“If you can get better at your job, you should be an active member of LinkedIn, because LinkedIn should be connecting you to the information, insights and people to be more effective.”
–Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn.
#1: Do Personalize connection and recommendation requests
Imagine you are in a networking party and you reach out to shake the hand of someone new. Chances are, you do not just hand them your business card, request theirs, and walk away. Instead, you introduce yourself, discuss commonalities you have with this new individual, and otherwise look for ways to build your bond. On LinkedIn, the same factors apply. You want to construct communication efforts, either through connection invitations or recommendation requests, with personalized messages that will help you start to build that important bond. The note you send should reflect the unique way you first met the person in question.
#2: Do Choose groups wisely and participate in them
Groups are excellent opportunities to virtually meet new people with whom you might not have otherwise been able to connect. You can join a group on the basis of a variety of factors including common interests or hobbies, locations, industries, or jobs. Select ones that accurately reflect who you are and engage with them to get to know some of the other people with common traits.
#3: Do Take care in constructing your business page
Your business page should use professional images and a detailed summary that draws attention to what your business does best. Your page will be the first contact many people on LinkedIn will have with your brand. Just as you want any other branded materials to present your company well, so should your LinkedIn page. Keep it professional, engaging, and informative.
The Nature Conservancy, for example, offers their mission statement in the front and center of their page, combined with engaging imagery and regularly posting rich content.
#4: Do Make sure you use proper grammar and spelling
The goal of LinkedIn is to connect with professionals and grow your network. Your grammar and spelling will influence how others in your industries and your connection trees perceive you. Although a single typo is not likely to destroy your prospects, posts that are regularly filled with errors or unprofessional speech will likely result in people overlooking you as a serious potential connection. Keep any text-speech or informal language for the other social media boards and take the time to properly craft posts that will reflect positively on you.
#5: Do remember that LinkedIn is not anonymous
As the internet becomes increasingly prevalent in daily life, it is common for people to find power in the anonymity of the online world; thus the very casual—and even sometimes vicious— comment forms we regularly see after articles or even on other social media platforms. On LinkedIn, you will be using your real job and name to create a reputable account. When you are commenting in the groups, remember that what you say reflects on you professionally.
#6: Do Respond to messages promptly
Responding to messages promptly will let the people communicating with you know that you care about connecting with them and cast you in a positive light. This will help build a solid foundation for you to build a strong relationship. This is especially important if you’re the party that’s reaching out to someone for information, introductions, or meetings. You want to respond as soon as possible after they do, or you’ll lose your credibility.
#7: Do Optimize your page for SEO
“Your LinkedIn profile must include keywords for specific skills that match your desired job,” says Melanie Pinola in LinkedIn in 30 Minutes: How to create a rock-solid LinkedIn profile and build connections that matter.
Google crawls LinkedIn profiles, and thus profiles and company pages can appear in the SERPs. For you to maximize the appearance of your brand for various queries, it is very beneficial to make sure that you use standard SEO techniques when creating your profile. This includes keywords related to your personal and organizational brands. You can then use social media listening tools to monitor how successfully your efforts are building your presence.
When used correctly, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool that helps professionals establish and grow their personal brands. If you have more questions about how to use LinkedIn to maximize your personal brand, or how the right social media analytics tools can help you find success, please reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you.