LinkedIn – the untapped social media marketing (networking) tool
Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
They’re all tools you’re probably quite familiar with and using in your business communications and social media marketing efforts.
But, what about LinkedIn?
Are you leveraging LinkedIn as well?
If you’re anything like many of the business owners I speak to – your answer is ‘probably not’.
At least not to the extent you’re using other social media technologies.
If that sounds like you – then you MUST keep reading.
Because your leaving money on the table. And lots of it!
While LinkedIn is less ‘social’ and doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles as some of the other social media platforms – don’t let that turn you off.
If your target market is B2B or B2C, or you’re looking out for potential JV or alliance partners, then you’ll want to make sure you have an optimised LinkedIn profile and are using the networking tools and resources LinkedIn offers.
Still not convinced?
Here are some interesting (and compelling) facts and stats about LinkedIn to further confirm that LinkedIn should play an important role in your networking and business building efforts:
- 45% of people on LinkedIn are considered key decision makers (in comparison to Facebook and Twitter with only 24-29%)
- LinkedIn has the highest average household income of $109,000 per person, topping all other social media sites
- People on LinkedIn are far more focused on business and networking than in comparison to other social media sites
- 3 out of 4 people use LinkedIn for everything business, from keeping up on trends to reading business news
- 64% agree that LinkedIn helps develop relationships and grow new business
- People are two times more confident in the information found on LinkedIn than any other social media site
- A new member joins LinkedIn every second – half of these people are outside of the United States
Another study recently completed by WebMarketing 123 confirmed that:
- 44.6% of business generated B2B leads through LinkedIn
- 12% of businesses generated B2C leads through LinkedIn
What would it mean to you and your business if you could capture a portion of the 56.6% of new business leads being generated on LinkedIn?
Before you hastily set up your LinkedIn profile, there are a few of key areas you’ll need to spend some time on to make sure your profile stands out from the crowd.
Here they are:
LinkedIn Tip 1: Build a Strong and Enticing Headline
With over 135 million people on LinkedIn (and growing daily) means that you want to make sure your Headline is informative and outcome focused.
You only have 120 characters in which to showcase your expertise and compel someone to reach out and connect with you.
Many people tend to put their job title as their headline.
Would the job title ‘Business Coach’ or ‘Personal Branding Strategist’ compel you to connect with me?
Of course it wouldn’t.
But what if I wrote this?
Makes a difference doesn’t it?
I know that my target market’s desire is to get noticed, hired and paid what they’re worth so this headline will instantly catch their attention.
Here are some things to think about as you craft your headline:
- What makes you unique? Can you incorporate wording from your Signature Brand and Brand Message into your headline phrase?
- What do you help your clients achieve?
- What keywords can you include so that you show up when people are searching for someone with a specialty in your field so that you’ll rank high in the search results?
LinkedIn Tip 2: Use a Professional Photo
While this may seem blatantly obvious, I am constantly surprised (no, horrified) at the images people use as their profile photo.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, LinkedIn has a firm policy that requires your photo to be a professional headshot of yourself.
Not a picture of you and your beloved pet (or spouse); you relaxing at your favourite holiday destination; or your logo.
Your LinkedIn profile is part of your brand communications and therefore must be as professional as possible. Invest in a professional photographer who specialises in corporate shots.
When I had my professional portraits taken, the package included a session with a professional makeup artist before the shoot. She applied foundation used specifically for professional stills and videos as standard foundation just wouldn’t have done the picture justice.
My advice would be to find a professional photographer who also works with a professional makeup artist to help you prepare. Pamper yourself.
You’ll be glad you did when you see your final images, looking like a million dollars!
After all, a picture says a thousands words. What do you want your picture to say about you?
LinkedIn Tip 3: Build a Powerful Professional Profile
You’ve sparked someone’s interest with a strong headline, now you want to follow that up with a powerful professional profile.
Here are some tips to help you:
- Make sure you use a tone and style of writing that suits your personality. Speak as if you were meeting the person for the very first time and they had just asked you to share a little more about yourself.
- Write in first person – not third person. When reading profiles written in third person, to me it comes across as being cold and unapproachable. You don’t want to sound unfriendly. Instead, you want people to feel as if they are connecting with you and getting to know you better. After all, people do business with people they know, like and trust.
- Incorporate relevant keywords so that your profile will be amongst the results shown when people are performing a search for experts and potential connections.
I performed a search for Personal Branding Strategist in Australia and was number 1 out of 112 people.
That’s because I sprinkled the keyword Personal Branding Strategist throughout my professional profile.
And, in a global search, I came 5th out of 4,217 people. With a little tweaking I could increase that, however I’m happy with the result and know that people would read more about me when searching globally for a Personal Branding Strategist as my details are above the fold.
Building a powerful online presence is very important, especially if you want to build your reputation as an authority so that you can dominate your niche online.
Follow the above strategies and you’ll be well on your way to building a professional profile on LinkedIn, ready and waiting for potential customers and JV partners to find and connect with you.
Was this helpful? If you already have an existing profile on LinkedIn, what changes are you going to make sure your profile stands out? Let me know in the comment box below. It’s always great to hear from you.
By the way, here’s my LinkedIn profile. Let’s connect! And, if you’re struggling to create a powerful LinkedIn profile as well as leveraging the tools that LinkedIn offers and would like some support and coaching on this – let me know. It’s something we specialise in!
Till next time, stay inspired.
Interesting LinkedIn facts and you are really covering the important steps you need to consider to enhance your results on LinkedIn.
Thanks Mattias, glad you found the article helpful! LinkedIn is certainly a tool that many people and small business leave untapped. Hopefully this article will give them the inspiration they need to start leveraging their LinkedIn presence and connections.
Great tips, Annemarie! I learned something new from Linkedin Tip 3 about writing in the 1st person. I should go and try that. Thanks for the informative post!
Hi Delia, great to hear you found the tips helpful. As a former professional resume writer we would always write bios and LinkedIn profiles in third person, however in hindsight, I really believe first person provides greater engagement. I know when reading profiles in first person, it feels as if I’m having a conversation with that person, whereas third person has me feeling quite distant.
Great blog Post Annemarie, especially about the headline! I am not sure about the use of 1st person in your summary, since usually resumes are written in 3rd person, as far as I remember. I have not written a resume in a long time so things may have changed. However, it is worth a try to see if it makes a difference, I won’t know until I try.
Hi Sherry, glad you found the post helpful. As a former Career Coach and Professional Resume Writer we would write resumes in first person, however drop the pronoun ‘I’, which made for more snappier writing. If writing a one-page bio, we would write this in third person as this document was often used in company profile statements etc. After reading hundreds of profiles on LinkedIn (and crafting them for my clients), the ones that really stood out for me and which I felt really connected to, were the ones that were written in first person. I felt as if that person were speaking directly to me. It was then that I completely revamped my own profile (and that of my clients), and I’d have to say – it made a significant difference. As did weaving their own brand voice throughout the profile. I was also one of the judges for Career Directors International (Professional Association for Resume Writers/Career Coaches) TORI (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award, and the LinkedIn profiles that stood out for me, were the ones written in first person. Anyway, let me know how you go!
Sherry, if I can give my 2 cents, I think that the Linkedin profile can be viewed as way more than a resume. Linkedin is a social media site, so you can be very creative with the information that you provide and craft it in such a way to say more about you than just your employment history or accomplishments.
For creative headlines, please see this blog post that I wrote a while ago for ideas that might help: http://www.eosgrafx.com/blog/?p=420
As you very well put it, it’s worth a try to update it and see if it helps 🙂
Hi Delia, I totally agree. Your LinkedIn profile is much more than your resume so you can be more creative in your approach. Love the suggestions you make in your article. When working with clients and taking them through their personal branding process, the information we gather can look fantastic when incorporated into their headline/brand statement. And, by incorporating some benefits and value they offer a potential client (or employer for examples) makes for a very powerful statement.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your wisdom – appreciated!
Thanks for a great, readable and practical piece.
I guess I have some homework to do. You hit the nail on the head. Yes I have LinkedIn and NO I’m not using it to it’s potential. No one has been able to tell me the value of it, let alone how to maximize that unknown value.
Looks like I have found the Christmas week project that I knew would surface!
Hi Michael, glad you found the article informative. In the last few week’s I’ve been speaking to so many people that don’t realise the benefits of LinkedIn, which is what inspired me to write the article. Looking forward to seeing your enhanced profile! Are we connected on LI as well? Do make sure you send me an invite, won’t you! Best!
Important facts Annemarie. I’ve signed up with LinkedIn few months ago and never took time to learn about it. After getting invited in the last couple of weeks and reading these guidelines here, I am going to revamp my profile and put some time into building it. Thanks for this handy guidelines.
Wonderful to hear Claudia – looking forward to connecting with you on LinkedIn as well!
Great information! I am motivated!
Wonderful Denny – hope to see and connect with you on LinkedIn too!
Thank you Annemarie! Great info. and facts on ‘Linked In”…must action this…Thanks, Hughie 🙂
You’re welcome Hughie – glad you found the tips helpful! *See* you on LinkedIn!
Great post Annemarie, as always:)
Thanks AJ – the article seem to have inspired quite a few people, which is great! LinkedIn certainly is a fantastic tool for relationships building.
Annemarie, brilliant article! Thank you so much for sharing these tips with us!
You’re so very welcome Anastasiya – glad you enjoyed the article!
Thank you! I really needed this Annemarie! So helpful!! 🙂
Annemarie — you hit this one out of the Ball Park! AGAIN!
Thank you for the article and pushing me to get in gear!
My pleasure Phillis. Glad you found the article inspiring!! I’ve been spending more time on LinkedIn for some time now and have been able to forge some great relationships, which has ultimately turned into business. It’s definitely a great tool!
Oh – yes it is — and I’ve only just begun . . . BTW thank you for the comments on my Launch Page (from IAWBC Forum) . . . I am updating now and yes, it flows a lot better!
Thank you again!
Wonderful!! Also, my pleasure regarding the comments on your Launch Page – so glad you found them helpful!!
This is such great information, Annemarie. I am always looking for good pointers on effective use of LinkedIn, so I really enjoyed reading this!
My personal plan for 2012 includes reducing the number of groups I’m involved in and interacting more in just a few of them where I’ve made some excellent professional contacts. I think my biggest lesson of 2011 has been that skimming across the surface of a lot of social media sites is not an effective use of time or the tools. LinkedIn is definitely one of the best online venues for building professional relationships.
Thanks so much for the great pointers!
Hi Jayna, you hit the nail on the head. I think it’s important to be proactive and build quality relationships on fewer places, than it is to try and be everywhere, yet because of limited time, not build those meaningful relationships. It’s something I’ll be looking at doing next year as well! Thanks for stopping by!
Janya, thanks for pointing out the reduction Linkedin groups membership. At one point, I was in so many groups that I could barely keep up with processing email notification from them, not to mention any participation. That did not help me at all to engage and get to know anybody, which is the purpose of connecting in the first place, right?
I then looked thoroughly at all groups and left the ones I did not need, which helped me be more focused on the ones that I wanted to follow.
Annemarie, thanks for this great post, it generated so much interest!
You’re so welcome Delia. Thanks for sharing your feedback on LI groups so. You must have felt liberated not having to manage so many groups etc!
These are interesting facts about Linked in. I never knew it had so much potential. I think this will be an eye opener for many people who took it for granted.