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Topics: Social Media

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LinkedIn can be one of the most effective social media networks for marketers, but not everyone knows exactly how to use it effectively.

To be honest, it boils down to one simple thing: Your Network.

You can add all the content you want, but if you are not also actively trying to build up your network, it could all be in vain. Save from actually attending trade shows and handing your card out, here are four of the most effective tools and tips you can use to expand your network and increase your influence:

First Things First

All of your efforts are going to get people to actively check out you and your company, so make sure your profiles are fully updated and stocked with the right information. Easy place to start right? I practice what I preach, so if you want an example, check out my LinkedIn Profile

How To Post Your Content

When you post content to your stream, make sure that you upload your own photo rather than letting open graph pull it from a link. You will get more engagement this way. Paul over at SearchWilderness also found that having two pieces of multimedia in your post can generate twice the back links compared to a post with only one. It sounds counter intuitive, but hey, there’s some “data” and we never argue with “data.”

Find The Right Group and Tap into the Selfish “Vain”

One of the most basic psychological truisms is this: “People love to talk about themselves.” So if you want an easy way to get authentic conversations started with people in groups, ask them about themselves, their opinions, their problems, etc. One of the best tricks is to target thought leaders, business owners, or top contributors and ask them something along the lines of:

    • “What is the worst mistake you think anyone in [enter your industry] can make?”
    • “What is the one thing you wish someone had told you before you started in [enter your industry]?”
    • “What [enter industry] tools can you not live without?”

Get the idea?

Once you've gotten an idea for what the people you're trying to network with are interested in, you can start posting relevant content. Join groups with a decent amount of members who are also relatively active. Posting content to a group that no one uses won't help your networking efforts. Once you've found the right groups, identify the top contributors and see how they engage with members. Now get talking! Start conversations with those thought leaders  and you’ll see that, eventually, your conversations will get some “likes” from different people. As you become active and people see your name more, they’ll start to check out your profile.  Through this, you are one step closer becoming a recognized thought leader, increasing your clout with your peers as well as the likeliness that they will want to connect with you.

If People aren’t Looking at You, Start Looking at Them

Humans can also be quite curious creatures by nature. When you look at someone’s profile (assuming you don’t have anonymous viewing turned on) they will get a notification, just like you do when someone looks at your profile. There’s a good chance they’re going to be curious about who you are and take a look at your profile. If you’ve followed step one and decked out your profile with content, and assuming you’re being strategic in who you are looking at (i.e. people that are in your industry or have similar experience), there’s a decent chance they may connect with you.

That’s it!

I know there are tons of great methods and hacks out there, so if you have any of your own you’d like to share, please let us know in the comments below!

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Jesse Pennington

Written by Jesse Pennington

Jesse is a data-and-design-driven digital marketer with a proven track record in web development, marketing technology and inbound marketing. His career motto is to 'never stop learning,' as he attributes most of his success to this simple principal.

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