to:
- Quickly discover the most popular discussions in your professional groups.
- Have an active part in determining the top discussions by liking and commenting.
- Follow the most influential people in your groups by checking the Top Influencers board or clicking their profile image to see all their group activity.
- See both member-generated discussions and news in one setting.
- Easily browse previews of the last three comments in a discussion.
- Find interesting discussions by seeing who liked a discussion and how many people commented.
Be careful not to over commit to too many LinkedIn Groups. Pick three to five groups that make sense for you to be actively involved.
LinkedIn has made it much easier to find groups within the network that might be valuable for you to join through the new LinkedIn Group Search feature.
#5: Be Mindful of What You Share
What you share on LinkedIn matters. This is what will define you as a trusted authority within your industry and with your target markets. The key is to share news, articles, insights, and opinions that are relevant to your connections to attract and grow the right audience.
Be aware that when you post something that is “share-worthy,” members of your extended network can see it and share it, as well, increasing your visibility significantly because you gain exposure to their connections.
As LinkedIn, itself, continues to develop and add new features, it’s important to refresh your engagement strategy to ensure you’re leveraging all of their features.