It is often thought that Linkedin was launched as a recruitment tool. In fact, its origins lie firmly in the networking world. The mission statement itself states “connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”. However, given the talent on show, it did become synonymous with job hunting and recruitment. Over the past 18 months, largely since we have been unable to meet face-to-face, Linkedin has firmly reverted to its origins. It is now one of the most important professional tools you can use in business for 5 compelling and simple reasons.
It is your professional profile
To make the most of Linkedin you need to move beyond thinking of your personal profile as an online copy of your CV. It is far more than that. It reflects your professional persona. Linkedin allows you to create a profile that reflects your academic and professional strength but also shows your personality. Two important profile areas to spend time and effort on are your Headline and About sections. And remember that profiles with professional headshots get 14x more views than those without.
You can showcase your brand
Your professional profile allows you to showcase “Brand You”. Your brand is all about how you want to be perceived by others. It is not simply a longer description of where you have worked or what you have worked on. The About section (and you have up to 2000 characters to play with) allows you to give detail about the best bits of what you stand for. It is an authentic description of your professional presence and how you are perceived. Think carefully about how you want to promote yourself. Think about your own unique skills, experience, and personality. Then let people know about them to help them get to know you as a professional.
Harness the power of SEO
This is something that many people just don’t consider. But Linkedin is often overlooked as a vital asset in strengthening both an individual and a company’s SEO. The platform has its own SEO capabilities and by optimising your profile (and your company page) it will be indexed and appear in search. This is relatively straight forward to do. Make sure you complete your profile and include the keywords that you want to be ranked for. Remember to ensure that your settings are edited to make your profile visible. A company page can rank as strongly as a website on Linkedin with less of the SEO work involved.
Networking is key to success
In a world where face-to-face contact and events are limited to online, the power of Linkedin as a networking tool has become huge. Connect with people you know and are relevant to you and you will find the content on your feed becomes far more engaging. You will also have visibility of your connections professional networks which can help you expand your own. Post regularly (at least once a week) on your own profile, get involved in groups and use the platform to talk to people you know and trust. Comment and share your connections posts.
Research and gain critical insights
The benefit of Linkedin as a tool for research and insights is huge. You can see if the content you are posting, and sharing is of interest to others and if not revise your strategy. But you can also see what others are posting and sharing including competitors and other companies of interest. This is a really key way of keeping your finger on the pulse in your industry. You can gain valuable insights into the activities of individuals and companies but also customers and potential customers. And you don’t need to connect with everyone, this is best kept for networking. By simply following an individual or company you will see their posts and articles on your homepage.
In my view, those are the simple reasons to use Linkedin. If you aren’t on it, then get started. If you are, make sure you are using it consistently. Build a strong network and remember that activity means visibility. And if you have any questions we’d love to hear from you.