Guest blogger: Kerry Butters, Editor at My Social Agency
LinkedIn has always been known as the more serious social network, one that is for and used by professionals. As the second largest social media site in the world, with rapidly increasing traffic, companies can’t afford to ignore the value that LinkedIn has. One new professional joins LinkedIn every second and the site now has more than 100 million users worldwide.
So once a company or individual has joined LinkedIn, where do they go from there in order to increase engagement?
Start at the beginning. A well fleshed-out profile will attract user’s attention; ensure work history, education, company/work ethos is clear and comprehensive and upload a resume.
Invite all of your professional connections past and present in order to improve connectability. This should be done for individuals and companies; for employees whose company doesn’t have a profile, do it for them (with permission of course, once you have convinced them of the need). The more employees a company has connected on LinkedIn, the higher the visibility will be for the business, and the more likely it is to make new connections.
Profiles are essential for LinkedIn success, so don’t stint on this, list every single relevant skill possible and give a thorough overview of experience and key abilities. Alexis Krase of LinkedIn says that a profile should be considered your “executive bio”.
Start a group. There are more than 900,000 groups on LinkedIn, a lot of competition maybe but not as high as Facebook, which at December 2011 had more than 37 million pages. Think of the group as a company blog, keep it relevant to your industry and visit it daily, adding people as you go and ensuring you interact regularly with members. This will improve visibility and connectability, as well as help your network to grow.
Use LinkedIn’s Outlook Social Connector tool. This adds a LinkedIn widget to your email signature which displays your profile picture and latest activity on the site. This means that every professional email that you send will give potential connections the opportunity to view your professional profile and connect with you as an individual and your company.
Give recommendations. Of course, what you are looking for here is for others to return the favour. Whilst you can just request that previous workmates/employers/clients recommend you, they are more likely to be willing if you have already extended the courtesy. 78% of people buy a product/service through referral, so using recommendations is a savvy way to improve connections and engagement.
Connect wisely. Remember that LinkedIn is a professional social network, you’re not there to make friends and post silly photos, that’s what Facebook is for, so choose connections wisely and don’t add everyone in sight. This will help you to grow your network organically as people choose to connect with a profile they see as having some professional value. Start by connecting only with people you know or have known in a professional capacity, add through your group, choosing people who are relevant to your industry in some way and resist the temptation to add randomly and frequently.
Finally, use LinkedIn daily, make it part of your routine, update with high-quality, relevant information and interact with those who respond. Like any other social network, LinkedIn won’t do the work for you and in order to grow your network, it’s vital that you provide content that interests others and provides an incentive to connect with you.
Why not check out the printed.com LinkedIn page and start a discussion or offer a recommendation fo your own.
About My Social Agency
My Social Agency are a UK based Digital Marketing Agency focusing on social media marketing, mobile apps, web video and SEO services.
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