5 Steps to Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Social networking platforms are an influential and powerful tool for businesses. These networks give you endless ways to market yourself and convey your business’s mission and personality. Most importantly, they give you channels for engaging with your target audience to better understand their needs, build loyalty and encourage the spread of digital word of mouth marketing. With all the possible platforms currently available – and more coming online daily – it can be hard to decide which networks are going to be the most beneficial to your business.

One of the most widely used networking sites by professionals and companies is LinkedIn – and for good reason. LinkedIn users have the potential to be eight times more engaged with your brand, three times more likely to buy your product or service, and two times more likely to recommend your product or service after connecting with you.

Practice What You Preach

In addition to having a solid company page, all employees (especially your leadership team) need to make sure their profiles are a good representation of your company. Individuals who are interested in your personal profile are more than likely going to be likely to search your company’s page and vice versa. Here are five steps to maximizing your personal presence on LinkedIn.

  1. Make an easily searchable and visually appealing personal profile.
  • Take the time and effort to upload a professional looking headshot. The higher quality the picture, the more people will want to view the rest of your profile.
  • Write a compelling headline. It is the first description of your company viewers will see and you want something creative that will hook your viewer. This part gives you 120 characters to produce a readable mini ‘elevator pitch’ about your company. This is also a critical section for using your company’s keywords and demonstrating brand consistency, so it may be best to create a standard template for all employees to use.
  1. Use your profile to showcase everything that doesn’t fit on your other social networks.
  • Focus on your skills. Let the viewers know what makes your business unique and what all you can do for them. LinkedIn has a search algorithm based off of the skills listed.
  • Make sure to highlight specific projects you have worked on, how long you worked on the project and the results that came from your work. Give proof points just as you would on a resume or company portfolio.
  • Upload or link to examples of your work (get as visual as possible with YouTube videos, images, PDFs, Slide Share presentations, etc.).
  • Make sure not to skip any sections when filling out your profile: projects, publications, courses, certifications, patents or volunteering. Every little part of your profile is important and serves as a way to sell your company. The more time you invest in you profile, the more followers you’ll get and the more engaged they’ll be with you AND with your company.
  1. Once you have a thoroughly completed profile you’re ready to show it to the world and connect with other professionals.
  • Make sure you’re connected to your existing professional or personal contacts such as former and current colleagues, former classmates, employees and others in your field. Send a request to someone if you think it’d be beneficial for your business to stay in touch.
  • Try to stick to connecting with those you have personally done business with or know. If you don’t know someone, make sure to check out his or her profile before you send or accept a request. Remember to also be unique with your request message instead of using the standard template LinkedIn provides for you.
  • Make use of the “Get Introduced” tool. This is where you ask a current connection to introduce you to one of their connections. It’s a helpful tool for those who breaking into a new industry or those that may just want to expand their existing network.
  • If you have something specific to discuss you may want to try to meet with them in person through a mutual connection or contact them through another form of social media or email.
  1. Once you’ve got a solid network, use LinkedIn as a tool to build your business.
  • If you’re looking to do business with a company, one of the best ways to get a feel for a company’s culture is by exploring the profiles of current and former employees. This can help you learn how to effectively connect with the company’s leadership team, as well as begin evaluating whether or not they’d be a good fit for a partnership.
  • LinkedIn is also a great tool for recruiting if you’re looking to grow your own company. Be sure to check out potential employees profiles to get a better feel on how they’ll fit into your company and see if they can demonstrate their skillset.
  • LinkedIn makes researching the big players in an industry much easier. See whom you can get to know in a particular field and try to connect with or follow thought leaders.
  • Since people don’t check LinkedIn every day try to stay connect through other forms of communication such as, email or in person.
  1. You need to stay active on your profile.
  • Posting on your profile regularly is a great way to stay top of mind with your connections. There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to posting times, however, a few peak times to post are 7:30 a.m., noon and 5:00 p.m. Test out a few different posting schedules and see which times your audience responds to best.
  • When it comes to what you should post, think about what content you find interesting yourself. You might share how-to’s, best practices, industry news or other content that professionals in your field might enjoy. Don’t forget that your personal profile is also a chance to get your audience even more engaged with your company page. Share behind the scenes photos, company content such as recent work or presentations, and don’t forget to like and share your company’s posts.
  • Continue to connect with people and build your follower base. Like and engage with your connections’ posts. Encourage co-workers and employees to share your posts and connect with mutual followers. You can also increase viewer involvement by posting thought provoking content and asking for your audience’s opinions or feedback.

The LinkedIn profiles of your leadership team and other employees are all part of your company’s online presence, and as such should be considered in your digital marketing plan. Putting all these steps into practice will help you have a more effective profile, which is good for both your own professional networking purposes as well as for supporting your company’s big picture marketing efforts.