LinkedIn Polls is one of those features of the business-networking site that is not often used, probably because most people don’t know how it can benefit them.

But Polls can benefit you in several ways. For example, they help you:

  • Get useful input from your connections for your personal use.
  • Get useful input from your connections to use in an article, blog post, seminar, etc.
  • Increase your “know” factor among your connections.
  • Increase your “know” factor with people you are trying to reach (for example, new customers or new employees).

You can accomplish these things in two ways:

  1. By paying, which allows you to select specific functions or roles and consequently access people you don’t yet know.
  2. By asking your first-degree connections to invite their networks to participate.

If you decide to use this application, create something with the results. Then share your project with your network and the people who responded and helped you create it.

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Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach, author of the best-sellers “Let’s Connect!” and “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” and a well-known international networking and referrals speaker. For more information, go to his blog at http://www.janvermeiren.com/.