LinkedIn is known as the most business oriented of all the social media platforms, so when social is meant to be about engaging with your audience, how do you best go about it with LinkedIn?
Think of it this way:
Do you spend time networking?
Do you have an ‘elevator pitch’?
Are you looking for high value contacts – not just the next paying customer?
Do you hope to get referrals from your contacts?
Do you promote events your company puts on?
If you think of LinkedIn as an extension to your networking efforts, or as the start of your networking efforts, you can be sure not to make a mistake. Take time to scroll through the updates of your connections and like & comment and share your own newsworthy updates. Remember, if you wouldn’t say it in a meeting, don’t say it on LinkedIn!
What’s your strategy for using LinkedIn?
Tip: Try filling out this simple sentence:
For example: I want to connect with local small businesses to share marketing and social media tips in order to position myself as a useful local resource
And then adopt a mantra:
Tip: Connect with people you know or know of, who will have a positive input for you. Connection requests will not know you have ‘ignored’ their request, and there’s no harm in looking at their profile before you decide!
Get stuck in to your LinkedIn profile
When you first log in to LinkedIn you will be presented with the home feed, where everyone’s updates are supplied, much like any other social network feed. To view and edit your profile, click on your name on the left, or your avatar on the top right and select ‘view profile’.
The pencil is your friend, you can edit any of the fields where you see this symbol. Using my LinkedIn profile as an example…
Notice these key things:
Background header image – business related
Professional profile picture – not a holiday snap, or selfie
Non-boring headline – everyone else in the world does what you do.
If there’s one thing BNI has taught me (and there is loads!) everyone can say their job title, and more often than not, everyone has heard it before. Your headline will be noticed faster and be more engaging if isn’t just the first line of your job description.
Your LinkedIn summary
Click the friendly pencil and scroll down to a field where you can wax lyrical about how you produce spreadsheets and earn ROI and manage accounts and blah blah blah. Get my point? People work with people, everyone manages accounts and produces reports and blah blah blah – why are you different, where’s your personality?
Tip: Remember to use key words where you can, SEO is always watching, always searching!
Lovely LinkedIn recommendations
Scroll down your profile. Past your Articles, past your Experience, and just below Skills are your recommendations. Done a good job lately? When was the last time you got a testimonial from a client? Admittedly, mine are a little out of date, but once you have completed a job you can simply ask to be recommended.
These testimonials are strictly for LinkedIn and if you want to share them, you can ‘snip’ an image and post it elsewhere or ask permission to copy it to your website.
Tip: DO NOT under any circumstances ask for spelling or grammatical errors to be corrected! You can choose not to publish the recommendation if you wish, but to err is human and we like humans!
You can also, and you might prefer this, ask to be recommended from the client’s profile. The benefit here is that they will be notified of your visit and you can refresh your memory of their summary. Also, give recommendations where you can – give credit where it’s due…
Building your connections on LinkedIn
Once your profile is ready for public scrutiny, it’s time to start inviting connections. If you know the name of the person, search for them. You will get a list of people with the same name and can click on ‘connect’ in that list but I wouldn’t recommend it.
(See the crucial error Allan Love, MD at Internet Marketing has made?)
Tip: Viewing the persons profile is politer, as you are paying a genuine interest in their summary, not just trawling through for new connections. If you connect via their profile, you will also get a chance to write them a note. ‘Hi Jennifer, lovely to meet you this morning, let’s connect and stay in touch…’ or ‘Hi LinkedIn Influencer, I read your profile and am looking to expand my network to include *****. Let’s connect so I can continue to enjoy your updates’.
LinkedIn is constantly trying to get you to connect to more and more people, so will make suggestions periodically. Again, I wouldn’t recommend bulk connecting, or clicking ‘connect’ without viewing a profile first.
And finally – Do you need a company page on LinkedIn?
Account (profile) Company page
Make connections Mini website
Send Inmails Header image
Profile and summary Add managers/admins
Status updates and opinion Products and services
Join groups Company updates
Create groups Be followed
Set up company pages Industry insights
Not everyone wants a company page on LinkedIn and that’s fine, not everyone has the need. If you are a life coach or an agent for a product, you may prefer to use your account alone. However, if you have more than person in your company, or you want your business, not just you, to be showcased on LinkedIn, then a company page could be considered. After all, you’ll be sharing your company updates on your personal account, right? Right! And hopefully so will all your other employees or contractors…
Tip: If content is king, your audience are your loyal subjects ruled by what you write. Be a kind and supportive advisor, who is of value to all.