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Social media linkedin_userguide


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Social media linkedin_userguide

  1. 1. LinkedIn User Guide
  2. 2. Included in this guide, you will find the following sections: ƒƒ What LinkedIn Can Offer Intro: ƒƒ Tool The ƒƒ LinkedIn Using • Your LinkedIn Calendar • Your Profile ƒƒ Adding Contacts • Connecting to Clients and Prospects • Connecting to Competitors • Uploading Contacts • Sending Invitations • Responding to Invitations ƒƒ Interacting • Accelerating Relationships • Recommend People ƒƒ Researching ƒƒ Building Your NetworkThe LinkedIn User Guide was developed by Michelle Golden of Golden Practices, Inc. 1
  3. 3. Intro: What LinkedIn Can OfferThis guide is LinkedIn is a user-profile based database that houses users’ particularly detailed professional background information and their contacts. with very specific It facilitates sharing intellectual capital and other news and steps, tips and information with contacts, select groups and LinkedIn’s broader visuals to aid the membership. More than 70 million people are on LinkedIn and individual/firm its usefulness increases as its user base grows. deciding to employLinkedIn to reach LinkedIn (or LI, for short) is a perfect entry-point to social media tools because it is purelyan intermediate business and offers features that mimic elements of Twitter, Facebook and even blogging—status updates, sharing articles and answering questions—allowing you to explore new ways of interactingusage level. with people. A plus is that it isn’t too time-consuming—LinkedIn only requires moderate interaction. There are many reasons to use LinkedIn: What you can do with it falls into three main areas: ƒƒInteract with others so you stay front-of-mind. Manage Contacts ƒƒSafe place to “collect” a lifetime of ƒƒDemonstrate that you are a credible business connections. professional. ƒƒMaintain contact with important people ƒƒ into some features that mimic Tap over time, even the most transient. CRM systems. ƒƒInterface with Outlook to import your ƒƒResearch information that helps contacts’ updates, which you can accept you connect more deeply with the or override. right people. ƒƒConnect to prospective hires to stay in touch ƒƒ more visible through searches, Be even if they don’t work for you now. groups and recommendations. ƒƒUse and customize “tags” to organize your connections into groups (send content, events and queries only to those you specify). 2
  4. 4. Research & Intelligence Deepen Relationships Research prospectiveƒƒResearch prospective clients to identify ƒƒ“Network Updates” continuously provide clients to identify possible warm introductions into opportunities to engage your contacts the organization. in dialogue. possible warm introductions intoƒƒLook up referral sources and anyone else you ƒƒJoin groups to expand reach and participate the organization. meet to see common connections and learn in group discussions. more about them. ƒƒExplore and register for events and participateƒƒWhen your whole firm loads their contacts, in related discussions. and connects to one another, searches include your firm’s extended networks, ƒƒShare status updates to stay front-of-mind and which is usually better populated than a disseminate tidbits of information in a purchased CRM system. non-intrusive way.ƒƒBecome more visible to others who search ƒƒProvide recommendations to worthy by having many contacts. service providers and referral sources— pay it forward. ƒƒDemonstrate expertise by answering questions and maybe earning “best answer” status. 3
  5. 5. The Tool This is what you’ll find in the navigation at the Groups Access and manage the groups you time of this writing, which is subject to change: belong to, see some contacts’ recent group activity, view discussions you’ve marked to follow, Home Your hub. Where you update your find new groups to join and create a group. status and see a summary of: Jobs Find or post* jobs. ƒƒRecent inbox messages Inbox View all types of messages, requests and ƒƒQuestions posed that you might answer invitations sent to you or by you and view/manage InMails.* ƒƒUpcoming events More: ƒƒJob openings ƒƒCompanies – Add companies or search by ƒƒAutomated contact suggestions name, industry or location. ƒƒRecent viewers of your profile ƒƒAnswers – Pose a question, answer questions, (details* available with paid version) browse by category, see “experts.” ƒƒYour contacts’ recent status updates ƒƒEvents – See what your contacts are attending. and activities ƒƒLearning center – Learn more about how to ƒƒUpdates from groups you belong to leverage LI. ƒƒAccess/manage some application access ƒƒApplication directory – Select from applications that interact with your LI account. Profile Edit and view your profile. ƒƒInstalled applications – Manage third-party Contacts See and edit invitations, navigate applications you’ve installed. through connections, access contacts’ profiles, see network statistics, manage imported Search Run quick or advanced searches (paid contacts, add new connections and access level returns hundreds more search results and profile organizer.* expanded profiles.*) * premium access requires a fee4
  6. 6. Using LinkedInYour LinkedIn profile should be complete and compelling to support Expect to spend twoyour credibility. Depending on the depth of your bio on your firm’s to six hours buildingwebsite, this may well be the most robust information on the Internet a thorough profile.about you. LinkedIn may likely rank higher in search engines than Plan an hour or twoyour firm’s website. Therefore, a detailed profile will help support to upload and inviteyour marketing efforts. your contacts, and a few hours (dependingYour LinkedIn Calendar on how manyExpect to spend two to six hours building a thorough profile. Plan an hour or two to upload and contacts you have)invite your contacts, and a few hours (depending on how many contacts you have) corresponding corresponding withwith people who accept your invitation. It’s good to spread this over several weeks. people who acceptFocus your efforts in month one to build the foundation: create your profile and invite/correspond your invitation.with your contacts. Begin consistent interactions in month two and beyond. The graphics show whatthis might look like.Weekly: Once per month: ƒƒUpdate your status at least once. ƒƒRecommend someone. ƒƒInvite new contacts. ƒƒAnswer a question or participate in a group. ƒƒReview “Network Updates” and correspond Quarterly: with people accordingly. ƒƒReview and update your profile. 5
  7. 7. Write your profile Your Profile ƒƒ your profile to be visible to all. Setin the present tense, Your profile isn’t your resumé. It should be richer and reflect a different tone. These tips ƒƒ your contacts to be visible Setnot past tense. People (only journalists, recruiters or top secret will help you create a robust, compellingprefer to hire an “is profile that also provides search advantages workers have good reason to hide theirs).now” than a “has for you.been” or “has done.” ƒƒUse a current photo in which you’re smiling General Guidelines or appear approachable. A tightly cropped ƒƒWrite your profile in the present tense, not head-shot is best. past tense. People prefer to hire an “is now” than a “has been” or “has done.” Professional Headline Your professional headline is highly visible so it ƒƒUse the first person, not the third person should be strong. It’s displayed by your name (s/he or Mr./Ms.). on others’ contact lists and questions you ask or answer. ƒƒAvoid too much “I, I” and “we, we” (e.g., Start a sentence with “Solving….” ƒƒ your personal tagline that should It’s rather than “I solve…”). describe what you do and for whom in 120 characters. ƒƒSpell out credentials and organizations, as well as using their acronyms. ƒƒDefault is populated by your current job title and company name. You will need to ƒƒ your browser doesn’t have spell-check If change it because it is usually insufficient built in, use Word and paste into LI in describing you. when proofed. ƒƒConvey your specific value and market. ƒƒWhen there are more than a couple lines Good CPA examples are: of text, use bullets and lists. ƒƒ“Tax accountant with more than 20 years ƒƒ spaces on both sides of slash marks Put of experience serving doctors, lawyers between words (e.g., show “either/or” and other professionals.” as “either / or”) so LI and external search engines know they are distinct words. 6
  8. 8. ƒƒ“Visionary accountant in the real ƒƒUse commas or hard returns to separate estate industry” 1-3 word descriptive phrases. ƒƒ“President, [FIRM]. Mergers and ƒƒUse alternate terms (e.g., “long-term care acquisitions. Growth/succession facilities” and “assisted living”). strategies for privately held companies.” Positions ƒƒ“CPA; Licensed Insolvency Practitioner; ƒƒ all current and past positions. List Business Restructuring Expert” ƒƒThis can reflect key board terms, charity ƒƒ“Consummate Wealth Manager” involvement and other organizational (for a CPA, PFS) leadership roles as “Positions.”Summary ƒƒJob descriptions needn’t be detailedAs you complete your summary and (1,000 characters are allotted) – a sentenceexperience, list all relevant companies, schools or two is adequate unless you want to loadand organizations (and years) so LinkedIn can up on keywords.notify you when new people whom you mayknow join. Additional Information ƒƒInclude all associations and organizations – it“Professional Experience & Goals” demonstrates character and it helps people Section – 2,000 characters/about find you. 330 wordsƒƒ your story: describe why you’re in Tell ƒƒUse organizations’ acronyms, as well as the business as it relates to the customer, the full names spelled out, such as “AICPA” and results you deliver and your qualifications “The American Institute of Certified Public for delivering them. Accountants.” Also, reflect the years of involvement.ƒƒReinforce the industries or types of businesses you serve – the more specific, the better. ƒƒ all honors and awards, the organizations List that bestowed them, and when.“Specialties” SectionƒƒLinkedIn expects to see your “keywords” ƒƒConsider bullets or “>” marks and hard here – it’s important for search. returns to separate multiple items. As you complete your summary and experience, list all relevant companies, schools and organizations (and years) so LinkedIn can notify you when new people join whom you may know. 7
  9. 9. Third-party Education An additional field appears. In the first empty Include years and activities because it helps field, enter keywords that describe your link.applications can people find you. Enter your link in the second empty field.supplement yourprofile. You can Websites Personal URLintegrate your blogs, ƒƒ provides three fields for your website and LI A default link is assigned to your profile butTwitter accounts, other links of choice. Use them strategically. it’s difficult to remember and share. Customize your URL by choosing something as close toreading lists, travel your name as possible. If BillJones is taken, ƒƒName your links with personal keywords. Thedates/cities, and default labels (e.g., My Company, My Website) try BillJonesCPA or Bill-Jones.sharing of documents don’t help you but listing “[your name]’s bio”and presentations. as link text helps your name come up higher Appending Your Profile in search engines. To personalize your link Third-party applications can supplement your name text, add or edit the link and profile. You can integrate your blogs, Twitter choose “other.” accounts, reading lists, travel dates/cities (useful to connect with others if your contacts ƒƒOpen the drop-down menu where the words are widespread), and sharing of documents “My Company” appear and select “Other.” and presentations. 8
  10. 10. Adding ContactsWhen it comes to quantity vs. quality of contacts, there’s no “right” approach. LI suggests connecting only to those whom you’d actually recommend, but that’s not how most people use LI. It’s also okay to connect to people you’ve just met. No matter your approach, just recognize that the context of people’s connections cannot be assumed. Connecting to Clients and Prospects until you manually select people you wish toInviting clients is a personal choice, depending invite. Note: do NOT “select all” for reasonson your comfort level. Some CPAs don’t discussed below.actively invite clients, but accept invitationsextended by clients. Connecting to them ƒƒUpload from common email programs or .csv,and to prospects allows you to see if they’re .txt or .vcf file formats.connected to your competitors. But the realadvantage is the extra opportunity to stay ƒƒ can filter contacts first to remove those Youfront-of-mind in a non-intrusive way. you’d never invite, but it’s not necessary. Contacts will appear with checkboxes besideConnecting to Competitors each so you can be selective.Should you connect to a competitor? It’s truethat they can see your contacts. But, you can ƒƒOnly select people with a LinkedIn logosee theirs and you would see if they connect beside their name indicating they already useto a key client of yours, even if you aren’t LI. Inviting non-users can trigger a slew ofconnected to that client. emails from people questioning the invitation, the usefulness of LinkedIn, or they may justUploading Contacts perceive the invitation as spam from you.People wonder if bulk uploading to LI is safe. Avoid this.It is. When you upload, nothing happens 9
  11. 11. Sending Invitations Do plan to spend some time corresponding Whenever you invite people, there are some with people who accept your invitations. approaches that will be much appreciated. You’ll be amazed at how much good dialogue occurs—it’s not uncommon to unearth new ƒƒ to always personalize your invitations. Try opportunities. ƒƒRemind people where you’ve met—it’s Responding to InvitationsRead and respond to considerate to help them with context. When someone invites you to connect, take apeople’s status updates moment to thank him or her for extending theand profile updates invitation. Again, few people do this and you’ll ƒƒDon’t pitch in the invitation. Even saying,( job changes, etc.) in “If you ever need a business valuation, keep stand out. Plus, a nice dialogue can occur asyour weekly “Network me in mind …” is not appropriate. a result.Updates” and/or checkyour home page daily.Comment on things they ƒƒ gracious. When you’re notified Be If you don’t recognize the name, check theshare, congratulate them someone accepted your invitation, take person’s profile to help ring a bell or see whoor just say hello. a moment to click “View Profile” and your mutual contacts might be. It’s okay to then send a “thanks for connecting” ask, “Can you refresh me on where we met?” message. So few people do this—you Or you can simply archive the invitation. Don’t will stand out! click “I don’t know this person” unless you want to mark them as a spammer to LI—there’s a penalty to them for this. Interacting Accelerating Relationships LinkedIn status updates, groups and all its other features provide “reasons” to interact. Let them inspire personal correspondence—digital or handwritten. Read and respond to people’s status updates and profile updates (job changes, etc.) in your weekly “Network Updates” and/or check your home page daily. Comment on things they share, congratulate them or just say hello. Even if this is the limit of your interaction through LI, you will experience some positive responses. Your goal is to leverage the digital world, while always seeking to move interactions from “digital to personal.” Asking Questions Ask questions of all of LI or just your first-degree network. If your question pertains to recruiting, job seeking or promoting your services (you must indicate this), then only your direct contacts will see the question. In the question asking area (found under “Answers”), there are tips for how to ask effective questions.10
  12. 12. Answering Questions Recommend People Did you know that theDemonstrate expertise and enhance credibility Recommendations are powerful. Since AICPA has a LinkedInthrough answering questions. Answers that are recipients don’t modify them, they carry more group dedicated to4,000 characters—that’s about 650 words— weight than testimonials found elsewhere.usually are more than sufficient. Answering Giving recommendations to others builds current members?questions on LI provides a taste of what goodwill. Periodically scan your contact If you wish to joinblogging is like. If you enjoy it, you might list and reward someone with kind words. this group, pleaseenjoy authoring a blog at some point. Show appreciation to longtime clients, good click this link. vendors and referral sources. It’s also a way toSeek out questions in your areas of expertise. reciprocate when you cannot refer work backWhen answering questions, remember that no to someone. It benefits you to recommendone appreciates sales pitches; only answer if people—especially those with large networksyou can provide new information, perspective of people you want to know—because youror ideas. Always take an altruistic approach to recommendation appears on their profile andanswering questions. can draw their connections to your profile.The asker selects a “best answer.” Earning best Don’t use LinkedIn’s “Requestanswer appears on your profile and may land Recommendations” feature becauseyou on a list of experts for your topic. When it’s impersonal. Personally asking for ayou answer questions, that fact, along with the recommendation is fine. Do so after a verycategory and a link, are included in your recent positive interaction or when you’ve receivedactivities so the value and reach of your answer a nice note of appreciation.extends well beyond the asker. Few people willclick on the link, but the visual notice of your NOTE: Wealth managers can’t displayknowledge sharing elevates your credibility. testimonials (per Rule 206(4) of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940).Contributing to GroupsOnly join groups that interest you enough to Introductionsbe participatory. Be sure to join some groups If you see a connection you’d like to leveragewhere your target clients are in addition to into an introduction, refrain from using LI’sanywhere other CPAs are. Check the group’s introduction feature. It’s too impersonal“discussions” periodically and add comments. and the context of relationships cannot beShare articles (not only those your firm has assumed, so you need to ask. Call your contactwritten) and news. But in your interactions, to explain what you’re looking to do, then askremember your primary goal is to help others, if it’s appropriate for them to facilitate that sortnot to be acting “salesy.” Don’t be overt in of an introduction.selling. By being relevant and helpful, you’llbe viewed as credible, and will build trust. If you receive an automated introduction request, again, pick up the phone to learn more before using the built-in mechanism for the intro. Your personal handling of it will go far. 11
  13. 13. Researching As you collect LI is a third-degree connector and research will show you whom business cards, attend you know—or could know—and through whom. The value is events and meet enormous. Search people or companies. Search industries to people online, invite identify targets in a geographical area. Clicking on the companies them to connect. pulls up mutual contacts. Send invites as a wayof saying “Thank Research can include:you for a great ƒƒLooking up prospects, referral sources and clients before meetings for info that might help you connect. Look for mutual acquaintances, schools, causes or common interests.conversation—it wasnice to meet you,” ƒƒViewing competitors’ mutual connections. Are they schmoozing your client?within a day or two. Or might you be schmoozing theirs without realizing it? ƒƒSee what groups your competitors, peers and clients join. Learn what events they attend and articles or books they read. Should you as well? ƒƒSearch prospective hires’ past employers to see if you know people there who can be references. Try Boolean search operators: AND OR NOT alone or combined with quote “ ” or parenthetical ( ) searches. Building Your Network As you collect business cards, attend events and meet people online, invite them to connect. Send invites as a way of saying, “Thank you for a great conversation—it was nice to meet you,” within a day or two. Check “suggested” contacts regularly—invite appropriate people to join you. Also, print your LI URL on your business cards, add it to your bio, your email signature, in print materials, and include it anywhere else you interact online. Volume matters. Not to impress, but because the more people you’re connected to, the more likely you will come up in a keyword search by their friends. Remember that LinkedIn won’t do anything for you if you don’t interact with others through it. It’s a communication vehicle. And your ultimate goal is to develop these conversations from digital to personal. 12
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