Few people underestimate the value of LinkedIn. Most high school students even have an account as the start to build their professional persona. But LinkedIn is different from other social media sites, and how to leverage it effectively can be a mystery.
On their site, LinkedIn gives some helpful tips such as:
Keeping your profile up to date because people like to know who they are doing business with
Fill out 100% of the fields within the profile
Let your personality show! Authenticity is key.
Link your employees' sites to the organization’s site. Let your customers know who is part of the team.
Define your goals and audience
Pay attention to your SEO
Promote your page in newsletters and emails to grow your followers
Publish engaging content
Use the analytics
But these are all the same as the advice on every other platform. And still, success on LinkedIn seems elusive. So let's look at some of these tips further.
For many social media sites, popular videos are about 3 minutes long; just the perfect amount of time to distract you from work or life. However, people go to LinkedIn for different reasons. It is not used as a time-waster or escape. It is used to build your portfolio, increase your network and learn. Because of this, engaging content might be a 30-60 minute webinar or roundtable. On LinkedIn, you can find coaching sessions, consultations and free ebooks. This would be considered high-value content for LinkedIn.
Build Up Others
On LinkedIn and in life, helping others is not only good karma, it usually serves you well. Promoting other accounts and content firms up your network. This is why people network. They want to get something in return. Ever go to a face-to-face networking event to only find that everyone there wants you to promote them to your friends but they do not do the same for you. Exactly. So boosting other accounts’ posts by sharing and engaging will get you to show up in their network. You do not even have to ask them to share yours. However, social media has really changed the way we network. The above face-to-face scenario is less likely on social media because everyone knows the algorithms!
Tone-deaf is now a term used in marketing. A company’s messaging can be seen as tone-deaf when they post as if it is business as usual but a large part of their community is suffering. This is not only a bad human move, it is a bad business move. More and more people are shopping with their values. Showing empathy might be a post acknowledging the hardship/tragedy of others, or it might be simply posting a muted and subdued post or not posting at all that day. This will depend on your brand, of course.
Yes, you have to post about your successes. But no, it is not a weakness to share failures and lessons learned. Every piece of advice regarding branding says to be authentic. No one. NO ONE is perfect. This does not mean you share every time your company makes a mistake, but rather when you have an ah-ha moment when you learn something that others can learn from, when your company matures, sing it from the mountain top. We used to do this, but now we do this. It is a bit of a subtle brag, but it is also honest, modest and helpful to others.
LinkedIn is not the place for pics of your dog unless she is the CEO of the company. It is a place for you and your network to share professional tips, advice and information.