We regularly attend PRCA training sessions to stay up to date with all the latest advice and industry knowledge so that we can continue to provide a high level of service to our clients.
With LinkedIn boasting over 810 million members globally, the world’s largest B2B platform is the place to be for professionals. However, with the volume of profiles and posts shared on platforms globally every day, the challenge is how to stand out from the crowd. Focusing on just this issue, the PRCA’s recent session entitled “LinkedIn for PR and Personal Branding” held by Chris Lee was full of top tips for getting the most out of the platform on your personal account.
Perfect your Profile
Whether you use the free version of LinkedIn or pay for the Premium version of the platform, your profile is your space to shine. To optimise your profile, check out the top tips below:
- Share your story: You might only have 220 characters to summarise what you offer and/or what you want to achieve in your headline, but you have 2,600 in your ‘About’ section. Use this space to highlight your experience and ambitions. This can also be a great place to input a call to action if you are hiring or open to new challenges.
- Verify your skills: LinkedIn has its own recommendation section for you to display testimonials from colleagues and clients which can verify your skills to new clients or employers. Another way to provide external verification of your skills is to take one of LinkedIn’s skills quizzes. Here you will be set a few challenging questions on your chosen topic and if you pass, you will earn a skills badge to display on your profile.
- A picture paints a thousand words: LinkedIn is a multi-media platform and should be used as such. It is really easy to share links to your blog or website, or to add a colourful banner image or graphic.
- Customise your URL: If you want to make it even easier for people to find you on LinkedIn, consider adopting a custom URL. This can be changed easily from your profile on a website browser. Ensure that you are using your name in your URL rather than a string of random numbers.
- Regular updates: Most importantly, once you have completed your profile, ensure that you keep it up to date!
Network, Network, Network
At its core, social media is about connecting with people. LinkedIn is designed to keep in touch with people throughout their careers. But what is the best way to network?
- When meeting someone new, you want to strike while the iron is hot. Send a connection request a day or two after your meeting and include a personalised message to ensure that they remember who you are and where you met.
- Respond quickly to requests to connect from others. If you are frequently missing notifications from the app, you can adjust your settings to get email notifications whenever a new connection request is received.
- Consider trying out Creator Mode. This is free and means that you can be followed by other people without them needing to be part of your network. This is particularly useful if you are looking to position yourself as a spokesperson for a brand or as a thought leader on a particular topic and want to make it easier for other people to see your shared content.
Posting and Sharing Content
LinkedIn is much more than an online CV. When you first open the app or sign into the website, you are greeted by a newsfeed of shared content. The newsfeed is the key to being an active LinkedIn user. If you are keen to get the most out of your LinkedIn consider trying out some of the ideas below:
- Post consistently: Try to share updates on LinkedIn 2 or 3 times per week, but ensure that they are informative. Don’t share anything confidential or too personal. If you are stuck for ideas, consider sharing industry news or commenting on something topical.
- Video content: Like other social media platforms, the LinkedIn algorithm is keen on video content. Requiring longer periods of interaction than static images, video content can be a great way to capture an audience. Consider whether you can share video content instead of a text-heavy post.
- LinkedIn Articles: Similar to blog writing, LinkedIn Articles provide an opportunity to dive deeper into a particular area. Become a thought leader on a topic and share regular thought-provoking articles. Ask questions to engage your readers and ensure that you respond to comments.
- Timing is Key: As LinkedIn is a business platform, the best times to post on the platform are during the working week, particularly Tuesday to Thursday.
- SlideShare and Audio Events: There are other ways to share content on LinkedIn if you are looking to provide a bit of variety. If you have recently spoken at a conference and have PowerPoint slides, these can be shared using SlideShare (subject to copyright requirements being met for any images used), which can be an excellent way to reach people that were unable to attend the event. It is also possible to host Audio Events on LinkedIn (although this is currently limited to select accounts), where you can have a conversation or debate with your audience.