Are you on LinkedIn? When's the last time you logged in and actively used the service, updated your profile, or used LinkedIn to search for people you want to connect to?
If you're like many people, you might have set up an account, checked to see if there was anyone you knew via your e-mail contacts or your place of employment, and then…that's it.
Or maybe you did do a LinkedIn search for people you know to boost your number of connections, but now that you've got a load of connections, you're not quite sure what to do to keep them organized, much less do any sort of power networking that boosts your bottom line.
LinkedIn gets a bad rap, in my opinion! Given the number of people using LinkedIn, a search for people you know and then using the right tools to keep them organized is a must if you're serious about getting your maximum bang for your buck using social media.
What? You didn't know you could organize your connections in LinkedIn? Let's get started talking first about how to connect with people using this career-centric social media platform, then we'll talk about how to take all of the great folks you've found using LinkedIn search for people and organize them using the "tag" feature of LinkedIn.
Using LinkedIn Search For People To Find Connections
In the event you haven't used LinkedIn search for people to connect with, let's talk about a few basics here before we talk about how to organize your connections.
One of LinkedIn's strengths in terms of its search function is that the information is more organized than other social media platforms. For example, information about employers is broken down, so if I want to connect with someone who works at Cisco now, I can search "Cisco," and "current position only," and get people who work at Cisco right now. Easy, right?
You can also narrow in on better search results using LinkedIn Search for people when you use "OR" or "AND" in your search.
Now – once you've found a number of interesting potential connections using LinkedIn to search for people in your niche, you can sort those connections by relevance (the default option) or by the strength of the connection.
Yes, you read that right. You can use LinkedIn to search for people and rank your results by number of degrees of separation from you.
So once you've honed in on some key people, made connection requests and formed links with business prospects using LinkedIn to search for people, let's help you organize them for better efficiency.
Using LinkedIn Tags To Organize Your Connections
- LinkedIn Tags are custom categories that allow you to sort and organize your connections.
- LinkedIn will automatically try to organize and create some tags for you. The default tags can be changed, and new tags can be added and people assigned to those categories.
- Automatic Tags: If someone invites you to connect, indicating that you're a classmate or colleague, for example, they'll be tagged with that label once you accept that invitation.
- Tag Visibility: Only you can see your tags. They show up on the left side of your connections page as a list, as well as in each connection's profile.
- Tag Limit: Up to 200 unique tags can be created in LinkedIn
- Assign Tags: Select a connection, then in the contact information for that tag, select "Edit Tags" to assign different tags to that connection.
Just a word of caution – the point of using LinkedIn to search for people, organize your connections, and then do some power networking is to build connections and find the common ground through conversation. This isn't about finding people to spam with your product or service.
Using LinkedIn to search for people and then organizing them using tags is a sure way to build your network and increase your efficiency.
How many tags do you have on LinkedIn? Are you using this simple tool for organizing your connections? Leave me a comment – I'd love to hear from you!
And make sure we're connected on LinkedIn, too!