LinkedIn should be an integral part of your marketing plan and so it is important to learn how to use it to build your brand. In this blog we will discuss what LinkedIn is and how to leverage the key features of the platform to grow and engage your target audience.
Firstly, what is LinkedIn?
It’s highly unlikely that you’ve not already heard of LinkedIn but the perception of the platform has significantly changed over the last four years. It’s no secret that social media represents the traditional ‘word of mouth’ type of scenario, but thanks to the pandemic, LinkedIn grew beyond being a “job site” to being somewhere that business owners hang out and spread the word about their professional lives.
It is a thriving community where you can win friends and influence people, use it to promote yourself and your business and effectively build brand awareness. Using LinkedIn along with networking face to face can be a great way to grow your reach as your new connections in real life connect with you on LinkedIn.
So if you haven’t got a LinkedIn account, you should definitely go ahead and set one up.
LinkedIn profile tips to build a brand
If you are a business owner or trying to promote your employer, it’s no longer good enough to have a half-assed profile. You should aim to completely optimise your profile including some of the key parts listed below.
- Your headshot – a picture of just you, your face on a plain background, so as much as we love our pets, wives, children etc, we just need to see your smiling face!
- Your banner – think of this as a second chance to make a great impression. It should be reflective of your website design, convey your brand identity and tell people the value you bring.
- Headline – The first 40 characters of your headline are what people see all over LinkedIn so make sure it screams what you’re about. Be selective about the words you use.
- Bio – Your bio or about section is a major opportunity to demonstrate who you are, what you do and the value you add to your clients.
- Employment experience – build this out as much as you can. Link to the company pages, provide a description of what your biggest achievements were and really sell why you are good at what you do.
- Education, Skills, Volunteering – add in anything you can think of that shows the kind of character you are. Learnt Spanish, tell people about it, volunteer at your local food bank, let people know.
- Recommendations – you should aim to build up at least 10 recommendations from people in your network to help provide confidence and trust in your abilities. Click on the + button and start asking people who might be willing to do this for you, and don’t forget to repay the favour.
Keep going until you have exhausted everything that you can think of to make your profile kick ass!
The LinkedIn algorithm.
People have been trying to figure this out for years and then LinkedIn go and change it. But what seems to be fairly consistent is that the LinkedIn algorithm tends to prefer posts that are personal, relevant, original and encourage social interaction.
Some key LinkedIn algorithm tips
- The best time of day to post is between 8am – Noon Monday – Thursday. Fridays and weekends tend not to perform as well.
- Tell stories about how you have overcome adversity, helped someone, achieved something and what you’ve learnt from your own journey.
- Only share a picture with your post if it adds to the point your post is trying to make.
- Keep your carousel posts under 10 slides long, 7 is optimal.
- Vary your post types, image, text, carousel, video are all great types.
- Aim for 25% sales led and 75% personal/professional story led
What should you post on LinkedIn to build a brand?
If you’re not at home with writing and find it difficult, the best piece of advice would be to focus on what you care and know a lot about. You’ll find it a lot easier to write about those types of things. Your posts should be focused on one key thing; your customer.
If you are ‘customer centric’ in your thinking when it comes to writing your posts, this will help them resonate better. Answer the following questions:
- What problems do your customers have that you can help them solve? Tell them how.
- What are your customers most interested in learning about? Share educational insights.
- What do your customers enjoy doing and reading about on social media? Give interesting views on hot topics.
- What will help them make a decision about using your business? Help them decide.
Importantly: Write your answers with personality – it sometimes helps to imagine you are sitting in front of them having a conversation. Take the tone of voice that you would in a face to face meeting.
How to use LinkedIn to build relationships
While the key to your engagement on LinkedIn is your content, that’s only half of it. Plenty of people use LinkedIn to build a brand simply by developing an engagement strategy focused on liking, commenting and engaging with other content creators.
- Connect with 10 of your target audience every day
- Don’t spam them with salesy messaging, but a simple connection message
- Use the LinkedIn search function to find the Hashtags your customers will follow and follow them yourself, commenting and engaging on posts that come up in that feed.
- Connect or follow some of the high profile creators and go through the comments on their posts to find people who you might want to engage with
- Connect with everyone you come across at other networking events and ensure you build relationships that are going to make people want to help you
Focus on giving help to others
LinkedIn, like many networking groups and meetings that you may attend, will generate an output if you put the work in. Focus on being a connector of people, doing favours, liking and sharing other people’s content and passing business. In return you will get a reputation for helping people and people will want to help you in return.
LinkedIn is a great way to generate awareness amongst a wide network of people and it provides a fantastic outlet for your content.