LinkedIn is a very useful tool to keep up-to-date with what is happening in your profession , industry and network in general. It is a great way to keep tabs not only on your current and past workmates but also your competitors . You can then use this information to assess how well you are doing based on the impression from LinkedIn and corrective action could be taken to make improvements if necessary.
Why do this?
Your competitors will seek to project themselves in the best possible light on LinkedIn. They will share their achievements and accomplishments. Through the recommendations you will be able to learn a lot about who you are up against. Through the honours and awards they have received, you will be able to see how they have distinguished themselves.
Use LinkedIn to find out who are the most visible people in your industry. How do you do this? Do searches in LinkedIn using your keywords. Let’s say you are a social media coach, search for terms like social media coaching, social media consulting and social media workshops. Study the profiles at the top of the pack. Why are these guys at the top? You should be there as well!
Are there any improvements you could make to your own profile? How visible are the keywords in your profile and how prominent? Attend to this but do not stuff up your profile. Some people have done this with their profiles and now it looks like a joke because you scroll down forever reading the same thing.
See who is ranking highly in these searches? Are you at the top of the pack. If not why not, compare your profile with those of the people who are dominating the search rankings. What are your profiles different? If there something you could do better in your search.
Search filters to narrow results
Use the search filters to narrow your search filters and see how that impacts the search results. Save the search results. Take note of the people on the first page of your search results. Keep a tab on them. Check out their profiles and other presence online. What can you learn from them.
Activity on LinkedIn
What are your competitors up to on LinkedIn? Check their activity by looking at the posts they have made on their profile if any. Visit their companies and check not only the products and services but read their company updates as well. Have a look at the website and blog and see what else they are busy with.
Check out the Apps
If your competitors have Apps have a look at them and see the information they are sharing with their network. This could provide that useful insights. Perhaps you will get a hint that you need to use more Apps in your own profile.
Which groups have they joined
You can view the groups joined by some of your competitors to get an idea of where you might find your next business. Sometimes you will realise that a competitor has even got their own group. Is this something that you want to be doing? Be warned that starting a group comes with its own work and may even present a risk to your personal and corporate brands if the group are neglected.
Get LinkedIn to work for you by providing you with valuable business intelligence that could give you the edge you need to clinch your next deal.