One facet of Social Selling is educating your network (as well as potential customers and current clients) on what you do and the products/services you sell. While you’re hoping to build your expertise and increase sales by doing so, you’re also giving “gifts” to anyone who is interested in what you do.

At this holiday time, most everyone is giving gifts. If you are a Social Seller, you’ve done this all year long. If you want to give an extra-special gift, I suggest going the extra mile and giving a great gift to those people who are special to you: those who are your first-degree connections on LinkedIn.

How? By giving them the gift of “thanks” through your time, thoughts and intention. You can use social tools like LinkedIn and even Twitter to show your thanks in ways that leverage those networks to their fullest. At the same time, you’re passing along your genuine and heartfelt thanks for everything they do for you and others. In the process, you can even help your network’s members with their own businesses and sales.

With that in mind, here are six ways you can thank your network for a wonderful and prosperous 2015, and for best wishes in 2016:

1. Endorse your connections on LinkedIn. Just don’t do this in a willy-nilly fashion, though. You can endorse in a thoughtful way by making sure to choose skills you know your connection has and/or that you have personally experienced. The easiest way to do this is to endorse her/him for an already-listed skill—a popular one, too—in their Profile. Here’s how:

  • Scroll down to the Skills section of a connection’s profile.
  • Click the title of the skill, or the + symbol next to the skill.

Yep, it’s that simple.

2. Make warm introductions among your connections. By making these links, you’re showing you care about those in your network by expanding their network. This can happen in a LinkedIn message or an email. Just copy them both with a small description of each person (you can pull information right from their LinkedIn summary), and explain why you think it would be a positive connection for both of them.

3. Engage in comments in posts made by your network, including discussions and publications. You can tweet their content on Twitter, and share it on LinkedIn. Your network has spent a lot of time and energy in putting their content out, the fact that you spent the time to read it and participate by commenting is very much appreciated.

4. Recommend your connections on LinkedIn. Testimonials on LinkedIn are like gold to those who receive them. They’re always appreciated, too. You have to make sure they’re sincere, though, and specific as well. Giving recommendations are an especially great way to thank your vendors, too. (Vendors can be a great source of referrals because they already know you and your company.)

5. Give your connections a shout out. When you give your connections a shout-out, it shows you’re thinking of them, and you consider them to be a valued person in your network. In your update status on LinkedIn or Twitter, thank your clients and vendors in a message and type @TheirNameorCompany and select it from the drop-down. They will receive a notification of your mention, and will appreciate the time you took to recognize them!

6. Ask how you can help. Just about everyone has some need, but you’ll never know how you can help until you ask. So… do that! Here’s a template you can use:

[NAME]: As 2015 draws to a close and we begin 2016, I wanted to reach out and share my gratitude for having you as a first-degree connection of mine here on LinkedIn. Because I consider myself a connector of business professionals, please let me know if there is anyone in my first-degree connections that you would like to meet. I would love to make an introduction on your behalf. If there is any other way I can provide value to you and your network, let’s set up a brief call to discuss. Here is a link to my calendar: Please pick a time that is most convenient for you. I am looking forward to our call. Thanks!

I want to wrap this article by saying “thanks” to you for supporting me in 2015. Your comments, “likes,” etc., have shown me there is a real need for people in the business world to connect. I want to help fulfill that need.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

The image for this article was provided by woodleywonderworks at Flickr, and is covered by a Creative Commons license. No changes were made to the image.