We often forget about LinkedIn, the professional networking platform that resembles many other social media networks, but with one key difference: it’s designed to connect you with professionals and influencers in your industry. Many people and brands forego using this platform for other options like Facebook or Twitter.
Today, I am going to show you five ways you can bring LinkedIn back into your social media marketing fold and ultimately increase your brand’s presence and awareness among influencers in your industry.
These five tactics leverage the features already present on LinkedIn as a platform. Combining these with a strong blog on one of today’s top blogging sites can really spread awareness of your brand to the four corners of the internet.
1. Optimize Your Profile
It all begins with a look at your profile itself. LinkedIn offers many ways to advertise yourself and your brand, but only if you’re using them the correct way. Here are some excellent tips for ensuring your profile is optimized in the best way for your personal brand:
1. A Totally Complete Profile
The first step to a great profile is one that isn’t missing any elements. LinkedIn does a great job of reminding you to fill in everything from your current position, to your industry and location. Make sure there aren’t any spaces in this, as it will look unprofessional and incomplete to visitors.
2. A Photo That Fits Your Industry
Everyone is aware that you need a photo on your LinkedIn profile, but did you know that the contents of the photo can affect your success? Obviously a company CEO wants a traditional photo of him- or herself in a fancy suit, but consider a different type of photo if you’re a writer, a blogger, or something in between.
Consider having the same photo across all your social media networks to help reinforce your brand. Ultimately, don’t upload anything resembling a selfie or a Facebook photo you wouldn’t want to be tagged in.
3. Customize Your URL
This is important because your standard profile link isn’t exactly, how do I say this, catchy. Instead of sticking with the randomly generated garble, customize your URL to end in your name or, perhaps, the name of your brand. This makes it easier for people to navigate to you.
4. Consider SEO
While this shouldn’t be a focus to the point where your profile reads like a bad computer program, consider looking for top keywords in your industry and incorporate them throughout your profile. This will give you a higher likelihood of being found organically.
5. Earn Endorsements
A quick way to stand out from the crowd is to post the skills you have in your industry. These skills can then be “endorsed” by people who have seen you exercising that particular ability. These endorsements are great because they are easy for people to give and they add another layer of authenticity to your brand.
2. Connect With the Right People
Your connections on LinkedIn should each have meaning and weight behind them. If you’re connected to random people, it’s not going to have the same effect on your brand as connections with colleagues, friends, influencers, vendors, and other professionals in your industry.
This will involve connecting with people you don’t know, and that’s alright. When the time comes to connect with someone you haven’t met, write a personal note and explain to him or her why you’re reaching out. This will increase the chances that they will accept your request.
However, there are still some practices you should follow when deciding who to connect with on LinkedIn:
- Always connect with clients you’ve worked with or are working with.
- Look for mutual connections where you can connect through someone else.
- Connect with people whom you can help and who can help you in return.
- Connect with influencers with whom you wish to build a relationship.
3. Publish Content on LinkedIn
Social media is all about content, but not just any kind of content. On LinkedIn, you need to provide long-from, high-quality posts if you want to stand out. According to Entrepreneur, Millennials spend over 18 hours per day consuming media.
If you want to be one of these channels they use, get comfortable with LinkedIn’s publishing platform. You’ll notice a massive spike in the views on your profile once you’ve given your audience something substantial and valuable to read.
Ultimately, LinkedIn’s Pulse platform performs in much the same way WordPress does, so you shouldn’t have much trouble navigating the options. You’ll find all the same formatting options that allow you to make scannable content that is easy to read.
When deciding what to publish, always keep in mind that tons of other people are also publishing content. Step into this situation with a focus on providing a very specific and well-thought piece of content. For example, a study done by Marketing Experiments showed that among several headline options, the only ones that had a positive impact on conversions were headlines with specific numbers.
Among the various types of content, LinkedIn Pulse tends to work best with articles formatted into how-to posts or Listicles where you provide a specific number of topics to discuss. Conversely, you should stay away from posts that pose a question.
Social media users are a fast-moving bunch, so you should focus on content that is easily digestible for the best results.
As you post content, not only will you be actively engaging your audience, but you’ll also be building a voice and authority for your brand. This type of credibility is earned, not given. By creating for yourself, you’re doing a service to both your readers and your brand.
4. Customize Your Feed
Leaving your feed on its default settings doesn’t help you grow as a person or a brand. You should ultimately be following the people and sources that are useful to you and eliminating the ones that aren’t. To differentiate, start by taping the control menu (looks like three dots) in the corner of any update in your feed.
Next, select improve your experience. From here, the platform will recommend various professionals that are similar to you. You can select the ones that are most relevant to your brand from here.
Take it a step further by unfollowing those who are not relevant. Don’t worry; you won’t lose your connection. This is all about streamlining the information you get from your LinkedIn experience.
To unfollow, go into the control panel and select the option to Unfollow (Connection name here). By following the top influencers in your industry, you can remain up-to-date on new events and insights from these inspirational individuals.
5. Create a LinkedIn SlideShare Account (For an SEO Boost!)
Each month, there are over 60 million visitors on SlideShare, which is a content-sharing community. Each presentation created using this tool is indexed by Google, which is a huge opportunity to utilize an additional SEO avenue for your brand.
More than 80% of the traffic to LinkedIn SlideShare comes from organic traffic. In short, this is a huge opportunity to make your brand stand out from the rest. Using this tool, you can create presentations, webinars, and videos to share on your LinkedIn profile.
This is another way to build credibility and a presence on the platform beyond publishing long-form content. The SEO boost alone makes it worth your while.
Bonus: Leveraging Other People’s Content
Don’t get so focused on your own content that you forget to share other insight with your followers. Curating great content is something that’s too often overlooked, but it provides value to your readers while also doing other people in your industry a favor.
Start by “liking” other posts on LinkedIn. This is treated much like Facebook where it shows your followers that you approved of something. Another great way to get involved is by joining LinkedIn groups where you can contribute to ongoing conversations in a meaningful way.
These groups will also provide fertile ground for you to seek out other high-quality posts that will be perfect for your curation efforts. Looking for ways to provide mutual benefits for the people you network with on LinkedIn is the best way to reach new connections and provide great content to your followers.
Finally, don’t forget to share other articles that you come across. If you found something particularly interesting or useful, odds are your followers will as well.
Building your blog’s audience is a great start, but if you want to really stand out, you need to start promoting your brand and putting yourself out there on platforms like LinkedIn. It involves publishing content on the platform, optimizing your profile, and connecting with the right people, among other strategies.
It all points to the ultimate truth that LinkedIn should not be ignored as a platform for growing your personal brand. How do you promote your brand and spread awareness on this platform? Let us know in the comments!
Originally published at blog.startafire.com on September 4, 2016.