5 Easy Ways To Get The Most Out Of LinkedIn
Have you always thought LinkedIn was like the nerdy kid that could never quite make it with the in crowd?
That might have been the case a few years ago, but LinkedIn is finally starting to find its place in the world. In fact, I would say its the up-and-coming place to be online currently.
A few things have made that happen:
LinkedIn’s intro of native video to the platform a year or so ago changed the game. While the platform was a late comer to video, lagging far behind Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, along with video has come a rise of LinkedIn influencers who are using their networks to grow their brands and their business.
LinkedIn’s algorithms remain pretty simple and easy for users to work with. Unlike Facebook and Instagram and even Twitter, generating engagement on LinkedIn is pretty straightforward.
The quality of the community on LinkedIn is very good. While unhelpful comments and trolling does exist on the platform, overall the quality of engagement is higher than other social media networks.
So without further ado, here’s how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile.
1. Use your profile page, not a brand page to get the most engagement.
Like most other social media platforms, LinkedIn’s algorithms favor personal content over branded content. While optimizing your business page will be important, LinkedIn is ultimately a platform to connect people. You’ll see the most engagement with your content when you post from your personal page.
LinkedIn loves to see fresh, native content being posted. Its algorithms reward native video, articles, image posts, and text-based posts. The algorithm doesn’t want people to leave the platform, so outbound links are discouraged. While it’s not terrible to include an outbound link in your posts, at least part of the time, drop the link in the comments instead of the main post.
2. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s search-driven algorithms by optimizing your profile.
LinkedIn’s algorithm is keyword search heavy - meaning that your profile will attract the most attention when you use keywords in visible places that are easy for LinkedIn to find.
Keep headlines concise (character limit of 120) while packing them with keywords. Avoid using generic terms and instead use your headline to give a glimpse of what you do and who you’re trying to help.
As an example, a headline could read something like this:
John Doe, MD
DiabetesCure CEO | Using the Power of Community to Find a Cure for Diabetes
John Doe, MD
DiabetesCure CEO | Endocrinologist | Unlocking the secret to diabetes with technology
Summaries have a 2,000 character count maximum. Again, pack this section with keywords but ultimately use it to tell a story. Try to follow this format:
Explain a little bit about who you are and what you do.
This is where you explain what your company does. Use phrases like “unlocking the secret to…” or “helping people discover….” Also include the core message of your company in this section.
Explain here how you do what you do. Keep it brief and to the point, and avoid jargon as much as possible.
Cover why customers should choose you over a competitor. What do you do differently, how is your product unique?
How to get in touch:
Include contact information such as a link to your website, a phone number, or an email address.
You can also link to other media resources in this summary like articles, videos, or PDFs. This is a good place to provide more in-depth information about your company for those who want to dig deeper.
Experience and work history
While other work history can be relevant, the most important job is the one at the top of the list. Even if you have other roles on advisory boards or at other companies, as much as possible, try to keep your company front and center.
The work history summary should include content about what you do at your company, why you do it, and how you are reframing the conversation. This is not the place to list your job description or daily activities. Instead, use this section to further describe the value you and your company provide.
3. Create valuable written content
LinkedIn articles are a great place to show off your expertise a little bit. While your first focus should be owned website content, you can repurpose content as a LinkedIn article. Essentially any topic that would work on your blog will also work as a LinkedIn article.
A few things to keep in mind.
Longer articles perform better, so aim for 1000+ words.
Articles with 2-3 images also perform better than 0-1 images.
To generate engagement with your post, use CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer to create clickable headlines.
Create a post to share your article that boosts engagement. To do this, write the headline (or a similar headline) at the top of the post. Then, summarize the content from the article in 2-3 brief paragraphs. At the end, ask a question or ask for feedback on the article. Add a few relevant hashtags (fewer than 6) to make the post more searchable, and if you have connections you would like to join the conversation, tag them in the post using @. Be careful not to just tag random people just to drive attention, only people who you think would be interested in your article or have something to add to the topic.
In addition to LinkedIn articles, this platform is a great place to post shorter form posts, either just text or text + image. Both of these types of posts should
Be longer than just a sentence. LinkedIn allows up to 1300 characters, so while avoiding fluff content, aim to use as many of those characters as possible.
Ask a question or engage your audience in some way. LinkedIn likes to see posts with lots of comments and likes, so ask for them.
Aim to share at least one post per day. This is where a tool like CoSchedule will come in handy. You can create social posts ahead of time and, if they’ll be relevant for a long time to come, you can also set them to repeat every year or so.
4. Use LinkedIn’s native video option
Ever since LinkedIn added native video (video uploaded directly to LinkedIn, not from YouTube or Vimeo) to the platform a year ago, it seems like the algorithm rewards native video posts. This strategy is not a must, as not everyone is comfortable with video, but using video to engage connections in conversation can be a powerful tool to reach new leads.
Video is not a place for a sales pitch. Instead, share stories from your life or lessons you learned recently. Video doesn’t have to be fancy or heavily edited. Instead, video shot on your phone with minimal editing can make it more personable.
Video should be kept under two to three minutes.
Video doesn’t need to always need to be on your subject matter expertise, but it should be something targeted at your customer avatar. For instance, you can share a brief story of a person who inspired you to found your company one day or a lesson you’ve learned on your journey and the next day share a video covering the 3 top tips to solve X problem related to your technology.
Use headlines and text
Create a longish caption for your video similar to what you would create for a LinkedIn article (see above). Start with a clickable headline and use relevant hashtags or tag relevant people as needed.
5. Connect and engage with your target audience
LinkedIn is a fantastic place to connect directly with your target customer, especially for people with a B2B company.
To message or not to message
Some experts say you should message every single person you connect with and others say a personalized message doesn’t matter. While you could go either way, make sure that you aren’t delivering a sales pitch every time you connect with a potential customer. Instead, say something like “Looking forward to having you in my network and learning from you!” Always be helpful and build the relationship first, and let the connection organically move to a sale.
Be a good community member
Since LinkedIn values likes and comments, engage with posts from your community. Take a few minutes each day to comment or like a connection’s recent post. LinkedIn doesn’t show all of your connections’ or 2nd connections’ posts in your news feed, so searching by topic or even by person can help you find good customer content to comment on.
While it’s always great to engage with other people in your specific industry, make sure that at least some of the content you engage with is posted by potential customers so you can start conversations with them.
Have you been using LinkedIn? Is there anything you would add to this to further drive engagement on the platform?
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WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.