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LinkedIn: 6 effective ways to boost your connections

SOURCE: Kimberly White / Getty Images for LinkedIn / AFP
Over 700 million people are on LinkedIn — here's how you can put yourself on the map.


By Shekinah Kannan 

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Did you know that LinkedIn currently has 756 million members from 200 countries and regions worldwide? Or that it hosts 63 million unique mobile visitors a month? Clearly, it’s one of the hottest social media platforms for professionals in the market right now. With such a high volume of people on the platform, this makes it essential for anyone looking to build their professional brand and stay in the know of new career opportunities to maximise their Linkedin connections.

The pandemic has shifted the way we connect and communicate with others in the workplace. While we’re on our way to returning to normalcy, it’s likely that some aspects of remote operations are here to stay. 

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That said, creating and maintaining virtual relationships is now fundamental to business success and professional growth. LinkedIn makes it easy for professionals to connect with recruiters, as well as individuals or groups within certain business circles or industries. This allows anyone to widen their professional network, learn new things, and even gain new skills from the comfort of their couch.

If you’re currently looking for new career opportunities but are guilty of letting your LinkedIn profile gather dust, now’s the best time to whip your profile into shape and start building your connections. This can help you put your best virtual foot forward to thousands of recruiters or for job referrals by mutual connections. 

Here are some tips for building your LinkedIn connections:

Update your LinkedIn profile

Start by updating your profile — this includes highlighting your latest role or qualifications gained. Depending on your profile settings, you can share your profile changes with your connections, enabling them to see what you’re up to and to learn more about your current interests.

You might also consider connecting with second-degree connections — or those connected to your first-degree connections. Avoid sending generic requests — instead, personalise your request by mentioning why you’d love to connect. Perhaps you found their posts interesting and would love to connect and be able to continue reading about their industry insights.

Aim for 500 LinkedIn connections

LinkedIn stops showing the number of your connections once you’ve reached 500 connections — at that point, the platform will simply list that you have 500+. You might wonder, what’s the obsession with getting 500 LinkedIn connections?

More than a popularity contest, hitting the 500 mark means your content reaches a wider audience; you might have a better chance of building new career opportunities, be it finding new clients to getting your profile to reach a wider set of recruiters.

It’s worth remembering that you should strive for quality instead of quantity. 500 LinkedIn connections can be an achievable goal, but it’s equally important to strive to build quality connections that will help your professional goals too.

Use LinkedIn Groups

Groups are topic-specific spaces that will enable you to build strategic relationships, enjoy insights, share your own, and probe communities for advice. It is also an extremely effective way to build a relevant network with active members in your industry.

Once you’ve joined one, you’ll be able to view a list of fellow members. Going forward, you could build your network by scrolling through the lineup and sending connection requests to users you’re eager to have in your corner.

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Stay active 

An estimated 40% of LinkedIn users are active users, and you should strive to be part of that statistic. LinkedIn can be a platform for you to share your thought leadership and mould your brand.

This could mean putting in some effort to create thoughtful or informative posts about work or an uplifting professional story, republishing an article relevant to your services or industry, or sharing trending articles in your area of interest or expertise. Regardless of how you choose to go about it, an active user tends to catch the eyes of their connections. 

Let’s get visual

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and the saying can be applied to LinkedIn. Did you know that posts with images get twice as many views? In fact, research suggests that posts with video content are re-shared 20 times more than regular posts. 

As described by LinkedIn, “after you post a video, you can see audience insights such as the top companies, titles and locations of your viewers, as well as how many views, likes, and comments your videos are receiving”. This insight could help you understand the audience of your post. In doing so, you could get a better idea as to which groups would be happy to infiltrate your network.

Stay engaged

It’s one thing to actively post on LinkedIn, but it’s also important to engage with others on the platform. This could be something as simple as liking or sharing a post. You could also comment on your connections’ posts, articles, and videos to show support or to tell them what you admired about it.