Since LinkedIn was established in 2003, it has attracted more than 175 million active users.  There are more than 1.4 million user groups and forums that have been created.  Is it just for job seekers?  It is estimated that 60-70 percent of the users are not actively on the job market.

Last week, social media expert Chuck Hester spoke to the NC Network of Grantmakers’ Communications Network on how to maximize your impact through using LinkedIn.  Chuck has more than 12,000 first connections on LinkedIn and is the founder of LinkedIn Live programs in the Triangle-area of NC.

Chuck offered some practical tips on how to use LinkedIn to build a network.  He also blogged about using LinkedIn for Good this week.

First, never send out a generic invite.  There’s a person behind every profile and as Chuck likes to say, treat the invitation as if the person is standing right in front of you.  If it’s an invite to someone you don’t know or don’t know well, express the commonality.  Explain why you should be connected.

What’s the value of having you as a connection?  What can your connections ask of you?

Connect through your connections.  When you make a connection, see who is connected with that person.  Make the connections.  Keep it personal.

Chuck suggests that by using LinkedIn 15 minutes a day to post a status update, make connections, and answer invitation, the social media tool will become a powerful resource.

The Center for Effective Philanthropy recently released a report that found that grantees are not using social media to connect with foundations.

Check out:

Network on Social Media for Your Next Job