LinkedIn has grown into the business social network. It is a great platform for content marketing and business advertising. LinkedIn is also one of the most topical social media items when it comes to helping clients with their social media.
So what is LinkedIn. In a nutshell is it a business-networking tool where your company and personal brands mix to fuel a network of contacts. Think of it as an on-line space where you can meet people, share content, promote your brand and build business relationships.
From a reach perspective, LinkedIn has more than 350million users worldwide. Just look at the emails you get everyday and you are sure to find a high percentage (I will bet over 80%) with a LinkedIn profile URL. Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers rate LinkedIn as the top social media platform for generating leads and over 40% of people on LinkedIn check it every day.
When starting on LinkedIn you have to remember that the most important aspect is your profile. It’s all about YOU. Don’t rush setting up your profile and take the time to look at what key networkers in your industry have done.
Get a good photo of yourself. One that is interesting and preferably work related. Remember that LinkedIn is for business professionals. Your Facebook photo is often a ‘no-no’ here. Make your photo a high-quality head shot and smile! Then think of LinkedIn as a search engine. Your most important task is to create a professional headline below your name. Optimise this for search terms that people would you to find someone like you to add to their network. You’ve 120 characters to play with so make sure you max this out and put in relevant content.
LinkedIn has got more creative recently and now allows you to put up a background image. It’s a cover photo but one that should reflect your industry and brand. Then add your contact information. Add in your website and if you have one, a blog URL.
Next its time to edit the long URL LinkedIn gives you and personalise it with your name. Much easier to remember and looks fab on business cards. Try to get some consistency if you can with the names of your other social media accounts like Twitter as this shows you have put some thought and effort in the on-line marketing of ‘YOU’.
Next put in your story summary. This is your ‘about me’ section and again should include relevant content and keywords. Make it interesting and try to answer the general questions people may have about you, your skills and work experience. You can also add PowerPoints and brochures to your profile through SlideShare. This will again enhance your profile and show prospective contacts what you do. Experience and skills are other factors to add.
LinkedIn is also popular for endorsements. Think about key customers and suppliers and send your contacts an endorsement request. Build up your endorsements to strengthen your profile. Endorsements add weight to your profile and even more credibility.
Now you’re LinkedIn profile is ready you are good to go. LinkedIn will help you find contacts but one of the best ways to grow and open up your network is to post relevant comments and links on regular basis about your industry. Find interesting topics through relevant trade press, blogs and news-gathering feeds such as Google Alerts. Contact relevant people in your industry and ask to connect.
Monitor your network growth and set yourself an objective for the number of contacts you want to reach. The more you connect, the more you can promote and build your personal and business profiles. For more information on what we can do to help you develop LinkedIn as a business tool, contact us on 0800 158 3080 or email our marketing team.
Written by Dawn Koffler.