Yup, I used LinkedIn as a verb. You can leverage your personal and company LinkedIn profiles for both marketing and sales development for your organization, especially B2B. This is how you do it for your personal profile. Come back soon to see Part 2 on how to optimize your LinkedIn Company Page.
1. Make sure you are properly linked to your company’s LinkedIn Page.
This seems straight-forward, and it is. If you company’s name is often misspelled (e.g., BlueBolt Solutions, not Blue Bolt Solutions) or shares its name with a company in another industry, it is possible to have incorrectly listed your company. Make sure you have the right company by loading your profile and clicking your company link. If it is not a link or goes to the wrong company, edit this portion of your profile. As you type your company’s name, make sure to select from the choices that will auto-populate below the field.
2. Complete your Profile.
Your LinkedIn profile is a free advertising platform. Take full advantage of it! You can set your privacy settings if that is a concern. Put your picture up, add your company’s website and your personal blog, add your Twitter account, and if you travel for work, check out the TripIt App! Find the job description created by your company or a similar company and make sure to take advantage of the keywords they use under your description and skills. This will help people find you both for recruiting purposes and professional services.
Another part of completing your profile is recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask for these, and don’t be afraid to write them. (Now I just have to take my own advice on this one!)
3. Customize your LinkedIn URL.
This is a big help for search results. Since you’re reading this post, most likely you want your LinkedIn profile to be on top or one of the top results when someone Googles your name. Go ahead, Google it now and see where you’re at. LinkedIn lets you have a custom URL http://www.linkedin.com/in/whateveryouwant. If you put your name at the end, that’s pretty good Google juice and can help your profile jump up the search results.
4. Online networking for offline networking.
LinkedIn is great for group discussion and for planning/hosting events offline. Find groups with similar interests and start making connections, whether in the virtual world or in the real world. These conversation are happening and people in your industry are already getting together on and off-line, it’s your choice whether you want to be a part of this. And if your industry is late to the game, you have the opportunity to be the social media pioneer among them!
5. Be a Follower.
Follow your own company as well as the company pages of clients, prospects, partners and maybe even competitors (I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on following competitors!). *Shameless plug! Follow BlueBolt Solutions on LinkedIn to learn more cool stuff like this! Whenever a company page that you are following writes a post, it will appear on your feed, keeping you up-to-date on the companies that are important to you. You can also follow people you are not "connected" to, such as your industry’s thought leaders, your company's CEO, or anyone that shares interesting updates by joining a LinkedIn group that this person is in and clicking the "Follow" link under their name. These updates will be specific to the group postings that they write.
You will automatically receive updates from anyone you “connect” with. Not interested in a specific connection’s updates? Take them out of your feed by hovering over their name, wait for the “hide” link to appear and click it. You have the option to undo this at any time.
6. Be a Leader.
You probably learn new things every day that would be interesting to your network. You can relay these updates to your LinkedIn network, just like your Twitter or Facebook networks. You can even associate your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts so you only have to compose one update on one platform and it will get sent to both LinkedIn and Twitter at the same time. Don’t forget to include important links and thumbnail images! Any of your connections will automatically receive your updates.
If you want to be a thought leader in your industry, make sure you allow people to follow your updates whether you are connected to them or not. Do this under Settings > Profile > "Select who can see your activity feed" Link. They can follow you the same way that you can follow others via LinkedIn groups.
See if you've gained any traction with these tactics with the "Who's Viewed Your Profile?" section on the bottom right of your LinkedIn home page. Not only can you see how many people have looked at your profile, but also who they are!
Do you have other ways that you have increased leads through your personal LinkedIn profile? We’d love for you to share them in the comments section below! Come back soon to see how to leverage your LinkedIn Company Page for generating leads.
If you try any of these tips, please come back and let us know how it worked for you!
Happy Social Media-ing!