LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform. It hosts over 500 million users from 200 different countries, making it a hub of professional activity.
While viewed by many as an ideal platform for job hunting, entrepreneurs have recently started to recognize the benefits LinkedIn imparts; more than 30 million companies are currently using LinkedIn for business practices.
Establishing yourself on a new platform can be hard. But whether you’re searching for jobs or looking to expand your business, there are few simple steps you can take to tap into the limitless potential of LinkedIn.
Benefits of using LinkedIn
LinkedIn gives you access to plenty of jobs and clients, depending on what you're looking for. In addition, you can customize searches for each based on location, expertise and industry.
Here are two reasons why everyone can benefit from creating a LinkedIn account:
Creating a detailed individual or company profile enables you to showcase your complete skill set and past experiences. 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to recruit candidates, so it makes sense to providea holistic picture of what you bring to the table.
From a business standpoint, it allows you to share specific details about your products and services. In addition, you can engage with potential customers and build credibility by offering your expertise and help on posts and group discussions that require it. Like other social media sites, a LinkedIn business page can also attract traffic, which you can redirect to your website.
Easier to build connections
LinkedIn gives you access to their public connections when you connect with somebody, enabling you to expand your network. It also allows instant connections. So, for example, if you meet someone at a seminar, you can easily connect with them on LinkedIn right after.
Good quality connections are vital for all professionals and businesses. Connecting with the right people will increase your exposure in the relevant industry. Moreover, it's easier to get your LinkedIn page to rank on Google than your website. So, a LinkedIn company page results in more brand awareness.
Essential LinkedIn practices for working professionals
LinkedIn is more than creating and maintaining a professional profile. If you hope to build valuable relationships, you must engage on the platform – even if you find it boring.
Following are three things you can do to stay on top of your game:
Use LinkedIn as a research tool
When looking for a potential job opening, conduct detailed research on the companies you're interested in to get a sense of their culture. On a broader scale, you can research trends in your preferred industry.
You can do this by following relevant people. For example, if you're interested in content marketing, you can follow or even connect with top content writers to stay updated on tips, tricks and the latest industry news.
List certifications and attain endorsements
LinkedIn permits you to take skill-specific tests as proof of your credibility. You can also list down additional certifications. These include certificates acknowledging the completion of a course or your proficiency in certain software.
Get your peers and colleagues to endorse your skills. Be generous. Leave comments on their profiles and endorse them. Who knows? They might return the favor.
Capitalize on LinkedIn groups
There are various LinkedIn Groups that specialize in different topics. Find the ones relevant to you and your industry.
They offer opportunities for discussions; partake in them. You can exhibit your knowledge and gain reliability. It also helps you connect with industry leaders that may otherwise be inaccessible. Lastly, use information acquired from these groups to enhance your learning on related topics.
How can entrepreneurs maximize the power of LinkedIn?
Brand awareness is critical for any business, which is why you should establish yourself on a platform where thousands of people regularly search for companies.
If you network correctly, you can connect with media professionals who will feature your brand in media publications. You can sift through the profiles and qualifications of many adequate individuals to choose the ones you trust with your brand's publicity. You can even hire press release writer who can help you gain desirable media attention.
Moreover, since most firms and working professionals are on LinkedIn, the platform assists you in creating essential partnerships and generating leads for potential clients.
Here arefour ways you can make the most of your LinkedIn page:
1. Create a comprehensive LinkedIn page
Develop a benefit-oriented profile. When potential customers visit your page, they should know exactly what you do and how you can help them.
Your LinkedIn page has a higher chance of ranking better on Google, so make sure it accurately portrays what your business is about.
Maintaining a website can be costly, but LinkedIn enables you a cost-beneficent alternative. It doesn’t function as a replacement, but it's a good option to explore if you're struggling with finances.
Adding a professional photo and cover goes a long way. Include hashtags and keywords in your descriptions. Also, add custom buttons on your profile to encourage action; these can drive traffic to your website or lead users to sign up or contact us pages.
Finally, your page should aid you in creating a structured, well-balanced brand persona.
2. Publish content
Since LinkedIn is a professional networking site, inbound marketing on the platform is essential.
You should publish content that is engaging, relevant and goal-oriented.
Are you using LinkedIn for social selling, business hiring or connecting with customers? Your end goal will determine the type of content you create.
Furthermore, posts with images receive 98% more comments than those without them. So, include visual elements in your content. Another useful visual tool is videos, which attain five times more engagement on LinkedIn than any other content type.
Long accompanying text with your visual content generally does well on LinkedIn. Share insightful tips, experiences, or some background on why people should watch the video you posted. Try to optimize all your content for reach and impact.
3. Use analytics
Make sure your content is targeting the right people. To consistently maintain quality content, you must know what kind of content interests your audience.
Which posts do they comment on? Which of your content format has been shared most frequently? What topics do users like reading about?
From the analytics dashboard, you can monitor how people interact with your page and the content you put out. Make a note of the sections they spend more time on and record your demographics. Knowing your demographics can help you tailor your content better.
LinkedIn's in-built analytics can be used to compare how many page views your tabs get and how much traction your showcase page is receiving. You can also compare your brand to your competitors.
Ultimately, analytics is a gateway to understanding your audience. Don't pass up the opportunity to know the people you're trying to please!
4. Utilize marketing tools
Slideshare is LinkedIn's built-in content sharing tool. You can use it to educate your audience about topics related to your industry.
Post-captions place a word limit on us, so we can't share longer guides or detailed plans. But Slideshare does away with that. It's a useful tool when launching a new product, or if you want to provide editorial content to your users. Upload PDF, PowerPoint, Word or OpenDocument files so your audience can gain an in-depth understanding of your products or/and brand.
External marketing tools like Canva are also helpful to market your business on LinkedIn. Canva has thousands of template layouts for many different forms of content – presentations, brochures, infographics, etc. You can use these to make custom content.
Managing yet another social networking account can be tricky, but you can utilize tools to make it easier. For example, use Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts and keep track of your content; they enable you to have a persistent presence on key platforms.
LinkedIn is changing the professional landscape. And it's advantageous to be on the platform. LinkedIn offers you greater exposure and the chance to build meaningful connections whether you're looking for employment or business growth. But just like any other tool, you need to use it properly to exploit its full potential.