LinkedIn is a powerful promotional tool and a lot can be achieved with only basic (free) membership and a company page. While I will be tackling the premium plans and how they elevate your presence on LinkedIn in later editions of this guide, it is important to show that your free account is still a perfectly powerful tool to market yourself and even your business more than adequately. This article is a follow up to my Networking Tips article and it focuses on starter tips and guidelines of what you can do to get the most out of LinkedIn while greatly increasing your own and your company footprint in business and industry related social networking environment. I cannot stress enough that this applies equally to a fresh college graduate equally as it does to a small business, and even to a massive multi-national corporation.
Undisputed #1 habit in my opinion is to Share Content Frequently. It is imperative to be active and to make your presence known. It costs nothing but a few minutes a day to share even the most mundane news link and in return it keeps your company and/or personal presence active on hundreds and eventually thousands of LinkedIn member pages. While it is not necessary to create content daily it is highly recommended to do so at least a few times a week. It has been statistically proven that higher activity rate has strong correlation with increased promotional returns, and significantly higher click-through rates and engagement rates. Interestingly enough this again applies to business pages equally as it does to job seekers. Below is a list of some of the things you can share and a few tips and tracks on how to do it effectively:
SHARE NEWS – Re-posting and/or linking current or active, subject or theme focused content is a good way to keep the page updates flowing but it also tells your audience that you are aware of happenings around you and in the industry This in turn makes you look engaged with, and knowledgeable about current events.
Furthermore, thought provoking pieces are good conversations starters and comment instigators which in turn allows you to share your own opinions, conclusions, and sides to a story thus quickly creating valuable Expert Content. More on Expert Content later in Brand & Personal Promotion article of this series.
SHARE PARTNER/FOLLOWER/CLIENT CONTENT – It’s important to make sure that you share content other than your own. Posting only self-produced content can make it can seem as if your LinkedIn presence is purely self-promotional. However, if you share relevant content from other sources, your personal profile and especially the company page will seem more centered around your audience’s needs instead of your own. This will build trust among your audience while improving your page’s traffic, as readers will visit your page for critical business and industry information, and showing interest in clients and audiences can create a stronger promotional footprint.
It is important to remember that most of the “audience” on your company page is and should be clients, current, potential, or otherwise. Thus, sharing their content will certainly let everyone know that you are all about satisfying the needs of your clients which is a major reputation builder in any industry if you ask me.
SHARE AFFILIATE/SUBSIDIARY PAGE CONTENT – Cross promotion on LinkedIn is quite easily its most powerful free advertisement tool. Presenting information from and across all of your pages such as personal page, main company page, affiliated page and even showcase pages exposes the content to a far greater reach and it adds new dimension to the news feed of each page making them more attractive to audiences at large. Cross promotion/sharing is a great way to grab attention of audience segments who are normally interested in one but not all of the things you do to widen their interests in your products/services.
Key thing to remember here is that even though you may own 3-4 businesses (read: business pages), each of those pages has certain follower segments which are not following your other ventures/pages and in some cases are not connected to you. Cross sharing your own content is an opportunity to create a content intersection where all of your audiences can meet and find interests and factors which will convince them to follow all of your content sources, and even create a connection with you.
SHARE OFFICIAL COMPANY NEWS – Patting yourselves on the back from time to time on LinkedIn is a great way to make followers and audience aware of certain company achievements and successes. This builds confidence and trust into the company as well and signals success to potential clients. Project Completions, New Product or Service launches, New Contracts, and more are all great ways or building credibility with the greater audience.
When I say “from time to time” in the paragraph above, I really mean that you should take ANY opportunity to showcase the success of your business, or personal success, but without making it seem like spam to those viewing your feed. No matter how good you are at something, or how well you finished a project, or created a product, there is a limit of how many times people want to see you in their feed. Question that most people will be asking themselves at this point is, how many times should I do it then? While on the internet you can find countless takes on this which give either an exact number or a specific range I personally recommend gauging this type of activity on your own.
As I told a friend of mine who is a house painter. You don’t need to post photos of every shade of white coat you apply to a wall. At some point it’ll become just white paint to most eyes. Post those jobs once every so often, but every time you do something creative, something you’re really proud of, or something that you know will instantly grab attention, post it as soon as you can.
In the end, it may require a little bit of a trial and error to figure out what the perfect frequency is, but you will always be the best judge of it.
If you embrace this type and frequency of content sharing, you should also adhere to a few rules of thumb because of the frequency of creating and publishing “daily” updates:
Keep your updates short and sweet. Use a simple, (catchy if possible) title with an interesting image and a concise lead sentence in order to encourage content engagement. The goal is to get the reader to understand the meaning of the post at a glance. This leads to a lot more time spent on reading the actual posts and increased number of click-throughs (CT’s) on your pages.
Incorporating pictures and videos into posts is a great way to capture readers’ attention. When a picture or infographic is attached to a post, CT rates increase up to 120%. Videos are growing in popularity as well. Short videos are a great way to get a quick message, while longer videos work to spread awareness of an event or a product, or to explain a particular aspect or process in your products or services.
Another very popular and attractive method of creating appealing content is to add infographics to it or deliver your whole post as a infographic. One thing of note here is that when it comes to infographics I suggest using simple single page, easy to understand types in “daily” post feeds, featuring just a handful of content points. Larger numbers and more complex infographics are better served in articles or expert posts (more on that later).
All of the above mentioned tips and tricks are focused on how to deliver content, but the real question is where does this content come from and how and what types of content should you create to get the most proverbial “bang for the buck”. The answer to that question is steeped a bit more in brand and image promotion on LinkedIn and to a degree on any digital media platform. So, I will be discussing content creation and types as a part of my Brand & Personal Promotion article coming in May.
If you have any questions, comments, ideas, or would like to learn more about getting the most out of LinkedIn as a recent graduate, job seeker, or a professional looking to market yourself or your business, you can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or 337.412.5452.
You can also connect with me on LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/igoromerbegovic,
Or Instagram: @igor_omerbegovic