LinkedIn is a highly powerful tool, when you know how to use it and how it can benefit your brand. LinkedIn is the largest professional social network online and every professional and business owner regardless of industry or type of business should have a professional and company LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn provides an opportunity to build relationships with potential customers, clients, partners and peers. It allows you to tap into a powerful audience that you can engage, interact with and influence. It can be used as part of your sales, marketing and recruitment strategy. Here are our top tips on how to use LinkedIn to establish personal and company brand credibility.
Enhance your connectability through a complete LinkedIn profile.A complete profile enhances both your personal and company brand credibility. You should fill out your profile like it’s your CV or executive bio – include past positions and companies, education, affiliates, skills, activities etc. Also reach out to your network and ask for recommendations and join groups relevant to your business as well as groups where your potential customers might be. If you are a business owner and your individual profile stands out, it will encourage people to check out your website or look at your company LinkedIn page also – so your individual profile page is highly important.
Incorporate LinkedIn with other online marketing strategies. For example, promote your blog through LinkedIn using an application called Blog link by Type Pad. This way, visitors to your profile can read your blogs directly and in turn this could drive traffic to your site. You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit here is people can see your credentials directly. Don’t forget to mention your LinkedIn profile on your website also and provide the option for visitors to share information via LinkedIn directly.
Commit to regular and relevant status updates. Use the status bar frequently so you can share useful information and engage with your network. Strive to be visible and valuable during business hours when many people are actually on LinkedIn. Your status updates should add value to your target markets and be updated two to three times daily. You might want to attach articles via LinkedIn, announce an interesting conference, recommend a book or website that you find interesting etc.
Use applications and other tools to get the most out LinkedIn. Our favorite applications are: BlogLink, Company Buzz, WordPress and the LinkedIn Today function. A combination of these tools works brilliantly, for not only profiling, but also keeping on top of the latest news and industry trends.
Improve your Google ranking and enhance your search engine results. LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you or your company. To do this, when you create a public profile select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google.
In summary, LinkedIn can significantly raise your personal and brand credibility resulting in new business. LinkedIn is becoming a key reference tool to check the credentials of individuals and companies and therefore it must be high on your marketing agenda along with your website and other online initiatives. Like any initiative, you need to invest time and effort into it for you to see the benefits. Once you do this, you will see significant business results. We are testimony to this as we have won new business through our own participation on LinkedIn!