If you’re involved with any type of professional pursuit – especially business related – you’ve likely already reached the realization that you will need some sort of social media training. Whether that means reading a bunch of eBooks, consulting with an expert, or having your 14 year-old niece train you, making the time for social media training can greatly improve your success.
All social media efforts take time and effort, but nothing usually causes more anxiety than LinkedIn. If you’re like most people, you know that LinkedIn is a great place to highlight your professional skills. Along that same note, however, is the fear of not posting the right thing and making yourself (and your business) look bad. No matter what type of social media training you receive guidance from, these 7 best practices will likely come up.
1) Keep Things Professional
The number one rule for LinkedIn is to keep things professional. After all, the whole reason the founders created the network was to foster business connections and relationships. There are plenty of other social networks out there to showcase how disgusting your child’s diaper blowout was or to show off your awesome trip to the Bahamas. When you’re on LinkedIn remember to act the way you would when talking to a prospective client – all the time.
2) Use Keywords in your Summary and In Articles
One of the best things you can do when creating a LinkedIn account is to make sure your profile is completely filled out. In the process of doing so, try to use as many keywords and phrases that you can that relate to what you want people to find you for. For example, if you are a lawyer that practices many areas of law, make sure to list out each area on your profile. That way if someone searches for “personal injury lawyer”, you will pop up on their search results ahead of another lawyer who doesn’t have that detail on their profile.
3) Share Articles and Great Content
After making sure your profile looks good, make sure to post great content consistently. Not only will this place your pretty face on your connections’ newsfeeds on a regular basis, but it also shows your thought leadership. If people find value from your posts, they will not only think higher of you, but they will also start to seek out the things you are sharing. Yes, you heard me right - they will start looking for YOU. Yeah. You’re pretty much a LinkedIn celebrity now.
4) Connect With the Right People – NOT Competitors
There are many different strategies you can use when it comes to connecting with people on LinkedIn. You can connect with only those you actually know (the way LinkedIn intended) to ensure that your network is strong and personal. You can also connect with anyone and everyone in order to get your face in front of as many people as possible. It’s really your preference which route you want to take, but one thing you need to pay attention to is your competitors. Once you connect with a competitor they can see all of your connections and now have the ability to steal them away from you. So, as I would say to my nephew as he is about to head-butt me in the face – DON’T DO IT!
5) Join Groups
A great way to interact with others who you wouldn’t normally be connected to is to join a group. Groups are a great place to connect with others in your industry or those with shared interests. Not only will you receive great information from them, but you can also provide them with great content or discussion points and create meaningful and helpful relationships.
6) Create Posts
One of the newer features on LinkedIn is the “Create a Post” feature. This feature allows you to create a long-formed post that is basically a blog. Some benefits of posts are:
They are posted to your profile under your picture. This provides extra content that your competition likely isn’t giving to your viewers and also develops thought leadership.
A notification is sent to all of your connections when you create a post. Even if they don’t read it, your handsome face is still getting in front of your connections.
LinkedIn can pick up your post for the Pulse section. This provides a great way for your content to get in front of those who aren’t connections but are interested in the topic.
If you post awesome content, those who find your post can “follow” you to get notifications whenever you create another post.
All four of those points above amount to two important things – great exposure of your thought leadership and added trust.
One of the most important parts of being involved with business is networking. How do you network? …… Boy. You’re smart. Knew you’d get it right. By interacting! In order to form those business relationships you need to connect, talk, complement, ask questions, etc. You can (and should) do all of this on LinkedIn. This shouldn’t replace your face-to-face networking, but it is a great way to build upon it. Did you meet someone at a meeting? Add them on LinkedIn and continue to nurture the relationship by showing interest in what they are posting and sharing. If you like a pat on the back when you post, dish it out to others when they post too.
So there you have it. Seven of the best LinkedIn practices that I’ve experienced. If you still are seeking more social media training, feel free to check out some of our eBooks. Also, if you’ve experienced LinkedIn success doing something other than the points above, please let us know in the comments. I’d love to hear and learn from your experiences!
With a passion for helping, both consumers and businesses, I enjoy using my knowledge and skills to create engaging social posts and interactions that start a prospect on their inbound journey. As the Inbound Social Lead, I utilize my social media and interpersonal skills to develop and nurture one-on-one relationships between a business and their customers. When I'm not at the office, I enjoy spending time outdoors (fishing and floating on a tube are my favorite) or crafting on my kitchen table.