Other articles in the Social Media Tools Insurance Professionals Don’t Understand series:Social Media Tools Insurance Professionals Don’t Understand: Google+ Social Media Tools Insurance Professionals Don’t Understand: Twitter Social Media Tools Insurance Professionals Don’t Understand: Klout
Sometimes LinkedIn feels like the redheaded stepchild of the social media world. Very few social media “experts” focus their time talking about LinkedIn. I think the reason for this is LinkedIn, relatively speaking, is less “social” than Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. What I mean by that is there is the perception that LinkedIn is more about Posting information than it is about Conversation.
I Think LinkedIn is Social
I will concede that out of the Big “4″ social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+) LinkedIn is the least conversational and therefore in my mind the least Social. However, I do think there are certain aspects unique to LinkedIn that do generate great conversations in addition to some other amazingly powerful resources.
The most powerful feature of LinkedIn in my opinion is Groups. If you are new to LinkedIn or don’t use LinkedIn often you are missing out on a true networking and relationship growing experience in LinkedIn Groups.
I join three types of groups:
- Insurance Industry
- Local Albany / Capital Region Professional
- Niche Market Groups that specialize in insuring
These groups allow me to interact with people on weekly or in some cases daily basis in the specific areas that I like to network the most. I find it more difficult to segment these groups in Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. But with LinkedIn you have a defined group of people who are coming to the forum for a specific reason, to network and share ideas.
If you are uncomfortable sharing your own information then follow along with what other people are saying and try to add comments where you see fit. I’ve been part of some amazing discussions including a very robust discussion on Young Professionals joining the insurance industry.
OK, this is actually is the very most powerful part of LinkedIn… the Recommendations. You like referrals, right? And you also like testimonials, correct? What if you had a way to ask, track, and display your referrals and testimonials? Wouldn’t that be some powerful stuff?
Go to LinkedIn and ask your ten best clients to write you a short recommendation about why YOU are so awesome to do busy with. Then at your next prospecting meeting pull out your tablet and show the prospect your recommendations… Geez… I just blew my own mind.
The LinkedIn profile is the most robust profile on the internet. Do NOT half-ass this profile. No one is so busy that they can’t take 20 minutes out of their day to make sure their LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and looking fantastic. Mine is not perfect but yours should look at least this good:
Make sure that you are linking to all the appropriate websites and that you have connected your Twitter account. Make sure that your description accurately portray what you do and who you are.
PEOPLE READ YOUR PROFILE AND JUDGE YOU BASED ON THE WAY IT LOOKS!
I don’t care what you think about social media or LinkedIn but there are a lot of people that do. I’m not just talking about young professionals and your kids. I’m talking about CEO’s of insurance brokerages and insurance carriers and most importantly your clients and prospects. They want to make sure they’re not doing business with a schmuck.
So make LinkedIn an important part of your online presence. Refer people back to your profile. Be proud of your profile and how it represents your accomplishments!
This will be an ongoing series where I examine Social Media tools, discuss why/if Insurance Professionals should be using that tool and how to go about utilizing the tool for Social Media success. Click this link to view the entire series: “Social Media Tools Insurance Professionals Don’t Understand”.
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This article is for informational purposely only. There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered and the author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon such information.
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