LinkedIn is a great way to showcase you and your business. With 675 million people on the platform – 27 million in the UK alone – it’s the fastest growing of all platforms and a powerful option for businesses looking to increase their reach, connections and opportunities.
This is the place to network, where you can build human-to-human relationships that can raise your business profile, attract potential clients, develop leads, spark collaborations and build business engagement. But it is not enough for your business just to be on LinkedIn, you need to take the time to establish your profile, develop your network and be an ongoing active participant to make more of the platform’s opportunities for business growth.
Tap into the power of your profile
If a potential client, collaborator or colleague googles you, there’s a good chance that it’ll be your LinkedIn profile that will come up first in the search results – and so your profile page could easily be their first impression of your business. And you want to make it count.
Think of your profile as a great landing page for your business and a free extension of your website. You want to optimise it to drive traffic where you want it, informing and engaging readers.
Get the basics right – Make sure your is profile up to date, the contact information is completed with links to your website and Twitter, and you’ve included a welcoming (but professional!) photo that portrays what you do.
Think headline – Go for a catchy headline that not only says what you do but how you help people, such as ‘I help x achieve x using x method’.
Use the ‘Featured’ section – Strategically place your best articles and links here. They’ll be displayed at the top of your profile and it’s a prime location for lead magnets and showcasing your work.
Make the most of the ‘About’ summary – This section is 2000 characters long, which gives you space to tell your story. Go into detail about what you do and how you help your clients.
Showcase your experience – The ‘Experience’ section is your online CV; it’s your opportunity to write about what you’ve done and highlight the skills you’ve built.
Feature endorsements – Endorsements carry weight with potential clients, so use them. You can control the top three endorsements and drag them into the position you want. But remember, if you want endorsements, you also have to give them.
Build your network
Leverage your own networks first and then reach out to relevant others on the platform. Use the advanced search tool to connect with the right people for your business based on their location, industry and job title.
LinkedIn direct messaging is a powerful tool for keeping in touch with people, for building relationships and for getting the word out about your business. You could also use a customer relationship management tool such as Capsule to keep track of leads, prospects and to schedule follow-up reminders. But bear in mind that you need to be persistent, as it takes anywhere from 7 to 13 contacts with a person to convert them into a qualified sales lead.
Have something to say
There are 9 billion content impressions a week in the LinkedIn feed. So, to establish your business presence online and build connections, you need to be putting out engaging content through posts and articles – and you need to be doing it regularly.
- Share content that will start the right types of conversations. It’s about entertaining, inspiring, educating, persuading, informing or helping your audience.
- Diversify your content as much as possible. Share a mix of images, testimonials, marketing/promotional posts, blog posts, third-party content from credible sources, articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, photos, interviews and event information.
- Remember that LinkedIn is no longer a platform for strictly professional content only and it’s now ok to show a more personal side to your brand. And brands that do this will see greater traction.
- Plan ahead with a content schedule and get content ready ahead of busy times, so there is no drop-off of communication.
The key to success online is consistency, so you need post regularly and at the right times for your audience. Articles like this will give you research information on the optimum posting times for LinkedIn, but it’s also important to consider when your specific audience is most likely to be online.
Make more of your content
Your content will not only go out to your network audience, but you’ll also benefit from LinkedIn’s free organic reach. It’ll show your content to people who are not connected to you, potentially increasing its impact.
But remember, when you first share a post only a small percentage of your audience will see it, so repurpose and reshare the content. For example, blogs can be reshared, quotes can be taken from blogs and shared online as images, blogs can be turned into podcasts or videos, and so on.
Also, put your articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform Pulse, as explored in this article. Pulse articles get good reach and engagement, and a performance metrics chart helps you see article impact.
A handy tip to boost performance and engagement of posts is to put links in the comments rather than in the post itself. This is because LinkedIn makes money by keeping people on the platform and as links take people away from the platform, the algorithm is not incentivised to share your post with a larger audience if it has a link in it. So, putting it in the comments improves your odds of distribution.
Join in the conversation
Engagement on LinkedIn is key to increasing your visibility. Social media is a two-way street: it’s a conversation and about building relationships. There must be reciprocity and if there isn’t, you won’t see continued engagement.
- Join in with discussions to get your voice heard and show your expertise. You can do this in LinkedIn groups too.
- Be quick to respond if someone replies to you or shares a comment.
- Spend time liking, sharing and commenting on other people’s content.
- Think carefully about who you want to connect with.
- Remember, what you say reflects your brand so always stop and think before posting.
Comments weigh heavily in the LinkedIn algorithm, so it’s important to use them. By engaging with other people’s posts you are telling the algorithm that you want to see that person’s content and you want them to see yours, which all helps build connectivity.
The more you use LinkedIn, the more you and your business can get out of it. Schedule time to engage with others on the platform and be in it for the long game. That way, you and your business can get the lasting business benefit.
If you’d like some support kick-starting your LinkedIn marketing get in touch for a free consultation.