Posted by : Amanda Stein Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage While LinkedIn may not be the most popular form of social media and may not have the high traffic volume of other sites, it attracts the most eager and active potential business contacts. While many people pass LinkedIn over in favor of more popular social media sites, those that spend time there know that it is one of the greatest assets for any businessperson.

If you would like to get in on this great resource, read on:

What is LinkedIn? For a long time, LinkedIn has been the unofficial social media of choice for business and is the only one that many corporations encourage employees to use while working. Since it is more business oriented, it isn’t as flashy or user friendly as its more relaxed counterparts. Until now, it has taken a great deal of effort and work to get started connecting people and growing a base of followers. In addition, those who didn’t have a Yahoo or Gmail account had to individually input contacts, which is extremely time consuming. Times are changing in the world of social networking, however, and this includes LinkedIn. Recent changes in the service have made it much easier to use and much more focused. Now, when you join LinkedIn, you can find a group that is dedicated to your particular area of business. The sharing among group members is helpful, intellectual, and geared toward creating solutions. Self-promotion activities are forbidden. Follow the steps below to become a member of this vibrant network.

1. Create your profile. It will be complete after you get three recommendations. You can get these by recommending others so they will return the favor.

2. Join groups. You can join up to 35 different groups. Once you do, adjust how often you want to receive news from that group through your Notifications settings. The regularity with which you want to receive updates will depend upon how active you want to be in the group.

3. Get a discussion started by asking one of your pressing business questions. Make sure you reply to every answer you get so other members will continue to interact with you. Since this is a social network, it is vital that you be social.

4. Research clients and competitors.LinkedIn offers a wealth of information in profiles and company pages. Check into “insightful statistics” and follow company news to learn even more. Checking out all of this information will give you a greater understanding of the business of others. Finally, use LinkedIn’s great apps to get even more from your experience. LinkedIn is a fantastic way for business owners and professionals to build valuable contacts and to identify potential clients and customers. If you want to reap the maximum benefit from using LinkedIn, just make sure you follow both the written and unwritten guidelines of the community and that you help others at least as much as you ask for help.

Once you start building a reputation as a valuable contributing member, you will be amazed at how quickly your network grows.

This is a guest post by Andrew Exon. Andrew is a writer for If you are interested in this site, take a look at this site:

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