LinkedIn is THE professional social network. According to this MediaBistro Social Media infographic, it boasts 240 million active users. The social media platform focuses on businesses and professionals. Is your LinkedIn account doing all that it can for you? These tips will show you how to use Linkedin for business and discover the true power of social media.
1. Complete your LinkedIn profile.
The first thing you should do is customize your URL. LinkedIn offers a vanity URL and you can customize it with your name. Then update your profile and fill it out completely. Keep it updated so that all of your information is always current. Make sure that your contact information is current and take advantage of the three free links.
TIP: Use your given name for your personal profile and your username or brand name (such as GrowMap) for your business page.
2. Invest in becoming a Premium user.
There are four selections for premium users that are focused on what the user wants their LinkedIn profile to do for them. If you are serious about optimal utilization of your account, then investing in a Premium account is money well spent.
- For Recruiters – This is for recruiters, both individual and enterprise.
- For Job Seekers – If you are looking for a job, this account will give you an edge over your competition.
- Business – This is for people who work in business or owns a business.
- For Sales Professional – This is a great tool for boosting your sales, increasing your customer base, and expanding your target market.
3. Optimize your profile.
I go into this in depth in my post “LinkedIn Optimization: How to Generate Leads From Your LinkedIn Profile” but here is a high-level view.
- Name – Full name unless you are a brand
- Professional Headline – Make it keyword rich and descriptive
- Location – City and state, but at least state
- Profile Photo – It should be a professional headshot, high res, good composition
- Upgrade to Premium – We already covered this; the benefits are well worth it
- Badges – Premium users can edit badges and you can adjust the way people can contact you as well as how they see you
- Contact Info – This should be filled out completely with your phone number, email, blog, website, and social profiles.
4. List your skills and get endorsements.
Listing all of your skills will allow people to endorse you. When they do, make sure that you thank them. Endorsing others will also increase your chances of being endorsed.
5. Create projects, add links, images, and videos.
Adding projects, links and images to your profile bring your experience to life. It really kicks your resume up a notch. Choose wisely because you are limited, but by adding your best work you will definitely impress.
6. Use content marketing strategies and post regularly.
Content is your key to connecting with your audience and attracting more people to your profile so a content marketing strategy is vital. You need to post relevant, quality content that your readers can’t find elsewhere. You want to deliver the information your audience seeks in a way they don’t expect or haven’t seen before and you need to post this information on a regular basis.
Linkedin groups: Join industry specific groups and engage the community. Be sure not to just join a group and start posting content. These communities don’t want to be spammed by you – instead they want you to engage with other posts and comments, sharing your expertise. This will help you become an industry thought leader and will compel others to seek you out when they have questions or even need services.
7. Build up your connections.
The more connections you make, the more connections you make. What I mean is, when you make a connection you open up an opportunity to connect with their connections. You create networking opportunities and increase your audience. There is a way to do it though. Don’t randomly connect with someone you don’t know; that can be considered spammy. Instead, personalize your connection message and use it to reach out. You can also ask your existing connections to introduce you.
TIP: Be selective in choosing your connections. Fewer highly relevant connections who know you better will benefit you more than many connections who don’t.
8. Engage other users.
LinkedIn is a professional social network for business, but it is still social media so treat it as such. Engage your connections. Congratulate them on their accomplishments, tell them happy birthday, endorse them, like their posts and profile updates, leave comments and reply to them when they message you.
9. Ask for recommendations.
Recommendations make your profile more attractive and a much stronger draw for your audience. Ask your connections for recommendations to boost your profile.
10. Invest in LinkedIn ads.
LinkedIn ads are another wise investment that will help you boost your audience and readership. They are highly customizable and you can choose your target. Pay by impressions or by clicks and you can stop them at any time.
11. Reach out with InMail.
InMail lets you communicate with anyone on LinkedIn. You don’t need contact information or introductions. It will help you make the right impression and open new opportunities for you. InMail messages are included with premium memberships and a certain amount are allotted each month. InMail messages cost $10 to purchase. A cool perk is unused InMail messages rollover. They do expire though after 90 days. Find out more about premium memberships.
12. Create and manage your company page.
If you have a company you need to create your company page. You can use it to attract customers, highlight your products and services, raise brand awareness – the possibilities are endless. Use your company page to get referrals and recommendations. It can drive your company – and your success.
LinkedIn can be a great business builder when used correctly. It can help you personally and professionally. In fact, it can be one of the sharpest tools in your branding toolbox.
If you have any questions, please write them in the comments. Please share any experience you have with using Linkedin for your business or professional career?