How to Harness the Power of LinkedIn
These days we all appreciate the power of what social media can do. Especially if we can make friends with it. After all, social networking is literally about being sociable with other people; interacting, having conversations and engaging with the view to make new connections and develop relationships with people.
Sometimes LinkedIn marketing can drop to the bottom of our list. However, when we neglect brand building, we’re not just selling ourselves short, we’re also missing a big opportunity from a commercial perspective. The most effective employee sharers are those who’ve built their personal brand on LinkedIn.
Here is a round-up of the most important tasks you need to consider to have a winning LinkedIn account. Some of these are very quick wins and some may take a little time – but all of them are worthwhile. They will help to give you a LinkedIn boost, and hopefully, bump up your content across more feeds.
1. Your Shop Window
If you haven’t already, make sure you have a good profile picture. This is your calling card and the first impression you will make. Choose a recent image and ensure your face takes up around 60% of the image size. Long distant shots just don’t work.
Wear what you wear to work. Your background photo is the second visual element at the top of your profile page. This tells people a bit more about you so feature something that is important to you and your work life. Don’t forget to write a hard-hitting summary and use the headline field to say a bit more about your role, why you do what you do, and what makes you tick.
2. Interact with others
It’s important to interact with not only your followers. The most effective social media users engage with their followers by consistently responding to comments, asking questions, and starting great conversations.
Here are some simple ways in which you can interact:
Proactive Posting: Post an image and story or share an article and engage with your followers by starting a conversation. Be sure to respond to any comments and ideally return ‘likes’ from relevant accounts that engage with you.
Respond and Reply: Always make sure you ‘like’ or respond, and reply to every comment someone makes on your feed or grid. This will establish rapport and the account in question is more likely to engage with you in the future. (The algorithms will also notice, and your posts will subsequently be more likely to receive engagement from others by showing up in their feeds too!)
Proactive Liking and Commenting: Similar to the above, try to also proactively comment and ‘like’ on someone’s post. Again, this will foster relationships and it feels supportive to others and encourages interaction in return. Commenting will boost our engagement, alert potential followers to our account and hopefully start a conversation.
Ask a question: Either within the caption of one of your own posts and/or ask a question on a post from someone else. This increases engagement and will help attract new followers. According to KISSmetrics, questions receive 100% more comments than standard text posts.
Make sure you respond to every comment made and “favourite” every single comment or response (as long as it isn’t of a negative nature).
3. Engage with Influencers
It’s best to identify individuals on LinkedIn that are not only connected in some way to what you do (related to your industry) but that also have a large (and influential) following. This is the ‘sweet spot’.
4. Share others content
Sharing posts and sharing content on LinkedIn is a great way to gain followers, make new connections and strengthen relationships! Social media is about sharing content of interest to you. This encourages the formation of an engaged audience, and when the time is right, a community that’s ready to listen. But ensure the balance between posting and sharing is weighted effectively.
5. Trending Topics
You can also use hash tags to join conversations around your sector. Consider commenting or answering the questions posed on any given hashtag thread, share your knowledge, participate. Also consider engaging in other chats taking place. Social media becomes more beneficial to you (more followers and engagement) when you provide value to others. It means others are more likely to notice you.
6. Spotlight Your Services
Services is a new(ish) LinkedIn feature that helps consultants, freelancers and those working for smaller businesses to showcase a range of services that they offer. Filling out the “Services” section of your profile can boost your visibility in search results!
7. Endorse Away
Endorsements from other members confirms your skills from a third-party and increase your credibility. Contact your network and identify connections who you feel genuinely deserve an endorsement from you – that’s often the cue for people to return the favour. Don’t be afraid to reach out with a polite message asking for endorsement for a few key skills as well.
9. Take a Skills Assessment
A skills assessment is basically an online test that enables you to demonstrate the level of your skills, and display a “Verified Skills” badge on your LinkedIn profile. Research shows that candidates with verified skills are 30% more likely to be recruited for the roles they apply for. Plus, showcasing these skills proves your abilities strengthens your personal brand.
10. Create Long Form as Ice Breaker
We all know the score, the more you share and comment on content, the more you cement your expertise and thought-leadership credentials on LinkedIn. If you can also create some decent long-form posts, it’s a great starting point to monitor the response that you get to your comments and shares.
Is your content resonating with your network? Or are there comments that you have shared which you feel you could expand on in a post? Be ready for your long-form posts to start new conversations too. Keep an eye on the comments and be ready to respond.
Getting your LinkedIn profile working harder for you doesn’t have to take very long but the more time you can invest, the more you’re going to get out of it. Once you’re flexing the full advantages of your account, you’ll be impressed by the difference it can make to your work life and career path.