One social media platform that people don’t general think of using as a marketing tool is LinkedIn. And they’re missing out on a HUMONGOUS opportunity!
The people who are using LinkedIn likely are using it incorrectly. I see it all the time. Posting your latest blog post and hoping for leads, or posting a simple update without optimizing your post. That’s where I come in.
We’re going to take a look at some tips to change that. I’ve got your back. But before we dive into the holy grail of LinkedIn engagement tips, let’s have a chat about why engagement even matters on LinkedIn.
The 411 on LinkedIn Engagement
Currently, LinkedIn is arguably the only business-centered social media platform. If you work in the B2B sector, you’re majorly missing out on some big opportunities. Likewise, it’s also the best place (online) to start networking as a n00b in the job world (yes, I am a Millennial, and yes i like to use the word n00b, no regrets).
Let’s be honest. It has taken LinkedIn awhile to grow and because of that, several people haven’t been very active on it. But as of this writing, LinkedIn has reached over 610 million members. LinkedIn has also stated that “professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second and that there are more than 46 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn. Yep.
What this comes down to is that LinkedIn is experiencing positive spikes in activity and content engagement, which means you’d be crazy to ignore this potential for business.
So how do you do that? Let’s get to those tips!
Optimize your personal profile
The majority of users on LinkedIn interact through their own profiles. While business pages are starting to see a gain in popularity, it’s important that you don’t ignore where the meat of the website is.
Yes, it’s important to have a company page. It establishes you as a professional business while also providing valuable information such as company locations, contact information, and important updates.
But let’s be honest. Personal profiles get the most traction on LinkedIn and are viewed far more often. They also see higher rates of engagement. Why is that? Well, there’s a few good reasons. For one, you cannot send connection requests or messages from a business page. Also, people prefer to interact with other people rather than businesses. They want to feel like they are making a real connection and not just being marketed to. Makes sense.
So, long story short. Post from your profile more often and you’ll see higher rates of engagement.
Make sure your information is up-to-date
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people will just let their profiles sit and grow stale. No thank you. This leaves someone with the negative view that you’re aren’t active on LinkedIn and can’t be bothered to keep your information updated.
Make sure to regularly update your profile with new jobs, awards, skills, and accomplishments. It’s also a good idea to ask for recommendations now and again to keep your profile references fresh.
Are your photos fuzzy?
As someone who does business photography, this one kills me to see. It can be very affordable to get some headshots done (and if you need some, please send me a message!) Having a nice headshot shows that you care about your career and want to present yourself as polished and organized. Someone who cares about how they look will also care about how they work looks to others. According to LinkedIn, having a profile photo will result in up to 21x more views of your profile and 9x more connection requests.
Also, let’s talk about your cover photo. Having a cover photo is a great way to showcase your personal branding. It can also send a clear message about the skills you have and the work you do. For instance, my LinkedIn cover places an emphasis on digital marketing.
Does anyone read your profile?
Many people are unaware how important the content in their profile section is. It should include keywords that you want people to use to find you. It should emphasize your personal branding. And it should provide some sort of value for people. For example, here is my summary section:
Jolene Rheault is an engaging, intelligent, and profoundly relevant digital marketer, content creator, and social media manager who has begun to explode onto the LinkedIn scene.
Check out her latest article about common Instagram mistakes (and how to fix them!): http://bit.ly/2JTaWv7
Her clientele is a diverse and exciting combination of industries, including Best Self Co, Hubstaff, CenturyLink, and online marketing influencers.
Work with Jolene: https://www.refreshmarketing.net/contact
Additional Information | Jolene has built her career in a variety of roles and industries, mostly in small companies where she was not just a graphic designer but also a software analyst, qa engineer, media specialist, social media guru, and marketing manager. She's not only used to wearing many hats, she sincerely enjoys it; Jolene thrives in an environment where no two work days are exactly the same.
Previously, Jolene worked mainly as a QA analyst and automation engineer and was lucky enough to work with amazing clients such as Nintendo, HBO, SMRT Boards, and Sesame Street.
She's truly passionate about her work and always eager to connect with other marketers. Jolene is extremely accessible and quick to return messages. While she enjoy all aspects of her job, her favorite stage of a project is working with the client to understand his or her design objectives. As you go through that collaborative process, the ideas start to flow and that’s always the fun part.
Not only is Jolene awesome professionally, but she is a fun, creative gal to work with! She enjoys making coworkers smile and easing the atmosphere in a tense meeting.
Jolene is always interested in hearing from former colleagues, managers, or just interesting creative folk, so feel free to contact her if you’d like to connect.
Not too shabby, right?
Another important item on your LinkedIn profile to optimize is your headline. This is what will get people to click on your profile when searching for connections. My headline is
Generate Leads | Build Your Brand | Connect With Customers | Convert Visitors to Customers
My headline addresses pain points that my target audience faces while offering solutions at the same time. The solution? Connect with me, I can help you!
Please, please, please use spellcheck! There is nothing that screams unprofessional more than spelling and grammar errors (insert invitation to trolls to comb my article for spelling errors, haha).
There are several good websites that will perform a spellcheck in addition to Microsoft Word. I personally enjoy using the following:
https://www.grammarly.com Grammarly is amazing because they have plugins that will help to correct your grammar in all types of applications: Twitter, Gmail, LINKEDIN.
https://www.wordhippo.com Folks, the synonym tool is a GAME CHANGER. If you’re like me, you have a tendency to use the same words frequently. Word hippo provides you with alternative words that can be used instead. I first discovered this tool in my MBA research class at the University of Denver. I had a particularly strict professor who kept pointing out when I had used the same word more than five times in a paper.
How is that URL looking?
Did you know that LinkedIn offers the ability to customize your url? Mine is https://www.linkedin.com/in/jrheault/. Doesn’t that look awesome? It’s easy to do
Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
Click View profile.
On your profile page, click Edit public profile & URL on the right rail.
Under Edit URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
It'll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
This makes it easier for people to find you and is also visually appealing in places like your resumé, your website, and social media. Just make sure that you update your url in all of those places as LinkedIn does not redirect from the old url.
To get engagement, you need followers…
Did you know that you can change the connect button on your LinkedIn profile to a follow button? People who are not connected to you are more likely to click on a follow button than a connect button. There’s less risk involved and they are even more likely to engage with your content this way. Who knew!
Do you have recommendations?
Recommendations are a great way to establish yourself as a topic expert. Think of them like personal Yelp reviews. People are going to seek these references out before deciding whether or not to engage with you. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 4-5 references. If you don’t have any, you can reach out to past colleagues and professors to give you some. It’s easy to do:
Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
Select View profile.
Scroll down to the Recommendations section and click Ask to be recommended.
Type the name of the connection you'd like to ask for a recommendation in the Who do you want to ask? field.
Select the name from the dropdown that appears.
Fill out the Relationship and Position at the time fields of the recommendations pop-up window, and click Next.
You can include a personalized message with your request by changing the text in the message field.
Increase your connections
When you add connections, it also gives you access to their connections! These people are likely to see posts you write if your mutual connection engages with the content.
Here are some more tips on finding relevant connections:
Connect your email accounts to find people in your email contact lists
Join LinkedIn groups - it allows you to connect with anyone in the group
Connect with anyone who engages with your content or content you’re mentioned in
Post great content
There are three types of content you can create directly on LinkedIn:
Posts - these are things such as status updates, photos, or articles you wish to share.
Videos - recording a video is a great way to also establish your personal branding. Tip: LinkedIn prefers native videos (this means uploading directly to LinkedIn and not just posting a link).
Articles - Articles are the hidden treasure of LinkedIn! This is the equivalent of posting thought leadership on LinkedIn and people will eat it up. If it provides a lot of value, it’s also likely to be shared.
Something interesting to keep in mind is that on LinkedIn, posts with just text outperform posts with photos or links. A good practice is to post any links in your comments.
Make sure to engage with other content
By commenting or liking a post, you’re putting your name and profile out there for the world to see. By providing thoughtful and topical responses to someone else’s content, people will see that you are also knowledgeable about the topic and begin to follow you. Additionally, if you keep engaging with other’s content, they are more likely to return the favor!
Social media is about being social. Keep that in mind and you’ll do just fine.
LinkedIn has a super picky algorithm so it’s important to take note of that. Most people suggest posting 1-2 times a day in your feed. Just make sure that it’s quality content.
In contract, LinkedIn recommends that you post to your business page 3-4 times per day to gain visibility.
Groups, groups, groups
Groups are a great way to connect with others in your industry as well as your target audience. It lets you engage with each other on a personal level and even make new connections.
LinkedIn offers the ability to use hashtags now! I have personally had my content found on LinkedIn through the use of hashtags so I can’t emphasize this enough. Just make sure that the hashtags you are using are relevant to the content or people will not be thrilled.
Engaging with influencers can make a HUGE impact on your business. If an influencer comments or likes your post, it can introduce thousands of people to your business. How incredible is that?
So how do you engage with influencers?
Tagging them in a post that is relevant to the work they do is a great way to do this. Everyone loves a shoutout. Just make sure you don’t overdo it or they will start to get annoyed.
Some other ways to engage with influencers include:
Asking them to give their opinion on a topic they would find interesting
Give them a shoutout to thank them for any help they’ve given you
Ask to interview them and then tag them in the post
If they have a good quote that is relevant to the material, include it with a tag
Using these tips will help you to leverage the power of LinkedIn in a smarter way. If you have any tips that were not mentioned, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.