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Posted on 05.22.2012

Expanding your LinkedIn Network

Earlier this month on the blog, we wrote about the launch of LinkedIn's new iPad application. Today, I'd like to offer some tips professionals can use to help expand their LinkedIn networks. With more than 161 million professionals in 200 countries currently using the site, there is surely room for everyone's network to grow.

#1 Stay Active and Engaged: Unlike Facebook or Twitter, most people don't log in to LinkedIn on a daily basis. Unfortunately, infrequent visits to the page can seriously hurt your visibility on the site. You've probably logged in and noticed that you often see the same couple of connections in your feed. Chances are that those same people are also showing up in their other connection's feeds as well. That is because they are consistently active and engaged on the site. Think of it as LinkedIn SEO. Whether it's updating your status, sharing an article or commenting in a group, regular activity on the site is the key to getting your name in front of your connections.

#2 Join Groups of Interest: Search for groups that are focused on industry topics of interest to you. By joining and participating in these groups, you are unlocking a door to a whole group of professional connections with likeminded interests. Once you have a joined the groups, send out personalized invitations to members you have had interactions with within the group. Hopefully other group members will do the same.

*One thing to remember about joining groups is that only a small percentage of LinkedIn's million groups are active. Check on their size and activity before joining. Groups that are the most active and worthwhile, typically have more than 1,000 members.

#3 Keep on Connecting: In March, LinkedIn rolled out an enhanced version of their "People You May Know" search feature. This will pull potential connections, based on who you are already connected with, as well as the content on your profile (make sure you are always freshening up your profile with updated information!). Another great feature for finding potential connections is through their "Alumni" search feature. This will pull potential connections within your educational networks and allow you to narrow the list by industry, company and location. 

Of course, you don't want to send out invitations without a personal note about your interest in connecting. Are you active on LinkedIn? What tips have you used to build up your network?

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