By Erika Stalder for Every Day Connected
Twitter, Facebook and Google+ may be making headlines constantly, but LinkedIn is quietly building a solid network too. And as I found out during my LinkedIn training, it’s so much more than a place to park resumes.
LinkedIn allows you to get the scoop on competing companies, search for location-specific trends in your line of work, and find out which of your contacts has changed positions or companies this week. What’s more, it’s integrated with Twitter feeds for one-stop searching and posting.
Because the site is more focused on business networking than the rest, you really don’t want to clutter your account and news feed with, ahem, snack updates. Here are five other ways you can optimize your LinkedIn networking:
1. Sync your tweets.Tweeting to LinkedIn users gives your tweets more visibility. If you want to relay only those tweets your LinkedIn peers will appreciate, sync your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, then add the hash tag “#In” to those tweets you want to share on LinkedIn. They will automatically appear in your Twitter feed as well as LinkedIn’s updates feed.
2. Get localized/location-based intel.A great way to get the “local” pulse of your industry is to use the “Signal” feature on the site. Got to LinkedIn.com/Signal, then narrow your search by company, location, school, topics and more to find out what locals are saying about your industry.
3. Keep tabs on who’s shifted positions.Looking for an “in” or job opening at a certain company? Maximize your connections by staying on top of who’s going where and when by checking “Profile Updates.” This will show you which of your connections has changed positions or moved between companies.
4. Stalk a company.Want to keep tabs on your competitor, potential partner or any of the 2 million companies on LinkedIn? Search for a company, then click “Check out insightful stats about this company’s employees.” It will provide handy stats and infographics on annual company growth, show the latest job title changes for each of its employees on LinkedIn, and more. If you want to keep up on a company’s latest happenings, just click the “Follow” button on the same page.
5. Find out how much skill set demand has grown.Select the “Skills” option that appears when you hover over the “More” tab at the top of the page. Type in a skill to find out how much this special interest has grown in the past year among LinkedIn users. Check fellow users’ skill sets to further your market research.
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