These days, LinkedIn is overflowing with content. There are more users and more choices than ever before, but also more noise and sales pitches. These factors, along with algorithm changes, make it harder to stand out on merit alone or gain wide exposure simply by having a large network.
Yet LinkedIn remains one of the best places to get noticed, build your reputation and grow your business. It’s often the first place people look when they want to know more about you. Whether you’re in business, planning a career move or want to be seen as an industry expert, knowing the rules of the game can help you take advantage of all the benefits this powerful business network has to offer.
Here are our top 3 tips for using LinkedIn effectively:
Whether you’re a prolific publisher or only write an occasional post or article, remember to leave your ego at the door and write for your audience. It’s ok to share a win every now and then, but always focusing on yourself is a big turnoff to your network – ultimately damaging your reputation and encouraging people to unfollow.
Whilst LinkedIn is a business network, it’s also a social platform – so use it as it was designed to be used:
- Participate in discussions
- Share your knowledge
- Share others’ content
- Acknowledge others’ successes
- Offer help
Often the impact of your posts and articles is as much about the language as the subject. Your audience will quickly form an opinion of you based on the words you use – so make sure the ones you choose feel natural and express your message clearly. Industry terms and jargon have their place, but use them selectively: it’s great to demonstrate your knowledge but if your audience doesn’t understand or it doesn’t enhance your message you’ll look like you’re showing off.
Be precise and concise: your audience’s time valuable, and their attention span is short. Numerous messages are competing for their attention, so make every point count – is it relatable? Useful? Does it provide a solution or benefit?
Get familiar with the most common keywords and hash tags in your industry, and use them every time you post. If your audience is looking for an expert, they’ll be more likely to find you.
I’m often asked, ‘should I have a profile photo?’ The short answer is yes, always!
First impressions still matter and we all want to connect with a person, not a generic placeholder graphic or company logo. But make sure it’s good quality – blurry or dark shots, or an image cropped from your last wedding or Christmas party snap are worse than no photo at all.
Quality images also play an important role in your posts. Generally speaking, posts with an image attract more engagement, but don’t let that stop you publishing a well worded text only post – sometimes this can be just as powerful, especially when the newsfeed is crowded with image posts.
With over 500 million members, LinkedIn remains one of the biggest and most influential social media networks for business worldwide. The high volume of content may have made it more challenging to be seen by your target audience, but it is possible to cut through the clutter by being more strategic in your approach and staying true to the platform’s purpose as a social platform. Being a contributor rather than a broadcaster is the most effective way to get noticed, be recognised as an expert and grow your business or career.
Megan Edwards is the owner of mWords Communications, a boutique content marketing, social media and training company. She has over 20 years’ experience in marketing communications, and currently specialises in consulting, copywriting and leading LinkedIn Strategy workshops for small business owners and corporates.