LinkedIn can be a valuable professional online networking tool that has many uses including finding jobs, finding opportunities to advance in one’s career, hiring employees, locating leads and business partners, and meeting and discussing professional topics with other professionals to build online relationships and get your name and brand out there.
From a business standpoint, it’s also a great way to get attention for your content and drive more traffic to your website.
The effectiveness of LinkedIn for your business will be largely determined by your industry, and while this is technically a social network, the strategies that you use may be different from other types of social media marketing. The audience on this network is here for very different reasons.
So, how do you know if you’re getting the most out of this professional social media platform?
Here are some ways you can utilize LinkedIn more effectively to build your personal profile, get involved with a network of professionals, and promote your business.
LinkedIn Profile Tips
The most basic element of LinkedIn is the profile. If you’re a professional or an aspiring professional, you need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is fully completed.
1. Create a Profile Badge for your personal website or blog
Did you know that you can share your completed profile in other places, such as a personal website or blog?
If you have your own personal website or blog, you can promote your personal LinkedIn presence and help grow your professional network by adding a Profile Badge that links to your public LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has several different badge designs to choose from, so you can choose the one that matches your website’s style.
2. Optimize the anchor text for the blog/website links on your LinkedIn profile
Instead of using the default anchor text links in the Websites list within your LinkedIn profile’s Contact Info section, you can choose to modify the anchor text to make those links more appealing to people who view your profile. So, if you want to increase clicks on the website links you display there, change those links’ anchor text to something more attention-grabbing than the standard options LinkedIn provides.
3. Search engine optimize your LinkedIn profile
A completed profile may not be enough to get it to stand out from the pack. This is where it’s beneficial to optimize your profile with keywords that are relevant to your profile. These keywords can be added to your profile headline and sprinkled throughout your profile summary.
4. Take advantage of Saved Searches
You’re likely sprucing up your profile for a career move or to start your career. In LinkedIn, users can save 10 job searches and three people searches. After you do a search, you can save it by clinking the “Save Search” button on the top right of the page. This will enable you to run the search later as well as get daily (for job searches only), weekly or monthly email reminders and alerts.
5. Get endorsed for your skills
What’s more impressive than a well-done LinkedIn profile that lists out your skills?
Having one’s skills endorsed by others.
People are good at bragging about how good they are at things. When other people speak highly of your skills and professionalism, it carries more weight. Your connections can make endorsements on the skills you’ve listed on your profile as well as make recommendations for skills you may not have included on your profile.
You’re also able to delete endorsements made by your connections that don’t accurately describe your strengths or endorsements that aren’t professional.
Using LinkedIn for Business Networking
6. Make your profile an Open Profile
With a premium LinkedIn account, an Open Profile allows you to message any LinkedIn member regardless of membership level or connection status, if they accept Open Profile messages. This enables you to get into contact with members you would otherwise not be able to interact with.
An Open Profile message is sent like a regular InMail message.
7. Export connections
With LinkedIn, you can export all your connections into a contact management system via a .CSV or .VCF file. This can be a useful tool for tracking your contacts and getting an overall profile of your network.
Using LinkedIn for Networking
8. Utilize LinkedIn Groups
With LinkedIn Groups, you’re able to send up to 15 messages per month to other group members. To do this, you need to have been a LinkedIn member for 30 days and a member of the group for 4 days. The 15 messages a month allotment doesn’t include replies and subsequent conversations stemming from the intimal message.
Besides messaging group members, you can also view the profiles of fellow group members.
If you don’t see a group that specifically fits your industry or expertise, you can create your own group. Being an administrator of a group will establish you as an industry thought leader, grow an advocate community, create additional blog content ideas, and generate leads.
9. Email your LinkedIn Group
As an administrator of a LinkedIn group, you can email every member up to once a week. These emails take the form of “announcements” that are sent directly to the member’s email inbox.
10. Share your LinkedIn status updates on Twitter
A good way to further showcase our company’s expertise is to share its LinkedIn status updates on Twitter. When you do so, your Twitter followers will also see your updates.
When publishing your LinkedIn updates to Twitter, you can maximize your reach even further by utilizing the @mentions Twitter feature. An @mention works like a tag on Facebook. Simply use the @ symbol followed by the individual’s or company’s LinkedIn profile name. The company that is mentioned will be notified that you have mentioned them and their Twitter followers will be also able to see the status update.
Using LinkedIn for Business & Marketing
LinkedIn is not only for individuals, but it can be a platform your company can shine on as well. Would-be business partners and potential employees will be using LinkedIn to check out your company’s profile.
11. Optimize your LinkedIn Company Page
Make sure your company page is set up correctly using the latest layout and an intriguing and high-quality banner image. Since 2014, LinkedIn no longer features a Products & Services tab. Instead, you must create a Showcase Page.
12. Create targeted Showcase Pages
Showcase Pages are targeted, niche pages that are offshoots of the main Company Page. These Showcase Pages can be used to promotes specific products or services and cater to a specific persona. Showcase Pages are geared to give visitors to your Company Page a more personalized experience.
13. Regularly post company status updates
Posting regular status updates will make your company look more intriguing and attract a larger audience because you’ll be constantly producing new, fresh content.
If you’re company has already been posting regular company status updates, you can dabble with LinkedIn’s status targeting options. With these segmentation options, the administrator can target specific audiences based on industry, company size, location, language, job function, seniority and company employees. The only caveat to LinkedIn Targeting is that there needs to be at least 100 LinkedIn users in the targeted audience.
14. Use LinkedIn Pulse
LinkedIn Pulse is LinkedIn’s publishing and news content production platform.
Companies can browse Pulse to find interesting, popular industry news. Pulse also helps companies discover influencer publishers and contributors. Companies can sign up for daily or weekly email notifications.
A company can boost its accolades and professional reputation by contributing to LinkedIn Pulse stories. Since 2014, all LinkedIn users can now write and publish articles on LinkedIn Pulse.
15. Explore LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score
For those who are LinkedIn business solutions members, they can use the Content Marketing Score to measure user engagement with sponsored updates, influencer posts, LinkedIn group pages, company pages and employee updates. The resulting score will offer recommendations for improvement on your page’s LinkedIn content pages.
16. Experiment with LinkedIn Ads and Sponsored Updates
LinkedIn has gotten on the PPC bandwagon by offering ads and sponsored updates. These LinkedIn advertising options come with the ability to target audiences based on job function, job title, company size, and company industry so your ads will get in front of the LinkedIn users who will most likely read and act on your ads.
LinkedIn is a powerful marketing and professional networking tool that can prove to be even more beneficial if done right.
Finding a balance between optimizing one’s LinkedIn profile and running a busy business can be intimidating and time-consuming at first, but it when it’s done right, there is a lot of potential here.
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