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I get the question all the time: “Should I be on LinkedIn?” If you are a professional of any sort who works or is seeking a job, the answer is always yes.
LinkedIn is all about business communication. The network (soon to be owned by Microsoft (MSFT)) is known for its ability to match job seekers, recruiters, and prospective employers. It is also the preferred place for vendors, suppliers, and prospects to find each other. Consequently, sit is a great place to generate awareness of your brand, be it personal or a business, and to gather leads and increase general digital visibility.
In general, businesses need to have three things in place to succeed on LinkedIn:
Your company page must tell your business story and explain why your business should be seen as a serious candidate for business. Your Company Page needs to:
- Address your target audience personally but professionally
- Contain imagery that’s compelling
- Provide branding consistent with your other online and offline marketing
- Show the people behind the business and who you really are
- Offer a company description that sells
- Use keywords that will aid users who search by topic, industry, and other categories on the platform
- Network of Contacts
LinkedIn regulates how members can connect to each other. You can only connect to people whose invitations you’ve accepted (1st degree connections) or those who are already connected to these people (2nd degree connections). More distant connections can only be contacted if their names are displayed (a function of their own profile settings).
You can also import everyone you know from your email contacts. Don’t invite them into your network in a bulk action. Only add people to your network individually or in small groups. Remember, contacts are relationships so treat them with the proper etiquette.
Plan for Engagement
Achieving influence on social media takes time, patience, and effort. Don’t expect quick results: social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
LinkedIn users expect things to be current and active. Your efforts on LinkedIn should include personal outreach, participation in groups, and publishing status updates and long-form articles. Anything you post on LinkedIn must be informative, not just a concealed sales pitch. If you give value on LinkedIn, you’ll get it back.
Also plan to reach out to people about business-related issues. Messages should be individualized and relevant to your relationship.
Be sure to comment and like other people’s content. When you get prompted endorse connections for their skills. If asked, write recommendations for connections.
About the Author: Jill Kurtz founded Kurtz Digital Strategy to help clients see the communication potential of the newest trends and technologies. She is an expert at website strategy and redesign, social media planning, and developing exceptional content.