LinkedIn is one of the leading social media platform today alongside Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn is currently the 13th most popular website in the world above eBay, Craiglist, ESPN and the photo sharing site Flickr. LinkedIn website has a Google Page Rank of 9, Compete score of 38 and Quantcast ranking of 21 in US. [Related post: How To Research a Website].
It is a no-brainer to realize that LinkedIn should be a very important component in your business online marketing plan.
This week I’m presenting another excellent article from one of the world’s leading LinkedIn experts, Lewis Howes.
I interviewed Lewis about a year ago for my Social Media for Business Interview Series, and Lewis kindly agreed to provide me with a few good fundamental articles about LinkedIn marketing which I could syndicate for my readers.
The first one was 10 Powerful LinkedIn Tips and this second one is called the Top 10 LinkedIn Business Marketing Tips. The article is unedited with my humble comments in [ ]. I did skip the original Justin Timberlake intro though (sorry, Lewis).
So, without further ado, here we go with the second LinkedIn article:
Why LinkedIn Is #1
With the average household income per user hitting $109,000, which is much higher than Twitter, Facebook, and the other social networking power houses, you know you are dealing with people who mean business.
Being that it is the largest business networking site in the world, there is a mindset shift when users log on to LinkedIn compared to logging on their cousin sites, Twitter or Facebook.
The mood changes, the messages are more professional. Conversations are geared toward partnerships and transactions, as opposed to how funny you looked in your birthday pictures, and everything is centered around advancing careers or building businesses.
[Sometimes LinkedIn is referred to as 'Facebook for the Business People'. This is actually quite descriptive.]
LinkedIn Means Business
Everyone talks about the power of Facebook ads (I’m not discounting how dynamic they can be; in fact, I’ve had great success using them myself), but the LinkedIn ad platform is even more powerful considering the demographic is made up of decision makers.
My point being, if you aren’t using this powerful site to market your business yet, then it’s time to start taking it more seriously and step your game up.
There are a number of ways to market yourself and your business online, but here are 10 LinkedIn tips that will drastically increase your marketing potential:
1. Complete Your Profile
Your profile is the heart and soul of your online business brand. It usually ranks in the top 5 of Google search results for “Your First and Last Name”. When others do a search for your name to learn about your product, service, company, or previous work experience, then you’d better have a rock solid profile or that first impression could drastically tarnish your value. Make sure you fill out your profile 100% for starters, then go on from there to make it sexier.
2. Connect With Everyone
A number of LinkedIn newbies or purists will say, “You should only connect with those you already know and trust, so you can make recommendations to others when they want an introduction.” Believe me, I understand where these users are coming from, but how do you expect to expand your opportunities and options when you shut off communication to the rest of the 120 million plus members on LinkedIn?
Think about it, you already know all of the opportunities that your closest connections can share since you talk to them more frequently. It’s time to use LinkedIn like a live networking event and introduce yourself to others, make new friends, and start helping more people connect. Also, start accepting invitations to others who add you, as the more connections you have, the larger your expanded network grows which helps create more opportunities in the long run. Here are six other reasons you should connect with everyone on LinkedIn.
I would also be suspicious with people who don't have a profile picture. LinkedIn is a network for personal professional connections and your mug shot is an integral part of you persona. I suppose social scientists would say that if you don't show your face, you must be hiding something]
3. Customize Your Websites
This is a basic thing that everyone should do. It’s simple. Creating a call to action attracts more attention then having a generic link that says “My website”. Make it look and sound sexier so when people come to your profile they feel inspired to click on your links and go back to your website.
4. Be Compelling
I have a huge knot on my forehead from falling asleep on my desk in mid-browse when looking at LinkedIn profiles. Most of them are extremely boring and showcase zero personality or compelling attributes. Add an interesting story in your summary, have a video recommendation pop up in the first few seconds, or at the least tell people who you are, who you help, and how you help them so there is some direction for people when they land on your profile. Whatever you do, liven it up a little so the bump on my forehead can go away
5. Recommend Others
I’m a firm believer in giving and helping others succeed as much as you possibly can. The more you give, the more you will receive. Recommending others without them asking you to is a great way to help increase the social proof on their profile, which could be the difference between an OK year, and a great year for them.
6. Join Targeted Groups
LinkedIn groups, LinkedIn groups, LinkedIn groups! It doesn’t matter what industry or business you are in, this the part of LinkedIn you should be focusing the most. There are benefits to both joining and being a part of niche-related groups, and also being the owner of them.
I feel blessed to be the owner of many powerful groups. Many have over 10,000 members, and one more than 32,000 members. Think of them as independent social networks where you can spread your message, connect with key partners, and take your business to another level. Want more? Here are my top 10 reasons to start a LinkedIn group.
[LinkedIn Groups are really a fantastic way to connect with likeminded people on the network. You can join up to 50 groups and I'd suggest you use the whole quota. My first LinkedIn Group, Facebook Advertising & Marketing Group just recently reached 100+ members. Feel free to join up!]
7. Connect With Twitter
I sometimes find that I get more comments and interaction on LinkedIn from the same update I published on Twitter. The updates (even when synced from Twitter) seem to “stay on top” longer than they would in your Twitter stream. The more interaction you get, the more others see it as well (it’s similar to Facebook in this regard).
Make sure to connect your Twitter account to LinkedIn. Others talk about why this is bad because a lot of your messaging won’t be targeted for your LinkedIn audience (especially when you use “@” symbols and hashtags), but for the most part, my message is staying at the top of mind for my connections on LinkedIn and for me that’s a powerful thing. Want to clean things up? Just use the #in with a Twitter update and it will sync to your LinkedIn account when there is a specific message you want members to see.
[I can see where the Twitter connection could become a problem. For instance if you are a member of Triberr, as I am you re-tweet a lot of messages from your Tribes, and these might not always gel with your LinkedIn audience. See related post about Triberr and Klout]
8. Add Your Company Profile
LinkedIn is constantly enhancing its platform and one of the things that has been lagging, until recently, was the company page section. Now, it allows you to add a video, share more information about your products and services, and give more insights about your company and the people working there.
[You can search and add your own company here.]
9. Optimize Your Search Ranking
People are constantly searching for others on LinkedIn. They are looking for employee candidates, freelancers, industry experts, and so on. Why not optimize your profile to help you be found and contacted by more people looking for what you specialize in? Wouldn’t it be nice to get a flood of people emailing or calling you to sign up for your services or products? Make sure you increase your ranking on LinkedIn by following these 5 steps.
10. Add Advanced Applications
I love the fact that LinkedIn has rolled out a number of applications to help you promote your business or your personal work better. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, there is an application for everyone that can help you get your message across better, and improve the overall experience of your LinkedIn profile. Go to the applications section on your profile to see which ones you could start using today, and make the most out of the new ones that come out in the future.
[Great tips for all business owners out there how you can use LinkedIn in your marketing. Here is one more tip I have found very useful:]
11. Use the LinkedIn Share Button
Connect your business website or blog to LinkedIn. LinkedIn Share -button lets users share your website with their LinkedIn connections. This will in turn drives traffic back to your site. Get your own LinkedIn Share Button here. A version of this button can be seen just below this article. Why don’t you give it a go?
What is the one tip you received from this post that you think will impact your business the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Also, there are many more business marketing tips out there, and I’d love your input below as to what YOUR most powerful LinkedIn tip is.
[Image: LinkedIn Headquarters in Mountain View, California. Image source: Google Maps, street view]