Firm Media is proud to have Social Media Speaker, Strategist and LinkedIn Expert Viveka von Rosen guest blogging for us. We were lucky enough to meet Viveka last winter at a social media conference, and she was kind enough to share some of her LinkedIn knowledge with our followers.

When you say “Social Media” people think of Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  LinkedIn does not always spring to the top of mind.  I suspect this is because LinkedIn, despite its numerous changes, is still considered to be a Rolodex on steroids for job-seekers and recruiters, rather than an active, vibrant social network and marketing tool.

If you haven’t visited LinkedIn lately, you might want to drop back in.

1.  LinkedIn has improved its “Contacts” section.  Unlike Facebook (that has a unintuitive “friends” section and complicated “List” and messaging system,) and Twitter (that is even less intuitive “List” app,) LinkedIn has a very intuitive system that allows you not only to “Tag” (sort) your contacts, but add notes, and then use that information to message your contacts either individually or in groups.  You can also add additional contact information beyond what LinkedIn provides you, allowing you to use LinkedIn more as a CRM and business tool.

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2.  LinkedIn added “Signal” allowing you to monitor LinkedIn’s Updates for any keywords or search terms you desire:

  • Your Company Name
  • Your Name
  • Your Twitter Handles
  • Your Competitors
  • Industry Search words
  • Your Products
  • Your Services
  • Potential Clients

Not only that, but you can save the searches which makes monitoring easy.  I have found that Signal will pick up LinkedIn (and Twitter) updates that Google Alerts will miss.  Information you can use to create new relationships, stem the flow of negative responses, refine your offers, keep up on what is happening in your industry, etc.

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3.  LinkedIn Today is like an intuitive, focused version of MSN.com for business professionals.  LinkedIn News keeps you informed news websites, blogs, tweets and newsletters, and learns by your interaction with it (based on what your connections and industry peers are reading and sharing) what you are really interested in reading.  That saves you time while delivering you the news you need (and can then share with your LinkedIn and Twitter tribes).

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4. “Skills” allows you to add your own unique skills to your LinkedIn profile.   I use Skills to find keywords for my clients to optimize their profile (Related Skills) and to find Industry Influencers and thought leaders I can add to my network.  Skills also shares relevant companies you might want to follow and groups you might want to join.

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I haven’t even mentioned the “Old” tools LinkedIn still offers:

  • Groups
  • Polls
  • Events
  • Applications
  • Jobs

Any one of which has incredible business potential.

  • Inbox
  • Answers

Whether you are a B2B or B2C, LinkedIn has the networking, marketing and promotion tools you need.  Use it to stay informed.  Use it to connect and build relationships with strategic business partners (employees, clients, vendors, etc.) Use it to position yourself as an expert.  Use it to promote your products and services.  LinkedIn can do almost everything that Twitter and Facebook can do, but allows you to focus on your business audience.  So take a look at LinkedIn again.  Its not the stolid conservative old boys network people think it is.  It focused, dynamic, informative and quite frankly, might be invaluable to your business.

Learn more about the latest in social media. Get in touch with Firm Media for your next project, and connect with us on Facebook.