In a world of Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook, the social networking service LinkedIn can be a breath of fresh air for the more business-focused. Right now, there are over 414 million people using the site across the globe, 1 million of whom are from Ireland and 20 million from the UK. However, for those not updating on a regular basis, or indeed have no LinkedIn page at all, vital networking and business opportunities are being neglected. Springboard PR & Marketing has put together some top tips on raising your LinkedIn visibility.
1) GET THE BASICS RIGHT
PHOTO: A profile with a photograph is 14 times more likely to be viewed and is one of the most important elements of a LinkedIn presence. Under no circumstances leave the picture blank! While professional shots are best, they are not always possible, and LinkedIn itself has outlined its tips for picking the perfect profile shot here, which includes…
• Choosing a photo that looks like you.
• Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame.
• Choose the right expression.
• Wear what you’d wear to work.
• Choose a background that isn’t distracting.
PERSONAL INFO: Your professional headline allows for 120 character limit, so don’t restrict this to your job title. Think about including a short description of what you do and include key words that relate to your role and industry. By doing this, you can optimise your profile for the maximum engagement.
RECOMMENDATIONS: When you can, ask connections to write a recommendation of your work to enhance your profile. To request a recommendation, follow these steps.
• Move your cursor over your photo in the top right of your homepage and select ‘Privacy & Settings’.
• In the Helpful Links section, select ‘Manage your recommendations’.
• Then click on ‘Ask for a recommendation’.
• Choose ‘What do you want to be recommended for?’ and ‘Who do you want to ask?’ and follow the ensuing prompts.
COMPLETE PROFILE: Always complete your profile, as a 100% completed profile is 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. Also, to rank results on its site, LinkedIn uses proprietary algorithms, which is dependent on relevancy to the searcher. Having a completed profile helps your ranking.
2) BUILD YOUR NETWORK
By having at least 300 connections you can expand your network, but be strategic about who you connect with. Build an initial network by connecting with clients, past and present colleagues, friends and family. After that, look at broadening your network further. If you attend a networking event, reach out with those you met. Try not to use the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” template, as a personalised message provides the perfect opportunity to network. You should explain why you want to connect with the person, and where you may have met before. Reference something in their profile, and thank the person in advance for agreeing to connect.
3) GET INTERACTING
Aim to post at least 20 times per month to build an engaging feed. In general, the greatest opportunity to reach your target audience is during business hours. Ensure all posts are professional, and aim to include photographs from seminars you attend, career status updates, blogs or just share articles.
One-to-one engagement is also essential, through a private LinkedIn message, a public comment, or a @mention. LinkedIn expert, Stephanie Sammons encourages marketers and business owners who hope to build their presence to adopt the “10 in 10” rule. She outlines that we should spend 10 minutes a day engaging personally with 10 of our valued LinkedIn contacts to grow our influence.
4) USE THE MULTIMEDIA FEATURE
LinkedIn experts advise to not just recreate a duplicate of your CV, and instead capitalise on the video and image tools available. Adding videos, presentation slides or text documents onto your Experience and Education sections is a perfect and simple way of adding that extra little something to your profile. Everyone is aware of how important visuals are for social media – 60% of all digital impressions are now driven by images – and they can also break up text and encourage visitors to stay on your page longer.
So how do you add multimedia to your LinkedIn profile?
• Click ‘Profile’ from the top menu navigation bar in LinkedIn and select ‘Edit Profile’ from the drop down menu. Once you are in this section, the below ‘Add Media’ will appear in the Experience and Education sections.
By adding weblinks, documents, and videos, it will lead to a much more visual LinkedIn page.
5) GET GROUPING
Only one in six LinkedIn members utilise the maximum number of groups allowed, which is 50. By joining groups associated with your field and your business, you can use LinkedIn to increase your awareness of the industry you are in. LinkedIn outlines that a “profile is five times more likely to be viewed if you join and are active in groups” so be as interactive as you can and get noticed (in a good way) by your peers. Groups are also useful as members in them can bypass the need for a 1st-degree connection in order to message each other.
If you are interested in learning more, Susie Horgan, Managing Director of Springboard PR & Marketing will be holding a LinkedIn masterclass on Friday, April 15th (9.30am-1pm) at the Cork International Airport Hotel in conjunction with Local Enterprise Office South Cork. The practical morning session is designed to give SMEs both an overview to social media and in-depth tutorial on making LinkedIn work for your business. It costs €30 and bookings can be made here.