There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t see a number of how-to-do and what-to-do on LinkedIn tips and tricks. The more important issue is why you’re not engaging in the most relevant professional community available. Considering that LinkedIn has more than 500 million members worldwide in over 200 countries, executives from all Fortune 500 companies are members, and its corporate talent solutions are used by all of the Fortune 100 companies – it is the social network to be on if you want visibility and a channel for high-value networking. The first Investis IQ Audience Insight Report published last month, tracked visitors to corporate websites from social media platforms. The research found that LinkedIn drives significantly more traffic to corporate websites than all the other social platforms combined.
But its more than just about driving traffic to your website, any well-designed campaign can do that. It’s more about exposing your business to your markets in a way that no other outbound activity can. If you understand the real value of LinkedIn, your business will make it a priority to participate regularly.
LinkedIn is the trusted source for validating information and connecting with valued sources:
71% say LinkedIn allows users to identify the credentials of information sources; only 35% say the same about Twitter and 29% say so about Facebook.
58% say LinkedIn provides a trusted resource to help validate information from other sources (vs. 37% for Twitter and 29% for Facebook).
55% say LinkedIn provides a trusted channel for information (vs. 43% for Twitter and 32% for Facebook).
Network of Peers
54% of users say LinkedIn enables users to quickly find information; 42% say the same about Twitter and 34% say so about Facebook.
71% say LinkedIn surfaces insights that are relevant to users’ needs; 49% say the same about Twitter and 41% say so about Facebook.
86% say LinkedIn provides access to a broader network of peers; 54% say the same about Twitter and 54% say so about Facebook.
The Right Mix
I joined LinkedIn back in 2004 to explore new professional relationships where we could leverage each others skill sets. Members are constantly sharing updates about what is important to their interests, values and beliefs. If you’re not sharing and re-purposing your social content on LinkedIn, you’re missing an opportunity as a social or content marketer to reach your decision-makers and decision-influencers where and when it matters most.
Buyers That Buy ― Buy!
Buying behavior has dramatically shifted over the last few years. Buyers are now 60% through the purchase decision before they initiate contact with a company. They now seek – and rely on – relevant information in social media at the early stages of the decision making process. Approach your LinkedIn profile as a place to tell us your story, a story that walks us through a day-in-the-life of your profession. When someone finds me on LinkedIn, they see a clear picture (transparency) of what to expect when engaging my expertise.
A Fluid Process
In the 9+ years that I’ve maintained my profile, I still find myself frequently editing and updating it with what my clients tell me and what I know would be of value to my connections. So don’t think that your profile is ever finished or complete, but rather a work in progress.
Optimize your profile with keywords and key phrases you want to be associated with. Add these keywords to various sections of your profile such as your summary (up to 2,000 characters), Specialties (up to 500 characters), job title (up to 100 characters), career history and personal interests (up to 1,000 characters) and personalize your LinkedIn web address.
Request and Give Recommendations
Your reputation is the single most important asset you have. LinkedIn recommendations showcase your attributes in a way that will accelerate the “know, like and trust” factor. Now your profile viewers will get a chance to see what others have publicly stated about how you solve problems and make a positive impact to the bottom-line.
By adding this section, it will allow you to name your project and input a reference link. This then turns the title of the project into a hyperlink, leading the viewer to the project’s source and therefore creating an inbound link.
There are over a million groups on LinkedIn and they are one of the most valued features of the platform. Look for groups that are specific to your goals, join them and participate with valued postings and comments. This is your time to shine as a valued member who has come to share ideas, help solve problems and network. Additionally, this will increase your profile awareness and get noticed by other valued contacts. You may find it worthwhile to start your own group(s).
“All of the people who follow us are in the exact industries we are targeting, so we consider them qualified business leads. Ninety percent of our revenue is coming from our LinkedIn community.” Jamie Leonard, Reconverse
Group members can bypass the need to be first degree connected in order to message each other. In addition, group members are also able to view the complete profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. I have joined several hundred groups over the years, 50 at a time, which is a LinkedIn limitation (not including subgroups) and established valued connections, meaningful exchanges and expertise requests.
LinkedIn + Slideshare
Slideshare was launched in 2006 and is considered the “YouTube for presentations”. It’s the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. LinkedIn purchased Slideshare in 2012 and is one of the top 200 sites on the web with an estimated 60 million visitors and 3 billion slide views a month. Slideshare has become the world’s most popular content sharing platform used by influential speakers, leaders, consultants, designers, engineers, bloggers, organizations and even schools using it to collaborate and learn.
If you maintain a relevant and consistent approach with your LinkedIn activity, you will attract like-minded professionals whose goals and objectives are similar to yours. Can LinkedIn deliver qualified leads and revenue generating opportunities to your business? Yes it can and in many ways. I should know as I have been delivering social media results since 2004 by deploying these tactics.