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An article published on Forbes last week discussed five new strategies for using LinkedIn that you probably haven't thought of yet. An infographic examined how people typically use LinkedIn and found that the vast majority of people are using the free version of the site, and that the most used features are: who has viewed your profile (70.6 percent), groups (60.6 percent), direct messaging (48.7 percent), and people you may know (65.2 percent). Most people also used LinkedIn to research and connect with people and companies.

But LinkedIn can do so much more. 

Here are the five strategies to help you think more creatively about how you can get the most from this professional networking site:

  1. Scope the competition - you can use LinkedIn to learn more about what your competitors are up to.
  2. Job scope/background checks - when you need to make hiring decisions, LinkedIn can be one of your best resources to learn more about your candidates.
  3. Advanced people finder - LinkedIn can help you find people who are difficult to locate.
  4. Sales reinforcement - after a sales pitch or meeting, follow up with a LinkedIn invitation to help further the process along.
  5. Use LinkedIn Polls - LinkedIn polls can get you quick opinion results and service feedback, as well as market research.

For more information on LinkedIn, check out our Guide to LinkedIn and for more on online brand, check out Building and Protecting Your Online Image.

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