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One of the features of LinkedIn that tends to be underutilized is the "LinkedIn Status Update" (also called your "Network Update") in your LinkedIn Profile. Your status update "block" is a white box located just below your picture on your "View My Profile" page. If you don't see such a block, then you've not posted a status update. From your LinkedIn home page or your "Edit My Profile" page, you can change your status update as frequently as you desire. EVERY time you update your status, the home page of ALL of your network connections is "pinged" with your status update. Status updates are also distributed to your network via email when LinkedIn sends you your weekly "Network Update." Your latest status update is always displayed on your LinkedIn profile. Your status updated is limited to 140 characters - just like Twitter - so keep that in mind, particularly when cutting and pasting information into your status update "window." Updating your LinkedIn status is a great way to communicate to your network on a frequent and ongoing basis. I update my status at least once each day with different types of information. 10 tips for effectively using your status update to distribute useful information are presented below: 1. Insert the title and a "shortened" URL link to one of your recent blog articles. Bit.ly is a great resource for shortening URL's. 2. Insert the title and a "shortened" URL to a blog article you read and really liked. Particularly one that is timely, informative and relates to your "brand" or area of specialty in some way. 3. A link to a newsworthy web posting or news item. Include the title and a shortened URL. Alignment with you brand "voice" or area of specialty makes it more powerful. I like to focus on POSITIVE news as opposed to negative news. 4. A great "quote of the day." A great source of quotes of to search the #quote "hashtag" on Twitter. Since Twitter updates are limited to 140 characters, you'll find quotes that fit the LinkedIn status update window. 5. A brief piece of advice relevant to your brand or area of specialty. 6. A link to a great YouTube video. I recommend linking only to videos that are less than about three to five minutes in length. The video content should be consistent with your "brand" or area of specialty. 7. A request to connect with you on Twitter. Be sure to include your Twitter URL. I've created a "custom" domain for my Twitter URL: www.AndyOnTwitter.com. 8. An important announcement about you or your company. Try a brief "press release" type of communication. 9. A link to an article in which YOU were quoted. I give the title of the article and a shortened URL link to the article. This is a powerful PR and branding activity. 10. Recent results and key activities at work. Something like, "Just landed three new Executive Career Coaching clients this week; excited about launching those engagements!" Give it a try, make it a habit. By the way, there are tools available that allow you to cross-post your Twitter updates DIRECTLY to your LinkedIn status updates (as well as Facebook and other social media applications). A couple of tools I really like are Ping.fm and Hellotxt.com. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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