Claire Saxton’s Social Media Basics – LinkedIn

For this blog in my series on how to use social media as a business owner, I want to cover LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is one of those social media channels that’s commonly misunderstood and seldom used for how it was designed. Many people treat it as a resume site where you list every job you’ve ever had and hope that’s enough to attract new clients to your business.

It’s not.

So, let me explain the right way to use LinkedIn and how to use it as a foundation for your social media marketing.

Use your profile to highlight your skills and what you have to offer

If you’ve read the previous blogs in this series, you’ll have seen me talk about the importance of brand consistency across all your social media platforms and website. That’s still true for LinkedIn, but here you’re focusing on you, the person behind your business.

Giant building blocks with the LinkedIn logo because LinkedIn is great for building your business presence online

LinkedIn is all about the networking and making connections.

But it isn’t about adding lots of people to your profile and hoping that being popular will prove your worth, things are a little more involved than that with LinkedIn. You need to make it clear why people should want to connect with you and what they will find when they do.

That means highlighting your qualities as a business owner, clearly identifying your skills and strengths in the services you provide and making it clear why people should want to connect with and work with you.

Think of LinkedIn as the job interview rather than the resume and application form.

Which means that creating a perfect LinkedIn profile is key for getting the most out of this platform

Interest and intrigue are what you’re aiming for with LinkedIn – you need to stand out from the crowd and encourage people to connect with you.

Here are some tips for achieving that:

  • Add visual content to your profile – don’t be afraid to have videos and images on there
  • Have a top-notch profile picture – avoid holiday snaps and opt for a picture with a plain background behind you
  • Choose a good cover photo – ensure it’s consistent with what you have on your other social media channels
  • Include all of your contact details – make it as easy as possible for people to contact you
  • Link to your other social media channels – it’s good for your SEO
  • Bullet point all of your services – you can elaborate on your key offerings but include everything
  • List all of your skills – you might not get endorsements, but they act as keywords to help people find you

Do get creative and specific in your description. This is where you can elaborate on what you do, how amazing you are and why people should want to connect and work with you. Talk about benefits, results and what working with you will look like rather than describing the actual work like you would on a resume or application form.

Focus on relationship building rather than selling

Two business owners having a meeting after connecting via LinkedIn Rather than trying to sell yourself to get the “job”, you’re wanting to establish your authority and expertise as someone people want to hire, and that means focusing on building relationships with your connections.

Do send a personalised message with each connection request that you send and start a conversation when they accept. It’s a great way to find out more about what they do, how you might be able to help them and vice versa. Just don’t be that pushy salesman and aim to offer value in your discussion rather than gaining a new client.

Use the groups to network and share content.

It can be a little tricky to find a good and active group but once you do, focus on being helpful, sharing content and getting yourself known for the right reasons. Much the same as using Facebook groups it’s about how you can help rather than constantly pitching sales on every post.

LinkedIn is great for content marketing and sharing your expertise

LinkedIn has its own publishing platform built in making it ideal for repurposing your blogs and creating posts of real value that link back to your website.

When a blog has performed well, or it contains information that you feel is of real value to your target audience, you should be finding ways to repurpose it at every opportunity.

When it comes to LinkedIn, summarising the key points into a shorter blog is a great way to do this, or picking up on a key statement and creating a conversation around it by asking your connections to comment can really help you gain attention and interest.

A female entrepeneur using LinkedIn to publish a post for engagementWith that in mind, do take the time to engage and interact with the content your connections are sharing on LinkedIn too. Joining in with a conversation and adding value is a great way of getting noticed, especially when you do this consistently with sincere comments that genuinely add something to the discussion.

A useful trick is to tag your connections in posts that are relevant to them.

If you’ve worked together on a project, share similar (or very different!) views on a topic or simply want to draw their attention to what you’re saying, tagging them in is a great way of starting a conversation and adding some extra value.

You can and should switch up your LinkedIn profile every few months

This is particularly the case when you offer multiple services and have a different demographic for each one.

A lot of business owners are scared of changing their headline or description on LinkedIn to something different in case they’re ‘found out’, or people think they’re trying to be a jack of all trades. The thing is, people really don’t pay that much attention to your profile page after adding you (and you can disable notifications of updates too).

I find it’s often a case of experimenting with LinkedIn.

People tend to use keywords when searching for people and businesses, much as they would when using Google, so consider which keywords your target audience would use to find you. Create a headline out of the important ones and add the others to your profile.

Then switch things up a bit every few weeks.

Swap the keywords around, try a new headline, draw attention to a different benefit of working with you or service that you provide. You’ll generate new profile views from people that haven’t found you before, add some new connections and can further your reach simply and quickly by changing a few sentences.

Tipchange your profile picture frequently too. People get used to seeing the same faces commenting and posting, so changing your picture is a great way to gain some new interest and reinvigorate your marketing.

There you have it, my guide to using LinkedIn the right way for your social media marketing. What do you think? Did any of my tips take you by surprise? How well is LinkedIn working for you now? Feel free to drop me a comment below with your thoughts.

If you’re thinking of outsourcing your social media marketing to a trusted professional give me a call today on 07973 924589 to find out how I can help you get the results you’re looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

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