You're an Internet Marketer - why should you care about LinkedIn?
Because relationships matter more than ever. People tune out advertising and tune into people they know and trust. Want to engage with movers and shakers in your niche? Want to build relationships that can take you far?
Then you might want to get busy on LinkedIn. With more than 259 million members, professionals of all levels are connecting, sharing and finding new business opportunities every minute of the day on this social network.
In fact, content on LinkedIn now receives 6 times more engagement than job opportunities, which means the main focus of LinkedIn has shifted dramatically from job connections to business connections. Plus, everyone on LinkedIn is highly receptive to building business relationships – that's why they're on there in the first place.
LinkedIn drives more traffic to B2B (business-to-business) blogs and sites than all of the other social networks combined, and it's the #1 channel to distribute content to B2B sites as well. 65% of businesses acquired at least one new B2B customer through LinkedIn in 2013. And 51% of B2C (business-to-customer) marketers acquired at least one new customer through LinkedIn as well.
Here are our latest LinkedIn tips:
1. Upload a Cover Photo
Much like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, LinkedIn is making a major design change to its user profiles. They're launching a larger profile photo, an expanded profile header and a cover photo. Premium LinkedIn users can upload a cover photo now ahead of the rest of users. And Premium users also get access to a gallery of stock cover photo images as well.
2. Take Your Keyword Optimization to the Next Level
Premium users now have access to a profile optimization feature that shows personalized suggestions for words and phrases to include in your profile. Using these particular optimized words and phrases can make it easier for others to find you in related search results.
3. Stand Out
Premium users also get a deeper display with more of their profile information appearing in the LinkedIn search. This means LinkedIn displays premium profiles twice as large as other results to help them stand out, as well as providing more profile information than from non-premium users.
4. Segment Your Connections
This simple tip can save you a mountain of work later.
Let's say you're on LinkedIn to meet:
• JV partners
• Media contacts
If you don't segment your connections, they're all going to be lumped into a folder LinkedIn calls “Untagged.” Then when you want to contact potential JV partners, you'll have no idea which ones those are.
You'll want to segment all of your connections – new and old – into appropriate folders to take maximum advantage of LinkedIn's ability to hook you up with the right people.
5. Complete your profile
Seriously, it's more important than you think. Here's how the results are ranked when people search LinkedIn:
• At the top: First level connections with profiles that are 100% complete
• Next to the top: Second level connections ranked in descending order by profile completeness
• After that: Third level connections ranked in descending order by profile completeness
• Next to last: Share group members outside of your network ranked in descending order by profile completeness
• Last: Everyone else ranked in descending order by profile completeness
Notice a pattern? The more complete your profile, the more likely it is that people will find you and connect with you.
6. Certain Keyword Placement Has a Bigger Effect Than Others
Keywords in your name, your headline, your company name, your job title and your skills rank higher in the search results than keywords in other sections. Be sure to use a variety of keywords and terms in describing what you do, and also offer to show up in a variety of search results.
7. Don't Annoy Your Contacts
When you're updating your LinkedIn profile, your contacts are alerted to every little change as you make them unless you do the following: Open your privacy controls and turn off activity broadcasts, and change the setting for “select who can see your activity feed” to “only you.”
8. Widen Your Scope
Join groups so you can connect with people who are in your target audience but are not contacts. Then reach out to these people and ask them to join your network.
9. Only If You're Ambitious
Join 50 LinkedIn groups which can boost your ranking.
10. Get your LinkedIn Vanity URL
Instead of a URL with confusing numbers at the end, you can get one that looks like this: http://linkedin.com/yourname.
11. Highlight Your Best Info
You can add, remove and rearrange entire sections of your profile any way you prefer to lead with your strengths.
When in edit mode, hover your mouse over the double sided arrow that's next to the edit link for each section and you'll see a 4 arrowed icon.
Click, drag and drop it to another position in your profile. Or customize your profile with personalized sections of your own making.
12. Get The Magic Number
Your goal is to get at least 500 connections, for two reasons.
First, it widens your audience.
Second, that magic number 500 has a psychological impact on people viewing your profile.
Once you hit 500, aim for 1,000 for the same reasons.
13. Use Your Aliases
Maybe you've changed your name or people commonly misspell your name. Or maybe you've got nicknames or more than one version for your first name, such as Dave and David. Include all of these names in your summary to make it easier for people to find you.
14. Accept Messages From Anyone
It used to be that LinkedIn members could only contact you if they were connected to you or if they purchased InMail messages. But now Premium Users are automatically opted into an Open Profile setting, which will let anyone message you for free. And as a Premium member, you can always elect to switch this off at any time.
15. Track Who Is Viewing Your Profile
Premium users can now access a list of who's viewed their profile for the last 90 days. You might want to contact some of these members back and start a conversation.
16. Distinguish Yourself From Competitors
Where appropriate, integrate your personal point of view into your summary and possibly your experience. Then join groups where you can share your point of view as it relates to your expertise. You'll stand apart from the crowd and attract your own tribe of like-thinkers.
17. Use Premium As Needed
If you want to reach out to people but you can only contact them through Premium, then sign up by the month. Do all the reaching out you need to do and then cancel your premium subscription.
Don't reach out to potential contacts until your profile is sparkling. You only get one chance to make a first LinkedIn impression, so make it a good one. But don't let this be a reason to procrastinate, either. Set a deadline to get your profile together and then immediately start reaching out to others.
19. Create a Company Page
If you have a company, you need a company page.
20. Add Targeted Showcase Pages to Your Company Page
Each page can promote a specific product or service. Or you can target and tailor each page to a specific market or audience. Then you can give out a Showcase Page without giving out your Company Page. Thus you could have one page geared towards customers and another page targeted to JV partners.
21. Publish Company Status Updates
This gives LinkedIn users more reason to follow your company page. Plus, you can use segmentation to tailor your updates to specific audiences as well.
22. Track Trends
Launched in March 2014, LinkedIn's Trending Content Tool spotlights the most popular content being shared on LinkedIn. This is a great way to stay on top of trends with your own content.
23. Use Pulse to Track Industry News
LinkedIn's Pulse provides you with the most popular articles shared in your niche on LinkedIn. You can follow specific influencers, publishers or channels, and also sign up for daily or weekly email summary notifications.
24. Generate Leads
LinkedIn has the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of any social network. Promote and share links to your landing pages in your status updates, in LinkedIn Groups where appropriate, on your Showcase pages and in posts published via LinkedIn's publishing platform.
25. Try LinkedIn Ads
Like Facebook, you can get quite specific with your targeting.
26. Create Your Own LinkedIn Group – Then Email Them
You can create a group based on an industry-related topic. This makes you a LinkedIn Group administrator, growing your own audience which you can then email up to once per week. This is a great way to appear as a thought leader and to generate new leads.
27. Poll Your LinkedIn Group
To collect feedback, generate content, get new ideas and so forth.
As of February 2014, any LinkedIn member can publish content on LinkedIn and promote it via Profile or Company Pages.
29. Meet JV Partners
You'll be surprised at the opportunities available when you open yourself up to the possibilities on LinkedIn. Don't limit yourself to just looking for people to mail for you – find people you can partner up with in different ways to expand your business and add more profit centers.
30. Get Customers and Clients Into Your Lead Funnel
Assuming you have at least one big ticket item in your sales funnel, LinkedIn can be a goldmine of opportunity for finding customers who are ready to invest in solutions to their problems.
Bottom line: If you're not on LinkedIn yet, or you are but you're not taking full advantage of the many opportunities it offers, check it out today.