PLUS the four most popular features on LinkedIn and why you should use them!
You may have set up a LinkedIn profile on a sort of entrepreneurial “automatic pilot”, dropping your resume on there and maybe forming a couple of connections with people you used to do business with, but without much effort into constructing stimulating content or connecting with industry experts and peers. This is a mistake. If you are truly motivated to grow your business network and reach a wider professional audience within your field, LinkedIn is a heavily stacked tool, especially if you are marketing your talents to as many potentially perfect contacts who are already there, ready to connect.
With a reported 347 million users spanning 200 countries and territories worldwide, it is time to go stack your profile, begin conversations with others in your industry and take advantage of LinkedIn’s outstanding networking growth potential. As per information from comScore, a company providing “analytics for a digital world” greater than 40% of LinkedIn users earn more than $100,000 per year, so you have here a forum with potential contacts of an elevated professional level. It is wise to put yourself among them, whether your objective is to seek new employment OR to explore newer, more exciting possibilities.
Additionally, in today’s climate, establishing professionalism and credibility is complex and involves face-to-face interactions, a variety of sharp printed brand representations AND a valid, continually refreshed social networking profile, starting with LinkedIn. When it comes to making valuable professional connections and finding great work opportunities, LinkedIn is the proverbial cherry on the digital marketing sundae and now is the time to dive in and indulge. The more leverage you gain on LinkedIn, the more your name and reputation will spread positively.
Jonathan Dunwoody, owner of Minuteman Press in Huntsville, Alabama, a leading digital print, design and marketing franchise, has experience advising his clients on the best LinkedIn practices. He realizes that new users may not know how to properly navigate this particular part of their social networking profile. As part of a complete marketing strategy he offers guidelines to help them get the most out of it to help grow their business presence online. He says, “To begin to get the most out of your LinkedIn page, post things that interest you regularly and make sure to have a professional photo. It isn’t Facebook! Make sure that it is obvious on your page that you are looking for work.” Another fantastic reason to capitalize on LinkedIn is because, as a business forum, it is healthy, but not overly saturated. LinkedIn indicates that greater than 3 million companies have created company pages, which makes it clear that not everyone has one and you can make yours stand out and shine with the right approach.
Here are 5 easy ways to get noticed on LinkedIn:
1. Get busy: Above all, create fascinating content and engage with your current connections. By engaging in the network you have managed to build thus far, newcomers will follow with greater ease and join the conversation. Be sure to comment regularly and share interesting posts by others. They will reciprocate.
2. Get your people on board: Have your current contacts endorse you, share your content and keep them happy by doing the same in return and they will absolutely help boost your exposure.
3. Get into LinkedIn Groups: Join and stay active in industry-related groups, sharing your experience and insights frequently. People will come to know and trust you and they will visit your profile and business page with greater interest.
4. Get a LinkedIn Showcase page: A LinkedIn Showcase page works in conjunction with LinkedIn pages and provides a greater chance to reach a wider audience. One or more LinkedIn Showcase pages can be used to highlight special announcements or new developments you may have to share.
5. Get OPTIMIZED: Google loves LinkedIn, but you have to make your page most attractive to search engine crawling. Go ahead and use relevant keywords in your description as well as your posts – make those posts rich with content and they will do much better in terms of SEO. LinkedIn itself has a reference for ways to maximize beneficial activity on pages, calling them “amplification actions”, examples of which are shares and comments. They advise sharing YouTube videos as it seems followers whose attention you manage to grab take twice as many amplification actions (likes comments, shares) than average.
Powerful Platform at No Cost
With LinkedIn, you have a tool at your disposal which, according to Forbes, the majority of current subscribers (84.4%) are using for free, but to their great advantage. In fact, only 15.1% actually pay for premium service, which means you can optimize and use your free LinkedIn profile to give you a powerful digital platform for professional exposure at no cost. Getting into a rhythm of posting short, content-rich articles on which you can speak with authority and punctuating that activity with shorter status updates that offer, perhaps, short inspiration quotes that are appealing enough to collect likes and shares will move you closer to becoming, as LinkedIn rates its user-activity, an “expert”. Another neat feature at your disposal to use as you gain momentum is LinkedIn analytics. They are available to show you how you are doing overall in terms of popularity and can be targeted to reveal how your individual posts are performing as well. Use this data to hone your content to reel in more viewership.
Here are the four most popular LinkedIn features and why you should use them:
1. Who has viewed your profile: With one click, you can see who is taking a peek at your content. The premium version will try to bait you by offering to reveal ALL of the folks viewing your profile, but more than 70 percent of current LinkedIn users are quite satisfied with the function of the free version.
2. People you may know: Click on this feature and a seemingly endless list of connection suggestions will be presented. Take advantage of it and invite a wide potential audience to join the conversation on your profile.
3. LinkedIn Groups: It reflects positively upon your professional profile to join industry-related groups, but do not be stagnant. If a peer offers strong statements that you support, show that support. Comment intelligently on threads that offer you a chance to speak with authority and/or ask thought provoking questions and be at the helm of a discussion.
4. Direct messaging: There is something valuable about sending a personal message thanking connections for their endorsements and general support and that “something” is increased odds they will continue. This is why nearly 50% of LinkedIn users regularly utilize the direct messaging feature and you should, too.
Initiate “Reciprocal resharing” of content among your current connections
Sharing fresh content such as articles, blog posts, testimonials and presentations throughout social and professional networks help to strengthen brand awareness. A key way to help get your LinkedIn profile noticed that is often overlooked is to encourage your close associates and current connections to actively share your content as well. If you are proactive and initiate this sort of promotion by endorsing and sharing the content that your friends and business associates share on LinkedIn, they will reciprocate and your reach could soar to new heights. LinkedIn representatives explain that after a member shares, for instance, six pieces of content, they receive six profile views in return and make two more connections. Reciprocal re-sharing, to coin a term, provides a prime opportunity to capitalize on LinkedIn and really stand out. Employees who share content from their company pages on LinkedIn are responsible for about 20% of the overall engagement that content receives, (referring to clicks, likes, comments and shares). This is largely due to the fact that company employees have about 10 times more connections than their company has followers and “people” pages are considered to be more authentic than “company” pages.
Bob Heimbuch, Mid-Atlantic Region Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International, reinforces the need to keep your profile on the move with regular, engaging content in order to be noticed on LinkedIn. From writing blog posts and linking to your LinkedIn profile, to adding links to your profile in all your digital signatures, to adding LinkedIn “share buttons” to all your website content, the idea is to relentlessly put your page before an audience. Continue to monitor the analytics LinkedIn provides for you in order to learn what kind of tone best captures the attention of your readers. From that data, you will know which posts are winners and can go forward with more of them. Also, by using eye-catching photos in all your page posts, you will have greater engagement and increased visibility. As Bob says, “Achieving success from your networking efforts on LinkedIn is no different than achieving success networking through your local Chamber of Commerce or BNI chapter. It requires participation and interaction.”
Stay engaged with your own content and the feedback it generates because if it’s good, you will enjoy the process of keeping it flowing. Your own authenticity will give them a reason to follow your page, share your posts and come back for more.
Once you learn to dish out a steady-stream of truly attention-grabbing content, you will be just as excited about the conversations it generates. This will make people take notice of you and the more that happens, the greater the chance you will encounter the business opportunities you hoped for – and perhaps even the famed “golden opportunity” as well.
To learn more about joining the #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise family, call us at 1-800-645-3006 or simply fill out the contact form on this page.