It's estimated that LinkedIn has 467 million members (1) so that's a lot of business people and business information in one place. If you can just reach few of those contacts, it could be great for your business.
I use Linked In for lots of different reasons from recruiting to connecting with people I've met and those I want to meet. I also post articles as part of our content marketing strategy and read others' posts to keep me up to date. I'm not a Linked In expert by any means, but here are some tips I've picked up.
1. Personal & company profilesCreate full profiles for both you personally and your company. Keep them both up to date and make sure they're captivating as well as consistent with all the other messaging that your business puts out on its website and social media.
Ensure your personal profile has up to date picture of you that portrays exactly how you want to be seen by your audience. There's loads of advice on online for this type of pic but, personally, I like to see a professional looking shot with a clear view of a happy face.
Make sure your company profile provides a complete yet concise overview of your business optimised with the relevant key words. Make sure your logo and banner images are high quality. Be creative with your banner image - have custom imagery in line with your brand or add words to stand out. Create links to your website to make it even easier to people to find more about you.
Encourage your staff to update their profiles too and share the company content as well as create their own. This will increase the reach of your business even further.
2. Make connections
Find and make connections with people you know as well as those you'd like to know. When making a connection, personalise your message rather than sending the generic request; you get a better chance of making a connection if you do.
Check out who your connections are connecting with and review the people you may know links that come up to keep growing your network.
3. Activity & content
Actively contribute to posts that are consistent with your business, brand and ethos as well as those that your prospective customers may find interesting. Share content that others post as well as creating your own.
You can create your own posts on LinkedIn as well as sharing links back to your own website content but make sure you follow the rules for content marketing (see more on this in our recent blog post What is content marketing?): have a range of great content which is unique, engaging and problem solving for your targeted audience. Of course you'll want to add some direct sales and advertising content, but helpful content will provide more value long term in building relationships.
4. Find & participate in groups
Find groups relevant to your business and ask to join. Actively participate and share information to help build awareness of your brand and business. People will start to remember you if you keep your presence active and continually provide valuable advice, they'll often want to connect with you direct.
5. Technical tips
Make sure your privacy settings are up to date and as open as you need them to be. I want to be found by anyone but I don't necessarily want them seeing all my details unless we have connected. These settings can be found in the menu when you click your profile pic under Settings & Privacy.
In addition turn off the function which enables any profile edits to be updated on your page. You don't need to update your followers every time you make a change to content. You can do this in the exact same place as reviewing your privacy settings, in the Privacy section under Sharing Profile edits.