If you’re like most Internet users out there, you probably think of LinkedIn as the world’s largest career-oriented social network. With 161 million members and hundreds of thousands of job opportunities listed every year, this would indeed be an accurate description of the company. What you may not realize, though, is that LinkedIn can be far more than just a networking site for job seekers. In fact, for many professionals, it is arguably the premier social network for personal branding in a professional environment. Here are three easy ways to get LinkedIn to work for you:
1) Showcase Your Content
LinkedIn provides a great opportunity for you to share your content on the web. Aside from simply posting content as a status update, as you would on Facebook or Twitter, though, give your content an extra boost by using a few additional methods:
- Post to Groups: LinkedIn Groups are a powerful way to interact with other professionals with similar interests as yourself. Join groups based on your industry and affiliations and post your original content to your groups’ “Discussions” section. Ask for feedback and use your posts as a springboard for deeper conversations.
- Link to Your Blog: Most major blogging platforms provide an application to display your most recent posts on LinkedIn. Go to the “Applications” section under the “More” tab on your LinkedIn profile, find the app provided by your blogging platform, install and you’re done. Your profile will then automatically update whenever you have a new blog post.
- Share Presentations: Create a SlideShare account to host your presentations and use the SlideShare for LinkedIn app to display them on your profile. SlideShare presentations also support YouTube videos, making them a great way to add video content to your LinkedIn page. Additionally, you can also use links in your presentations to drive traffic to conversion pages on your website.
2) Improve Your Personal SEO
Because of the way LinkedIn indexes its pages for search engines, it is the most powerful social network for search engine optimization. Do a web search for your name and company to see for yourself; LinkedIn profiles frequently appear in top search results. There are three key areas in your LinkedIn profile to focus on if you’d like to improve your SEO for people who might be searching for someone with your skill set: Headline, Summary, and Skills and Expertise. Make sure that the copy you use in all three of these places reflects the keywords people would use most often to discover you.
3) Highlight Your Expertise
LinkedIn Groups (mentioned above) are a great way to show off your expertise by participating in relevant discussions, but there is another LinkedIn service that is often overlooked and arguably an even better method: LinkedIn Answers. Set up in a familiar Q&A format, LinkedIn Answers represents an opportunity for you to provide value to people looking for specific information. In many cases, folks asking questions are right at the purchase consideration point of looking for products or services. This can be a sweet spot for you to be in if you’re what they’re looking for.
Regardless, answering questions relevant to your industry is also a fabulous way to establish credibility and thought-leadership in your industry. While providing valuable information to the inquiry should be your first line of business, don’t be afraid to promote your offerings as well in the context of the answer. To find questions that you’re most suited to answer, simply visit LinkedIn Answers and perform an advanced search for topics you can speak to.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but these actions are a good place to start when looking to get more out of your LinkedIn presence. For even more ideas on how to put together an awesome LinkedIn profile, check out our free recorded webinar, LinkedIn for your Business.
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