LinkedIn is your live, interactive resume. The social media platform has more than 660 million members, and they’re on the platform with a purpose: to do business and grow their reputation. In fact, 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn versus Twitter (13%) and Facebook (7%). The platform generates three times more conversions than Facebook and Twitter, too.
Besides prospective business, what’s in it for you? From a personal and business perspective, it connects you to the right kind of people. It’s called LinkedIn, after all. You have the opportunity to grow your personal brand and position yourself as a leader in your industry, service or specialty.
Here’s how to do it!
- Define your personal brand.
What do you want to be known for on LinkedIn? Maybe it’s leadership or industry news. Decide what kind of content you want to share and who you’re targeting (colleagues, prospects, clients). Try a few different content buckets to get started.
- Update your profile image and cover image.
Use a professional-looking photo for your profile image. It’ll be cropped to a circle, so keep that in mind when you’re taking or selecting a photo.
LinkedIn cover images are 1,584 x 396 pixels. Choose a simple image that won’t detract from your profile. Does your company have branded cover images? Those are great for LinkedIn, too.
Remember: You’re showcasing who you are in the business world. Make sure your images reflect that.
- Write a robust headline.
Your LinkedIn headline is at the top of your profile. It’s where you describe what you do in 120 characters or less. When people search, your headline appears next to your name in the results. A strong headline attracts people to your profile. Try this simple formula suggested by HubSpot: “[Job title]: helping X do Y.”
- Perfect your summary.
See the text box at the top of your LinkedIn profile, just below your photo? That’s your summary. You have up to 2,000 characters to share an overview of your professional life. Your summary can be what you want it to be. Maybe you want to highlight career achievements or your personality, or share how you approach work. Think of it as your first-person professional bio – a touchpoint for people to get a feel for who you are in the business world.
- Complete your entire profile.
Be sure your work experience, education, volunteer experience and accomplishments are filled out as fully as possible. With a complete profile, you’re more likely to be found in search.
- Share updates regularly.
Share articles you author for your company, articles from other sources, blog posts on your company website, etc. More than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs and 46% of social traffic to corporate websites comes from LinkedIn. It’s a prime spot to share. Think about your personal brand as you decide what to share, too!
- Author original articles.
Anyone can author an original article on LinkedIn. You could share insight on a trend in your industry, a recent development, a story, anything that you think people might find useful or inspiring in the professional world.
- Add your connections.
Did you meet new people at a networking event? Great – add them on LinkedIn! LinkedIn connections grow your network. Connect with clients, former colleagues, prospects and new friends. Just be sure you have a legitimate connection to the person. Your account can get shut down if too many people reject your requests.
- Join groups.
Groups on LinkedIn are an effective way to keep up with news you care about and network with other professionals who are outside of your connections. Find groups using the search field in the top left. You’ll be able to click the Groups option to see suggestions.
Social media is about being social. React and comment to be an active engager. You never know how one comment might affect someone’s view of you/your business. Being active on LinkedIn shows others you’re there to build community and understand it’s a two-way street.