We cannot emphasize enough the value of LinkedIn as a Professional, Social Media platform for any business, especially a “Business to Business” (a.k.a. “B2B”) company.
Having a presence on social media is just-about a given in today’s business environment, but putting news and information about your company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other “social” media is almost purely a Public Relations tactic to keep your business image positive and forward-thinking.
But LinkedIn is more than just an image building tool – used correctly, it can be a business development resource, a competitive research tool, and a more direct way to reach your past, present and future customers and other “influencers” in your industry.
LinkedIn has grown over the past decade into the largest Professional network online, growing organically as more and more business professionals have added LinkedIn to their daily regimen. With LinkedIn’s recent acquisition by Microsoft, and Microsoft’s goal of integrating LinkedIn into Microsoft Office and other software platforms, the future for LinkedIn makes it imperative that YOU be there, too.
Statistics from LinkedIn show that LinkedIn members with 100 percent full profiles receive 46 percent more profile page views than those who don’t; in other words, the more complete your profile page, the more you open yourself up to opportunities.
Do you have a personal LinkedIn member profile? When is the last time you took a moment to update it, look at it objectively, and “tweak” it a little bit?
Let’s start with the photo. You do have a photo, don’t you? It’s very important that your head and shoulder photograph be professionally produced – people want to be able to instantly recognize you.
A big part of doing business on LinkedIn is making connections. It’s been said that a strong network is like money in the bank. For example, your network can help you become better known, introduce you to influential colleagues and peers, and help you secure clients. Getting and staying connected with others is a powerful strategy for marketing your business.
Joining an alumni group (college, high school, past employers) is a great way to re-connect with people who know enough about you to willingly help you grow your business, purchase your services, or introduce you to those who may – it presents another opportunity to make new connections.
Prospective clients are likely to scan your LinkedIn endorsements before reading your entire profile page of consider hiring you. Do take the time to add in the top 25 skills you want to be endorsed for, with your best skills at the top. Endorsements are a place where opportunities find you.
You should also regularly share valuable information with your connections. Aside from updating your profile, this simple box lets you add tips and resources, and refer others to industry information such as articles and white papers. It’s another excellent – yet subliminal – strategy for marketing yourself.
Joining LinkedIn groups, uploading PDFs, videos, audio and slides, and regularly updating your LinkedIn profile are all great ways to stay active and participate in the growing LinkedIn business community.
In the coming future, we will discuss additional ways to use LinkedIn not only for you as an individual, but also for your company overall and your management team. Now, though, we suggest you check out your own LinkedIn profile and update!