LinkedIn isn’t the stuffy CV brochure that it used to be.
It has evolved into a lively network of people sharing ideas, information and knowledge related to their industries and specialisms.
For a small business it’s a place to broaden your circle of influence, find new clients and learn from others. You can demonstrate your expertise through your posts and your interactions with others. Use it to connect with others in your industry and promote your events. After all, the professionals on LinkedIn are still humans, and therefore could become your potential clients too.
This blog looks at how you can post on LinkedIn to raise your profile, to network and to make your business more visible to others.
Who….optimising your profile on LinkedIn
Here, I’m talking about your personal profile. You can add a business page too but we’ll look at that in another blog.
Firstly, choose an appropriate profile picture (not one of your dog!) and add a cover banner that reflects your profession and/or industry. You could include a visual of an upcoming event on the cover banner and change it on a regular basis (Canva has a template for the banner in the correct dimensions).
Then add a headline using up to 120 characters – use this to highlight your specialism and your industry.
In the summary section you have up to 2000 characters to give more detail about your experience, your skills and what you can offer a potential employer or client. Look at the profiles of other people in your industry. What key terms are they using, are they applicable to you too? Talk about how you and your business can help other members – you want to attract people to you.
Complete the profile section including details of your work history, your education, languages etc. Focus not just on how great you are in your business, but instead on the benefits you offer.
Try to keep your summary punchy, to-the-point and interesting.
The Instagram search algorithm favours profiles which are fully complete so if you want to be found by others, fill in as much of your profile as you can, and if it prompts you to add more, it’s better to make sure you do it.
Is your profile complete? Even if you think it is, I challenge you to look at 2 profiles of people in your industry to see what they are doing differently, and also to look at 2 friends to see what they have done with theirs – we can learn from everyone!
Who…to connect with on LinkedIn
Now you need to start connecting with others. Start with people you know through this page and through other groups on Facebook or networking groups you attend. When you’re inviting someone to connect with you it’s always nicer I think to add a note if you can, by way of introduction.
If you have regular clients you might want to connect with them too. After all, it’s a networking platform, and that means building relationships with your clients and potential clients.
But it’s also about building your visibility and influence. So have a search for thought leaders or influencers in your industry. You don’t have to connect with them (unless you already know them well of course!). LinkedIn allows you to ‘follow’ them instead which means you’ll see their posts in your feed and can like/comment etc.
See who other industry players are following and follow them too.
Hashtags are used on LinkedIn posts to group key themes. Use keywords for your industry/product in the search box to find people and posts relevant to them.
Posts from those you follow will appear in your feed, allowing you to comment, like and share. By doing this you’ll become more visible to others.
Did you know you can follow hashtags?
Type #yourkeyword into the search bar and it’ll list all of the relevant hashtags. Click follow in the box on the right and posts including that hashtag will appear in your feed.
How to post on LinkedIn
The LinkedIn algorithm behaves in a similar way to the Facebook and Instagram algorithms. It looks at your posts and decides if they are interesting and relevant enough to be shared. The algorithm will review the likes, comments and shares you get when it’s initially posted and either share it with more or less people as a result. So you want to make sure your image, headline and time of posting are all spot on and encourage people to click and react.
• Ensure your post is relevant to your audience
• Is it interesting enough that people will want to share it?
• Will it annoy or offend?
Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform. Posts that are career related, about your industry or talking about work life will perform better than some of the more lighthearted posts seen on other social media channels.
Sharing other peoples’ posts, recommending others and joining in conversations will all help your posts be seen by more people.
Use a handful of hashtags with your post to expose it to those following each hashtag. Don’t overdo it though – half a dozen or so is usually enough.
If you want a particular person to see a post because you just know they’ll benefit from it and engage with it, then tag them in your post. Don’t be too excessive though – that’s spammy.
When should I post?
It’s a business based platform so there is a school of thought that suggests between 9-5 is best, especially lunchtime. But there are studies that show decision makers using the platform at 8pm. You know your audience best. Think about when they are likely to be online and try a number of different times to see what works. Or create a post to ask them!
How do I know if it’s working?
If you’re on the website version of LinkedIn, under your profile picture on the left you’ll see the number of people who have viewed your profile, number of post views and how many articles have been saved. There are more stats available but these are a good start. Try and do things differently and see how these numbers are affected.
Your audience is your audience, they all behave differently. So monitor the results of your posts and identify what is working for you, then do more of it.
Can other people see when I look at their profile?
Yes, if you’re in visible mode. In your profile settings go to ‘profile viewing options’. You can choose to be visible or view in private mode. If you select private mode other people won’t be able to see that you have looked at their profile – but in turn the system won’t let you see who has viewed your profile. If you choose to be visible, you will be able to see details of who has looked at your profile as long as they are visible too.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful? I’d love to hear if you have you done things differently on LinkedIn after reading this, and what changes you have seen as a result? Let me know in the comments box below here…
And why not connect with me? I’m Paula Goude on LinkedIn. I’d love to get to know you better.