With over 500 million users, LinkedIn is the most used professional networking site to date. The problem is many people don't know how to leverage the platform properly to engage and maintain their networks. Which is a shame, because as we say at Work It Daily, "your network is your net worth." In today's world, where every job is temporary, getting a job and building a career is all about connecting. The more people in your industry, location, and skill set who trust and respect you, the more opportunities you'll have to choose from. Those who feel in control of their careers usually have strong networks they can tap into when needed. If you want to be one of those people, then here's a technique you should start doing on LinkedIn regularly...

LinkedIn Shout-outs Offer 2X the ROI

One of the least used features on LinkedIn is the tagging of people in posts. When you type a colleague's name using the @ symbol before it, LinkedIn (like almost all other social media sites), will populate a list of network connections and offer to link the person's name to the text. When you do this, it then notifies them that they've been mentioned in a post. If you want to serve your network and create incredible value for two people you know, then why not post a short shout-out as to why you admire each one and think they'd benefit from connecting? For example, you might say:

"Hey @BillJones, I'm a fan of the new digital marketing campaign you created for your company and it reminded me of the work that @MarySmith is doing over at her firm. I think the two of you would really enjoy talking shop about the future of consumer behaviors online in your industry."

This quick post gives each person some online recognition for their expertise and points them in the direction of a good person to connect with. This makes networking for them easier and more effective. The best part? Each of them will remember you were the wonderful professional who introduced them and gave them public praise.

Why Not Just Send an Email?

You might think it makes more sense to email each of these folks, but that A) takes them out of LinkedIn and creates extra steps for them to connect with each other. B) doesn't give them the thrill of the public recognition for their efforts that will make them remember your kindness more. Using LinkedIn's features will help them get better at the platform and (hopefully) get them to want to return the favor.

P.S. - Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Is Sending the Right Message (Or, Your Network Won't Appreciate This Gesture)

The technique above works well when you have a properly optimized LinkedIn profile. It's important to make sure you aren't unknowingly embarrassing yourself or coming across like a narcissist. Before you start practicing this, make sure your profile is sending the right message. That way, your network will be more inclined to appreciate and reciprocate.