New social media platforms are introduced all the time, but they don’t all have the staying power of juggernauts like Facebook. But since 2002, LinkedIn has billed itself as THE networking platform for professionals. They have now lived up to that vision, with over 660 million users across the globe today. If you have a job, you likely have a profile. Maybe you post; perhaps you don’t. With that said, it doesn’t take much to spruce up your presence and make the platform work for you. Check out these tips and tricks to leverage the power of LinkedIn.
Your Individual Profile
Let’s start with the basics to get your feet wet. These foundations are the most important to complete, and pretty simple. Don’t skimp on the easy stuff!
- 100% complete: Ensure that every section of your profile is complete. Try not to leave anything blank, but don’t add irrelevant details for the sake of filling in an empty space. You’ll know you are complete when you’ve reached All-Star status on your profile completion meter!
- Optimize your profile: Use the words you want to be known for. If you drive strategy for businesses, make sure that is included. Profiles are indexed by search engines, but you have to make sure your profile settings allow for search engine visibility via your public profile.
- Customize your URL: LinkedIn assigns a random URL by default. Simpler is better. You can update your personal URL to display whatever you want, but your name is typically the best option.
- Get endorsed for your skills: A personal referral can go a long way with both people you know and people you don’t know. Being referred by others shows they trust you and endorse you for your skills. Get endorsements, and be sure to give endorsements as well.
- Provide samples of your work: You can upload various pieces of media to show your work. Include things you are proud of and showcase your skills. It’s an easy way to demonstrate your authority to anyone who’s checking out your Page.
How useful could a networking platform be if you don’t actually network? Use posts to share and start conversations. Ask for advice or ideas. Give your POV on industry news, trending topics, and other major events. People you are connected with or those following certain hashtags will see your posts in their news feeds. There are a few basic rules of thumb you can follow to drive more engagement through your posts.
- Content and consistency matters: Share quality insights and fresh perspectives based on your knowledge, expertise, or observations. Use your analytics to see what’s resonating. Be sure to post regularly on timely and trending topics that get people talking. It doesn’t have to be daily, but commit to a schedule that works for you.
- Start a conversation: Engage your network by asking an open ended question or sharing a point of view. Don’t forget to respond to commenters and engage with other posts with a comment or share to drive the conversation.
- Use @Mentions: Invite specific people to participate in your conversations by using the @mention function in your post. This increases the chances your post will get shared and seen by people you want to hear from, along with people outside of your immediate connections.
- Use relevant hashtags: Use hashtags to indicate what your post is about and to get the attention of certain groups. Hashtags help your content get discovered and are searchable. Do your own search of hashtags to find ones that are relevant to your audience and have a strong following so you can reach more people.
- Include photos or videos: Posts with images or rich media draw people in and bring your post to life. LinkedIn also indicates that posts that have a visual element perform better and are more engaging, which leads to more networking.
LinkedIn has a powerful tool for making connections and showcasing thought leadership within LinkedIn Groups. These groups provide a great platform for members to share their professional expertise, experiences, and advice with their connections, the larger LinkedIn community, and people who aren’t within their network. The people in these groups are there because they want to be, which allows for even more flexibility to highlight your expertise in a certain area. You can leverage groups in just a few simple steps.
- Find the right group: There are literally millions of groups on LinkedIn, with new ones being added all the time. Find one that would benefit from your expertise. Not only can you learn from the group, but you may be able to help someone else.
- Engage in conversations: You want to establish a presence without being too salesy. By driving thought leadership and subject matter expertise, the group members will see you as a knowledge base and take your guidance, which helps in making decisions.
- Offer solutions (when appropriate!): Once you have established yourself as a thought leader, you can begin to offer solutions for the problems the group members are facing, but not just any solutions— your solutions. It’s also an opportunity to gauge the problems people are facing and allow you to tailor your marketing to better serve your potential customers.
Although many people view LinkedIn as a site for job hunters and growing your professional network, it is also an effective tool for generating new leads and nurturing referral relationships. A company Page is one advantage of using LinkedIn for business. It is an opportunity to tell your company’s story, engage with followers, drive leads, share career opportunities, and scale your marketing.
- Complete your Page: Just like your individual profile, the completeness of your company Page is important too. Even if you have had an active company Page on LinkedIn for quite some time, you should review it and make sure everything is filled out. Pages that are 100% complete get 30% more views than incomplete ones.
- Post regularly: Companies that post weekly see two times more engagement with their content than companies that post less often. Find a cadence that works for you and stick with it.
- Share valuable content: The foundation of any social media strategy is highly valuable content. Determine what types of information your audience needs and seeks and share content that answers their most pressing questions or solve their immediate problems.
- Introduce new products or services: You can use this space to not only introduce new products or services, but highlight what your company has to offer. You can explain how you and your products will help customers solve their problems and meet their business needs. Driving people to your website enables followers to easily find more information and convert your website visitor traffic into warm business leads.
- Optimize your Page and posts: Google and other search engines return LinkedIn company Pages and posts highly in the search results, so adding updates to your company Page and optimizing posts for SEO helps to improve your performance. As a result, your website may see an increase in referral traffic from LinkedIn, especially if your posts contain links back to your company’s website.
- Invite your connections: LinkedIn says that once Pages gain 150 followers, their opportunity for growth becomes exponential. You can grow your audience by adding a follow button to your email and website, but also as a LinkedIn Page Admin, you can personally invite your followers to 1st-degree connections to follow your Page.
- Review your analytics: With the data you gain through reviewing your Page analytics, you can see which content and topics your followers and audiences are engaging with across LinkedIn to help inform your content strategy. This data can be used to create content and posting cadence to drive more engagement and clicks to your calls to action.
All of the suggestions above are free and cost you nothing, but these are just the tip of the iceberg with the potential LinkedIn brings to the table. Many businesses are missing the free tools offered through LinkedIn by not taking advantage of all the platform has to offer as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. A LinkedIn Company Page is essential and beneficial to your business growth. LinkedIn is a powerful platform for both professionals and the companies they work for. Check out our eBook that gives you the low-down on optimizing your company Page with both free and paid tools to maximize your opportunities on the platform.
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