Launched in 2003, LinkedIn is now the world's biggest social networking site for businesses and working professionals and it only continues to grow as social media becomes even more a crucial element of integrated marketing strategy.
So why should you build a presence on LinkedIn? For several reasons: it is now one of the fastest growing networks, has over 467 million active users and is THE ultimate brand building platform. Research has also shown that 64% of social referrals to a company's website were generated from LinkedIn, compared to 17% from Facebook and 14% from Twitter. In other words, LinkedIn is a powerful tool that, in addition to reinforcing your brand, will help you drive traffic to your website which could lead to conversions.
Here are a few things you can immediately start putting to practice on your personal and business profile to capitalise on the brand building power of LinkedIn.
1. Complete your profile and business page
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to publish a vast amount of information about your professional life, from past experience, certifications, projects and much, much more. Make sure you add in all this information and get your profile up to 'All-Star' status which in turn will increase your profile's credibility. This is especially important if you are part of the top-level management in your organisation as this means you are a key brand ambassador for your company. You should also add some personality to your profile with a friendly but professional image of yourself.
Similarly, your company page should include vital information such as the company name, description, size, services / specialities, industry, the URL for your website and official logo.
2. Grow and expand your network
The unspoken rule of LinkedIn is to only connect with the people you know but, while there's nothing wrong with that, you will effectively be alienating yourself from the other millions of users on the platform. So expand your network with relevant connections such as influencers in your industry and people you wish to do business with / have as clients.
3. Get recommendations
You should also take advantage of the connections you already have by getting recommendations from your contacts. LinkedIn is essentially the only social network that provides the opportunity for users to provide 'social evidence' for their personal brand, so capitalise on this by asking all your contacts to recommend you for your skills and experience. This is crucial for building trust for your brand which in turn will help expand your network even further and increase your chances of securing new business opportunities.
4. Publish valuable and relevant content
Pulse is a great in-app blogging platform on LinkedIn which you should use to publish fresh and original content, adding relevant links to drive traffic back to your website. Share new updates on your profile and business page that your connections will find interesting and engage with. LinkedIn's researchers have discovered that updates containing links get up to 45% more follower engagement, while image-based content generate 98% more comments, so be sure to incorporate these when you post.
If you don't have time to login to the platform and post manually, you can use a social media scheduling tool such as Hootsuite to make sure that your page stays populated. Create a content schedule to guide you in your posting and stick to it. You should also remember that LinkedIn is a professional network which means colloquial language, spelling mistakes and bad grammar are an absolute no-no, so make sure you proofread the copy on your posts and make sure it's free of error.
5. Stay active and engage
Don't make the mistake of using LinkedIn just to push original or curated content as this will not generate nearly enough engagement. There are multiple conversations constantly happening on the platform, whether in groups or in the comments section on posts, which you should get involved in. For example, you could monitor your feed to find relevant engagement opportunities and get involved by leaving comments, liking and sharing posts, or start a conversation in a group by asking a question.
These are just a few tips to get you started on maximising the brand building power of LinkedIn. With the platform's recently revamped desktop experience there are bound to be new features to get familiar with and take advantage of, so keep yourself updated to make sure you put these into use. Watch the official video to check out LinkedIn's redesigned features.
If you would like to enlist the services of our social media experts who can fast-track you onto the right path, please get in touch to discuss your requirements with us.