I have to admit, I have a love-hate relationship with LinkedIn. I think it's a brilliant tool and is in a niche of its own which is great. However, I tend to forget it's existence on a good day! Does that mean the tool isn't as cool as I think it is? I see LinkedIn as a professional facebook; great for keeping in touch with contacts and random but interesting people I've come across on the Internet. After all, I'm a bit wary of adding people I don't know on Facebook, but hey, that's just me... Now back to LinkedIn!
As an SEO'er, I'm always looking for ways to 'acquire links', after all, a website is only as good as it's links. Social Media is a great way to acquire links, LinkedIn is all about Social Media and more... But now that said, what's the best way to use LinkedIn?
Since LinkedIn is for professionals, keep it professional. It amazing the number of people who have been approached for jobs via their LinkedIn profile (note: completed profiles). But it's not just about having a profile, it's about keeping it up to date. Get a new degree or certification, add it, new job position, add it. It's all about networking. Even if you're not looking for a job, it can still be kept up to date till the day you begin the search, heck sometimes you don't even know you're searching until you get an offer. And besides, we don't want to wait till the last minute to start updating information and searching.
From an SEO point of view, LinkedIn is good for a number of things as well. It gives you the option of linking websites to your profile. So, lets saying you have a blog, all you have to do is link it to your LinkedIn profile and anytime you publish a post it automatically gets syndicated on your LinkedIn profile. That means all your contacts see your posts, once again, more contacts, more outreach... Plus there is the added link from an authority website linking to your website. This is one of the reasons why companies always encourage their employees to link to their company website, more inbound links to the company website, therefore more link juice...
Something else which I like about LinkedIn (although I don't make much use of) is the groups and communities. These groups are actually great for building your brand and offering your expertise to people who come in to ask questions or get opinions, sort of like Yahoo Answers and Internet forums. I've made a number of contacts from such SEO related groups, from just answering simple questions to giving my honest opinion about things. It's always a good idea to be active in such groups especially when it's something which interests you, that way it'll be easier for you to participate in the questions and answers sessions.
At the end of the day, LinkedIn comes down to networking, lots and lots of networking, depending on how much time you're willing to give it. It definitely has its uses and it's brilliant for Social Media and linking to SEO which is something I'm aiming to do a lot of this year.
What about you? Are you an active member of LinkedIn? What do you use it for? As usual, please share your thoughts and comments on LinkedIn, would love to hear about it.
If you're looking to connect with me on LinkedIn, here's my profile.
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