With 660+ million members, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site in the world. Not all members take advantage of the huge opportunity this represents for their particular needs. While you don’t need to embrace every facet of the site, I recommend you have a strategic business branding approach to LinkedIn. Make LinkedIn work for you by considering what kind of user you are. Here are five of the most common users.
1. The Minimalist
Of the 600+ million members, 50% check LinkedIn on a monthly basis. What about the others? Many people simply signed up, started to fill out their profile, and then let it lie, unfinished, and increasingly stale with the passage of time. These users may not be aware that a LinkedIn profile shows up in a Google search. So, it is critical that professionals check their profile to make sure it features a photograph and contains their relevant messaging, insights, and career information. For the Minimalist, an annual check to make sure everything is up to date will ensure that your digital footprint is professional and accurate.
2. The Careerist
No matter where you are in your career, LinkedIn can be an excellent resource for you and the people wanting to know more about you. Just as you can do some basic research about an interviewer, a new colleague, or some other business associate, they can do the same about you. How are you “showing up” in your profile? Your digital profile should be polished, professional, and set out your complete, accurate career information.
Unlike a resume, a LinkedIn profile is the story of your career, please pay attention to the narrative, and weave the individual jobs and activities together in the “About” section. You should explain and integrate career pivots, mention skill sets that might not be obvious from your experience and education, and identify professional goals.
Did you know that once you join LinkedIn, each connection made introduces you to an average of 400 new people? You also get access to more than 100 new companies looking for your talent or skills and connections to 500+ jobs, on average.
3. The Owner/Entrepreneur
A business owner or entrepreneur who is looking to LinkedIn for revenue sources will need to do more than manage their own page. LinkedIn allows you to build a company page, which should be maintained and updated on a regular basis.
You have control over how you and your business page appear, but don’t forget to keep an eye on how your employees show up. Are they accurately representing your company brand? Are they helping tell the brand story? You have the opportunity to buy paid, targeted ads to reach specific users.
Finally, LinkedIn offers free information about your profile – who is looking at it, how many people are checking out your posts, and other important metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your LinkedIn presence. If you aren’t leveraging all of these tools, you are leaving money on the table.
Did you know that 55% of Decision-Makers Use LinkedIn Content to Vet Organizations? Click for more stats from Influencer Marketing Hub.
4. The Contributor
121 million users visit LinkedIn daily. What do they do? LinkedIn steers them towards the feed, and people who want to get noticed become contributors. Whether sharing an interesting article, commenting on another post, or congratulating a connection for a milestone, contributors focus on consistent, authentic engagement.
As a contributor, it is not enough to interact with the site regularly, you need a purpose and a plan. How do you want to be perceived? Are you making it clear that you know your area of interest well? Have you contributed in a way that makes it easy for others to understand?
Be careful with how you position yourself as a contributor. The difference between a contributor and a thought leader is that the former embraces the subject, and the latter seeks to disrupt it.
5. The Thought Leader
Do you want to be known for new thinking that moves the conversation forward? How are you showing up and raising the bar? A thought leader is more than an expert in a given field, they want to position themselves as knowing where the industry is headed because that’s their exact location. You can learn more about the top 20 LinkedIn Influencers in the United States.
Thought leaders provide a nuanced perspective that can be disruptive and change the direction, framework, methodology, and even vision of the industry. A thought leader provokes changes in the mindset and actions of others.
Like the Contributor, the Thought Leader regularly engages with their profile through posts, articles, and interactions with their community. Do try and utilize video on LinkedIn. Wyzowl found that 38% of marketers post video content on LinkedIn. 75% of those who used video on the platform found it effective.
Did you know that 46% of social traffic to corporate websites comes from LinkedIn? After all of the effort to create and generate content, be sure to follow up and check on your website performance and visitor traffic. It would be a shame to invest energy in LinkedIn and yet not have a clear call to action with a trackable outcome. An excellent way to convert on LinkedIn is to leverage your company page and utilize sponsored advertising. From Lead Gen forms to driving traffic to webinars – develop a clear consistent strategy for LinkedIn and you can absolutely see results.
Be a noisebreaker,
© 2020 Jennifer Dalton
Jen Dalton is a personal brand specialist with entrepreneurship in her DNA. She helps business owners and executives define how they show up as leaders, make the most of their strengths and tend to their legacy, growth, and visibility. The author of two books, frequent speaker, podcaster and “Purpose Sherpa,” Jen is a critical business branding consultant for any person or company that wants to define their brand and differentiate themselves in authentic, credible, and relevant ways to the market.