Thursday, March 1, 2012

Making the Most of LinkedIn


With 150 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has established itself as a professional social media powerhouse. In 2010, LinkedIn members did almost 4.2 professionally-oriented searches. Below are a few hints & tips to navigating and making the most of LinkedIn.

Much like Facebook, LinkedIn allows a user to set up a personal page as well as a business page. A personal page should be used to show an entire history of your work, much like a complete online resume. You can acquire recommendations from previous employers, colleagues and the like. A business page should be used for the current business that you own or are working for. Although there are similarities in how both pages are used, your business page should be completely focused on the industry you currently work in while your personal page content can vary.

PERSONAL PAGE:

While I recommend maintaining privacy on most social media platforms, LinkedIn is the exception to this rule. LinkedIn is meant to be strictly professional, so there shouldn't be any intimate details or incredibly personal information that appears on your profile.

If you have a business Twitter account, make sure that you link that account with your LinkedIn profile. This will allow you to share updates using your Twitter account. In order to link your account you need to log into LinkedIn, click on 'Profile' and then 'Edit Profile'. In the top portion there is a field called 'Twitter'. Click 'Edit' next to that field and you can add in a Twitter account and choose to import your tweets directly into LinkedIn.

Make sure that your personal brand image is aligned between LinkedIn and what a potential client would find if they did a Google search for your name or business name.

Include an up to date, professional headshot as your profile picture. As always, make sure that this image is consistent with your online brand (it should match your profiles on all sites).

Your profile information should always be up-to-date and accurate. Add new projects that you've worked on and review your information on a regular basis to make sure that it is the most current information that you have.

Collect recommendations from past colleagues to establish credibility with future employers or clients. Also remember to recommend colleagues that you respected from past jobs.

Be sure to network! LinkedIn's focus is networking. Make sure that you find old connections, clients and peers and establish new connections through groups with similar interests to yours. Seek out companies that you hope to work with in the future.


BUSINESS PAGE:

Create a company profile for your business, linking your personal profile to your company. Potential clients can keep tabs on your company page to see what you've been working on.

Make sure that you include your services on your company page, you want to make it easy for people to see what you have to offer. To adjust this you click 'Admin Tools' on the right side of the page, then select 'Add a product or service'. From there you select a category that best fits your service. You can name it, add an image,  a URL, contact information and more.

Post regular status updates separate from your personal page to make sure that your company profile doesn't become stagnant. You should aim to post one or two updates each day from your company page. The content can come from various sources, such as your website or blog.

Check the analytics of your business page to see what people are gravitating towards and what they're steering away from. You can adjust the lesser-trafficked pages to have content more consistent with the popular pages. The analytics tab is the fourth tab over on the top of the page.

Make sure that you add a plugin to your blog or website that can direct people to your company LinkedIn profile. This is such a simple step and can help drive a lot of traffic to your LinkedIn page. Depending on which blog service you use, the way to go about this varies. If you are having trouble figuring out how to add this plugin, I would recommend doing a quick search on Google.

One of the greatest features of having a LinkedIn company page is that you can create multiple versions of your page that can be aimed at different audiences. Once you create the first version, you can click "New Audience" to create another version with a different description and overview to target that audience. 


Written by:
Bethany Baker
Such A Voice Marketing Director

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