Using LinkedIn To Raise Your Business Profile

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Paul O'Byrne

PAUL O’BYRNE STRATEGY DIRECTOR

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Why Use LinkedIn

There is no other online professional network as large or comprehensive as LinkedIn. What sets it apart from the other social networks and exposure (for example, YouTube views) is that you have to be either already linked to someone on LinkedIn or have a mutual contact to form connections. This is how business contacts form in the real world and LinkedIn’s way reinforces trust.

How to Use LinkedIn

Create a Personal Account

Creating one will take just a few minutes. There are comprehensive instructions here. Most of your time will actually be spent adding information to your profile and tweaking it.

Sign Up

Visit LinkedIn and fill in all the required information. This will include details about where you live and work. As LinkedIn tries to identify your business, it may not use the exact words that you would use to describe it. Do not worry; you can always update them later. If you want to contact all the people that you know on LinkedIn already, import their contact details from your email address book.

Extra Information

You are on LinkedIn to create professional contacts and a business presence. Therefore, it is vital for you to ensure that people who view your profile understand who you are. You have a choice between free and premium packages. Since you are just getting started, you might want to opt for the free one, and consider upgrading in future.

When you put up a photograph, it should be a professional one that clearly identifies you. Include a short summary in your profile because this will get you ten times more views. Be concise when listing your professional experience and skills. Elaborate on your professional objectives and achievements but keep it real and try not to exaggerate.

When provided with a LinkedIn URL for your profile, change it to something that is easier to remember, and share your LinkedIn contact details as your email signature.

Create a Business Page on LinkedIn

Once you have completed your personal profile, set up your LinkedIn business page. Go to the ‘create company’ page and fill in the information in much the same way as you did for your personal profile. Since LinkedIn may have already created a page for your company, fill in the form that allows you to claim it. Name, description, business size, website, address, designated admins, your logo, and a main image for your business page, can all be added and changed later.

Remember to enter relevant keywords that will help people who are searching for businesses like yours. Ensure that they are not long-tail phrases but terms people are likely to search for. Instead of putting in best Raleigh attorney, NC, opt for attorney NC. Relevant LinkedIn groups may also help you make new connections.

Start Connecting

Make Your Network Bigger

LinkedIn cares about the size of your network and so should you. Search results are displayed depending on how the searcher is connected to you. They may be second or third level connections but they matter.

Expand your network and increase the visibility of your LinkedIn profile in the search results. Connect with your managers, coworkers, and clients from the past. Improve your chances further by reaching out to new contacts. Aim for contacts who share your professional qualifications and interests.

Become a part of LinkedIn Groups

Your ranking will get a boost if you participate in LinkedIn groups. It will also help you connect with people on LinkedIn. Search out groups with your industry’s keywords, and join groups your networkers participate in. Always contribute in a way that is positive and professional once you join a group.

Form your own LinkedIn Group

If you want to be a part of the community, start a LinkedIn group of your own. This is an efficient way to target your audience, build your brand, and gain new members.

Do Not Go Overboard

If you do not focus your efforts, you might end up as a member of 39 groups. This will not necessarily be positive since it won’t automatically lead to more referrals, contacts, or projects. Instead of taking a shotgun approach, restrict yourself to key categories so that you are an active, contributing member in the groups that matter.

Become Recognised as an Expert/Thought Leader

Establishing yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn will require you to contribute to group discussions. The more you comment on group discussions, the more your profile views will increase — by almost four times. Participation requires you to answer group members’ questions and share your experience or resources. Posting useful content is another way of getting recognition – and requests for new connections – on LinkedIn. As a general rule, you may promote yourself once for every seven times you help someone.

Recruit through LinkedIn Groups

Posting jobs in the Discussion section of a group can be effective since all group members will receive details of the job in a daily email. If there are no suitable candidates in the group, members might recommend a friend or relative. Posting late at night means your post will feature at the top of the email and be seen first.

However, if you include too much information or have recipients jump through hoops to apply, you will lose traction. Aim to be compelling and timely instead.

Research Your Market

A quick, cheap way to find out what your market thinks is simply ask your group a question. Create a free poll and collect feedback on your product or service. You can also post it across multiple industry groups, collect all the responses, and include them in your next blog post or report.

Get Reviews/Testimonials

Since your business page will already have a list of your products and services, you can announce in a group that you are looking for reviews, linking the announcement to your company page.

Follow your Competition on LinkedIn

Keep tabs on your competitors by following their company pages on LinkedIn. Recent news and events will also show as updates from the companies, so you will be aware when they post jobs, allowing you to keep an eye on who is joining or leaving them. All this is valuable information about the direction those companies are taking.

Have Well-maintained Employee Pages

Your employees are your brand ambassadors on LinkedIn, so if their profile pages do not represent your company positively, your visibility will suffer. LinkedIn profile searches produce results based on names, skills, and areas of expertise. An employee’s profile could be the first impression your company makes on a potential business partner or customer. Poorly maintained profiles give the impression that your company does not have great online networking skills. Profiles with photos on LinkedIn are viewed seven times more than those without.

Be Timely

When sharing articles with your LinkedIn group, do so wisely. Just as posting about job vacancies is best done late at night, the reverse is true for other posts. For best reach, post in the mornings and make your post interactive by adding links and videos for viral engagement. Your content should also tell people how to act or react to your update. Be specific when asking them to view, like, share, or comment. For even better results, send targeted messages to specific people.

Have your Employees Connect on LinkedIn

Encourage your employees to connect on LinkedIn. Swapping information between themselves can bring in new clients. Trusted introductions from colleagues can also help you find experts quickly. By following what your employees share on LinkedIn, you may create more connections. See it as an easy way to hang out at your company’s virtual water cooler.

Connect your Website to LinkedIn Page

You might be quite active on LinkedIn but if your website or blog does not have a LinkedIn button, you are missing out. Through this connection, you can easily share content from your website on LinkedIn. The buttons are easy and free to add to your website, and drive traffic to it as well as increase audience engagement so why not take advantage of it?

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Paul O'Byrne

PAUL O’BYRNE STRATEGY DIRECTOR

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With extensive experience in multinationals, Paul is the first point of contact for our large corporate clients. He defines high-impact strategies that draw on the best of what today’s platforms can offer.