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5 Easy Ways to Grow Your LinkedIn Network

June 18th, 2012 ::

LinkedInLinkedIn can be a powerful platform for growing your professional network – if you know how to leverage it. As with any social network, focusing on the right strategies will give you the best results. Here are five strategies specifically designed for LinkedIn that can help you tap into this career-building resource.

1.  Commit to Your Status

To stay top of mind with your network, you should commit to updating your LinkedIn status frequently and regularly. Unlike with Facebook, LinkedIn members tend to visit the site only a few times per week. So you have fewer opportunities to get noticed when people sign in and view their home feeds. New introductions and business opportunities are your rewards when you stay active on LinkedIn.

Try to update your status about three times per day, and share and comment on other people’s updates at least once per day as well. To keep your network growing, send an invitation to connect to at least one new person each day. You can also start and/or participate in LinkedIn Group Discussions and answer questions about three times per week to open yourself to new network members.

2.  Continuously Connect

Plenty of opportunities to connect on LinkedIn await you, if you know where to look. The network’s People You May Know feature was recently enhanced, so scan it every time you log in for possible connections.

Include all colleges and graduate schools you attended, and don’t forget about your high school, too. Fill out your profile, including your geographical location, as thoroughly as possible to expand your results, and try LinkedIn’s Alumni search feature for more targeted searching.

3.  Time it Right

Frequent and consistent activity is important, but timing your activity appropriately also can yield better results. LinkedIn members are more active in the afternoons, and they tend to use the mobile site more in the evenings. Plan your participation activities during these times to increase your chances of being seen.

However, you should experiment with the timing of your activity to find what works best for your industry. Try different times, recording how much engagement you get each day. After a couple of weeks, check for patterns, and arrange your activity around those times.

4.  Be Part of The Group

LinkedIn Groups are active hubs of communication, so you should definitely start participating if you haven’t already. It is not enough simply to join; you must be an active group member by jumping into conversations and adding value to the topics.

An easy way to get involved is to ask for advice from a targeted niche within LinkedIn. Each response presents not only a potential solution to your issue, but also a potential connection to add to your network.

5.  Share Quality Content

What you share on LinkedIn will help define you as a valuable member of the community and a trusted authority within your industry. Be sure to share helpful and relevant news, articles and insights if you want to foster a top-notch community.

The key is to share content that will attract the kind of audience you are seeking on LinkedIn. However, don’t stop at sharing – strive to be a resource and to create dialogue with your connections around their content as well.

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These five simple tips will help you grow a LinkedIn network to be proud of. And, to get the conversation going, why not ask the LinkedIn community itself for advice on nurturing a prosperous network?

Image courtesy of Forbes.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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