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I’ve always been a fan of LinkedIn. Not many people can say that honestly nowadays unless they’re looking for a new job. However, it’s true. I genuinely like LinkedIn and value its resources and tools because to me it’s more than just an online CV or content platform.
If you make use of all of the available tools, the world’s largest professional social media platform becomes a multi-channelled resource not only for recruitment, but also sales, brand awareness and affiliate marketing. However, first you need to make sure your company page and employees’ personal profiles are optimised to showcase your business in the way you want them to.
Your personal profile is not an online CV. It is a sales tool for yourself, your employer or your own business. Whether you’re a sales/marketing manager with access to your colleagues’ profiles, or an employee of a business or organisation and want to improve your online presence using LinkedIn, these following tips will help you to present yourself and your organisation as being professional, highly-reputed and well-established:
There’s nothing worse than a personal profile with no personal element in it. Including a photo of yourself is the first step to showing your audience that you are a real human being, which is always a big help if you’re going to try to engage with other users! Ideally you should have a high quality and professional photo clearly showing your face, but not a snapshot of you in a trashy night-club with a vodka-red bull in both hands – keep that for your private Facebook profile.
Make your profile look more professional by claiming your LinkedIn vanity URL; instead of sharing or sending people a URL with dozens of confusing numbers and characters, use something simple like www.linkedin.com/in/JamieHallitt. You can do this by going to your public profile settings page and clicking on “Customise your public profile URL”:
Endorsements is a feature that was introduced a long a while ago now, whereby your connections can endorse you for a particular skill or expertise. Don’t be afraid to delete the irrelevant ones, or rather, the skills or expertise that do not truly reflect who you are as a professional, or your role. Your other option is to simply remove endorsements from specific connections; for example, if you want to limit your endorsements so that they only come from trusted connections, you can do so easily.
When you add external links to the Contact Info part of your profile, instead of selecting “Company Website” or “Blog” etc. you should select “Other” and you will be able to customise the anchor text of the link, otherwise it will appear on your profile as the type of link you selected beforehand.
Company pages are a sales tool for business and allow you to present the services, products, employees, ethics and business information to users in a fully customisable way. Here are some ways to ensure you make the most of Company Pages.
The description box is at the very top of the page and will be the first text the user sees; therefore it’s a great place to include your contact details and your website.
When employees add their employment details to their profiles, they will have the ability to select a company from a list as they begin typing in the name of their employer. Doing this will ensure that when a user visits the Company Page, they will be visible as an employee of the business. The more employees associating themselves with the business on the Company Page, the more established the business will appear to be.
On the Product/Services page you can upload 3 banner-style images which can be used to showcase products/services, special offers or simple call-to-actions. The images are clickable and you set a URL for the user to be sent to if they click on the image. Here is a simple example of a call-to-action:
Company Pages can often contain so much text that they become tedious and hard to read. Adding images relating to each of the products/services on your Company Page will help to split up the text and ensure that users are able to find the most relevant page as quickly as possible.
Many businesses operate nationally, but can’t always provide the same service in one particular location as they can in another. To tackle this issue, you can choose to set up an audience targeting users in a certain location and showcase the appropriate services to them, whilst also setting up another audience list with users in other locations and show them different services. Usually most people show just one version of the services page to every single user, using the “Default” settings:
You can create audiences based on:
Think about how you would segment your target market in your other online and offline marketing campaigns, and apply it to this tool in LinkedIn. It’s not a lot of work and it can make a big difference if implemented correctly.
Rich media is becoming so much more popular in online user behaviour and videos are a great way to get across a very short, snappy message or introduction to you as an organisation.
Nothing helps more with improving credibility than having real life recommendations for everyone to see and take in. Ask all of the main stakeholders in your business to recommend a service or product to help build up a good reputation that’s visible to your target audience.
These are all great ways to make sure that you are going that step further to present your business and its employees in the way you would like to, whoever your target audience might be.
In the Part 2 I will be covering how to use LinkedIn to expand your network and followers, target new prospects to win new business and recruit without spending a fortune.
LinkedIn Login Page via BigStock