When it comes to using social media for business, many marketers put LinkedIn at the top of the list of business social networks. LinkedIn, with 225 million users worldwide, is an invaluable tool for connecting professionals and companies with their peers, customers, prospective clients, business influencers and potential employees.
Despite its popularity and potential, its functionality is still being under-utilized by marketers, professionals and companies who simply lack awareness of its use as a marketing tool.
What began as an online résumé service is now a social media network with career pages, recruitment ads, company search filters, job analytics, endorsements, groupings, industry influencers and the latest addition of a Twitter-like mention feature where users can now acknowledge and tag other professionals and companies.
There are many simple tactics to boost a brand’s presence and profile through LinkedIn but if you’re wondering where to start, here’s a list of our top 10 basic but essential tips.
- Think of your profile as an edited version of your elevator speech and it’s good to strike a balance between being creative and professional. Make your profile rich with keywords bearing in mind what your peers or potential clients would search for in order to find you.
- Optimize your profile to “full view” so it can be fully indexed by search engines such as Yahoo and Google to boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
- Customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name or business name instead of using the default URL provided. To strengthen the visibility of your page in search engines, use this link in all relevant materials such as your CV.
- Update your profile when something in your career or work changes so that your contacts have the most up-to-date information. You can also update your projects on your profile and link to project document using slideshare.com.
- Update your status regularly and strategically as a key branding exercise. Share any details of any conference you are attending or an interesting industry related article you’ve read that is relevant to your company and brand values. This will position you as an expert and an authority in your field.
- Grow your network by first inviting your contacts to connect. Connect to everyone that you know and trust on LinkedIn. Now ask your first level contact to introduce you to their first level contacts that you would like to know.
- LinkedIn allows you link to three websites on your profile – take advantage of this and link back to your company’s website or your own, blog, Twitter, Facebook or another business-orientated social networking profile.
- Give and ask for recommendations that are sincere and authentic. This is a great way to establish that you are trusted and trusting. Give great recommendations to your contacts that you have worked with to boost your profile.
- Keep an eye on status updates to initiate and maintain contact and a relationship with your connections. Engaging comments and sharing of posts can instil your brand values, knowledge and personality.
- Join and participate in industry related groups which can create a connection between you and other group members or potential clients and business partners.