LinkedIn sent me a heart-warming and congratulatory email this morning. It read, “Edwin, congratulations! You have one of the top 5% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012. LinkedIn now has 200 million members. Thanks for playing a unique part in our community!”

This did not come about because I had a complete profile or many recommendations, which I believe I consciously developed over the years. I know that social media requires a commitment of time, providing relevant content via my personal blog as well as being a helpful person to the questions, concerns and purposes to those I connect with.

Three Simple Steps To Utilizing LinkedIn

1. Create content (a blog post or a video) that is intended to get people engaged. What would best interest your prospective customers when they read and/or view? Produce answers to problems or give away samples that makes your prospect desire more from you.

2. Locate discussions occurring on LinkedIn Groups. Share your thoughts and your content in relation to solving a problem, creating insight or engaging in constructive conversation. By being a source of help, information or keen insight, you build a community who will come back to you for more.

3. Entice your prospect’s curiosity into taking action by giving them something to sign-up for, have mailed to them, download, etc.

Social Media Takes Time To Build Trust

Committing to social media does take time, just as it does in real life to connect and build relationships and a business. Trust is a major factor today in business, so it takes time to connect and build that trust via social media. By being helpful in all regards, people will intuitively see if you are genuine or not. Accordingly, when you commit yourself to being a good and helpful citizen of the online world, people will perceive this. Trust will build and so will your business.

Businesses and entrepreneurs who think that they can leverage social media to generate immediate profits become quickly disillusioned as they soon realize the reality of the commitment that it takes. But therein lies the silver lining, as so few stick around for the long-haul that those who do will reap greater benefits.

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