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LinkedIn is way more than a place for job seekers. If that’s the last time you used it, then you’re missing out on a powerful tool. Having a 100% completed profile with updated information as well as company profile page for your business, increases your trust and credibility factor immensely. It helps establish you and your company as experts in your field or industry.

Microsoft bought LinkedIn a couple of years ago and they’ve made some improvements. Think of LinkedIn as a global chamber of commerce on steroids. It’s more B2B (business-to-business) than B2C (business-to-consumer), but LinkedIn users are consumers too! And it’s full of referral sources.

It’s not who you know, it’s who your friends know.

I’m not going to get into everything people do wrong on LinkedIn. This article covers that.

LinkedIn ReactionsLinkedIn’s made some updates to their algorithm to help increase engagement. They added “reactions” similar to Facebook’s to make engaging on posts more interesting.

Here’s what’s new and why you need to use LinkedIn for your business:

Your Company Page —

AZ Social Media Wiz LinkedIn Business Page You need one. Your personal profile is NOT your company page. It’s like Facebook — Company Pages are separate. Think of the personal profile as the white pages and the company profile as the Yellow Pages.

  1. Upload a custom banner. The dimensions are 1536 x 768 pixels. You may have to play with it a bit to make sure that it’s not cut off when you upload it and that it doesn’t look bad. This is your online image. Your online reputation. Furthermore, always use quality graphics. Taking shortcuts or using a less-than-perfect graphic makes visitors assume you provide less-than-perfect service. Use the free graphics tool Canva.com to create the graphic. They don’t have an updated template for the LinkedIn banner, but you can create one with custom dimensions.
  2. An extension of your website. You have a lot of space to tell people about your business. USE IT!
  3. Add specialties. These are keywords that come up when people are searching for what it is that you have to offer. This gets indexed in Google so it helps with SEO!
  4. Custom Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons. You can choose from:
    • Visit Website – I don’t like this one. It’s boring. Choose…
    • Learn More – this is more of a command that makes sense
    • Contact Us – Use this one if you have an offer in your cover graphic/banner
    • Register &
    • Sign Up – these are obvious, but they require some sort of event or offer on the cover graphic.
  5. Post Updates. I used to say to save this area for your content, but not any more. Share other people’s related and relevant content also. Use this like you would use Twitter. Moreover, you can add the company page to free tools like Buffer or HootSuite to easily share content to your page. You can also upload videos and pin a promo post to the top.
  6. Showcase pages. You can create sub-pages from your company page to highlight products and services.

Remember, you have only 2 seconds to catch someone attention online!

On Your Personal/Individual Profile —Not having a picture on your LinkedIn profile is like going to a networking event with a paper bag on your head.

  1. Your profile picture. This should be a professional-looking head shot so people can see your face. You wouldn’t go to a networking event with a paper bag over your head, would you? So why don’t you want to put a nice head shot on your professional LinkedIn profile? You may not be looking for a job, but you do want potential customers to buy your product or hire your services, right? You need to look credible. Having a LinkedIn profile without your picture is like going to a networking event with a paper bag over your head.
  2. Upload a background graphic. Help your profile stand out with a background graphic. The dimensions are 1584 x 396 pixels. (Don’t try to stretch a smaller graphic to fit a larger size it will look fuzzy.)
  3. Title. This should tell the visitor what you do in a glance. Make sure it’s updated and it doesn’t look like you’re looking for a job.

  4. Location. Accurate and updated. If you meet someone at a live networking event, and they want to connect with you, if you come up in search, but you have a different location or put “United States”, they’re not going to connect with you. That networking event was useless

  5. About. It used to be called a “summary”. It’s not your life story. It’s describing what you do and how you can help a potential customer.

  6. Contact info. Should be current and complete. If you have a company email address, that should be there rather than the one you used when you were looking for a job (your personal email). Here you can also add your website. Choose “Other” when adding your link and add your company name there rather than using “company website” or “personal website”. Add your business Twitter here also, then when you share to LinkedIn, you can also share to Twitter at the same time.

  7. Skills. Again, you’re not looking for a job, but people are searching for what you do and you want to come up in searches. Think of the skills as keywords for SEO. Talents? Skills? What do you know? These, like the specialties on your company page are keywords that help you come up in searches.

Posting to your Personal Profile

Just like on Facebook, you can upload a graphic or video, share a link, add text and hashtags.hashtags work on LinkedIn

Use Buffer or HootSuite to share content regularly. Stick to your field or industry. The idea is that people start connecting the topics you post about with your name, picture and industry. This builds credibility. You show off what you know.

Write Articles On LinkedIn Weekly

Alright, you’re probably thinking, “I can’t even write for my website weekly!” Yes, I know. But you have to for SEO. What you do on LinkedIn is repurpose the content on your website. You blog on your site, then share the link on LinkedIn. A few days later, copy the whole article to LinkedIn. When you copy the text from the blog, it takes the formatting with it. The only things you can’t copy are the pictures. You need to upload those directly.

Always put a link at the bottom back to the original post: “This post originally appeared on……(link)” as well as a call-to-action.

Doing this regularly, helps drive traffic to your website and helps with SEO. And LinkedIn says they are going to give more visibility, aka reach, to articles written on their platform! 

LinkedIn Live Video Coming Soon!

It’s in beta right now with a select group of people using it. As soon as they roll it out, I’ll be doing Wednesdays with the Wiz again. Can’t wait.

Connecting and Following on LinkedIn —

This is a simple feature that will solve a headache. I love it. I keep getting connection invitations from people outside of the U.S. and others who I really don’t feel comfortable connecting with. Plus, it gets annoying. I’ve got over 3500 connections and I prefer to seek people to connect with that I meet at networking events.

LinkedIn now has the option to change the “Connect” button to “Follow”. You can follow anyone without connecting to them. I like that better. If you like what I post, the articles I write, then by all means follow me. We don’t have to be connected.

Just because we’re connected doesn’t mean that I’m interested in your product or service. However, if I know someone who needs something, I’m going to go to LinkedIn first and recommend someone in my network — it’s my virtual Rolodex. Here are instructions on how to switch your “connect” button to “follow”.

Connect with the people you know first

Upload your email list. You’ll get a list of the people on your list who are also on LinkedIn. You can check all and then LinkedIn will send them an invitation. You can’t personalize it, but this saves time and grows your network quickly.

The next list that comes up are the people in your list who are not on LinkedIn. Skip these. If they do join LinkedIn, you’ll be notified when they do.

Each time you look at your network, LinkedIn will bring up people they think you may know based on your connections and the companies you’ve worked at. If you do know them, by all means connect with them. The bigger your network is, the more you’ll get out of LinkedIn.

If you’d like to connect with me and be part of my virtual Rolodex, click here, then click on “More” then click connect.

Learn More Below….

Here’s an Infographic from LeisureJobs has lots of tips and hints…

 

 

This post orginally appeared on the AZ Social Media Wiz Blog

About the Author(s)

Giselle Aguiar, Social Media Marketing Specialist, Coach and Trainer at AZ Social Media Wiz

Giselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing consultant and trainer specializing in market research, strategic planning, social media and marketing automation setups, training and coaching. She's been doing Internet marketing since 1995.

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Trainer and Coach, AZ Social Media Wiz
If You’re not Using LinkedIn, You’re Missing a Powerful Tool