We all likely agree that the way in which we connect and socialize with people has dramatically changed since the beginning of the pandemic. Though we as a society already heavily relied on the internet before the entire world started to quarantine, having a good internet connection, email and social media platforms (personal and professional) became ESSENTIAL once we started to interact with people mainly through technology at the beginning of March. People always talk about Instagram and Twitter but we believe that your LinkedIn presence is similarly, if not more, important.
LinkedIn distinguishes itself from other social media platforms in that it is more professional. Compared to Instagram, it is less likely that you will be inclined to share personal photos of your home, pet or family. Compared to Twitter, you can increase the word count on your posts as well. Our public relations agency utilizes LinkedIn on a daily basis and as such have assembled a quick guide to help everyone navigate the platform and use it best for both business and networking purposes.
Customize Your Profile
LinkedIn is great in offering a clear step-by-step guide to ensure that its users complete their profile to include as much information about themselves as possible. You can treat your LinkedIn profile as a virtual CV of sorts. It will prompt you to include a headshot, a short bio, as well as your work experience, education and professional accomplishments. This is all very useful when people are trying to learn more about you. With people perhaps having to change their jobs during the pandemic, their LinkedIn profile can also serve as a perfect tool to highlight your skills and to stand out. With in-person interviews likely not happening any time soon, this platform truly gives you the space to shine.
Brands too can also build a LinkedIn profile which includes an overview of the business, including a link to the brand’s website, and identifies people who work for the brand. We highly recommend that both individuals and businesses have LinkedIn profiles because it allows them to make professional connections and brands can reach leaders in their own industries who they would not be able to connect with over Instagram and Twitter.
Connect with People / Build Your Network
As with Instagram or Twitter, LinkedIn’s objective is to connect you with individuals. As we have already discussed, LinkedIn focuses on building a professional network and as such, it is likely you will be connected there with your team, even your boss, although you might not be in contact with them over other social platforms. The same goes for any business partners, colleagues, or in the case of a public relations specialist, journalists, editors, and clients. What we want to stress is the way how you go about connecting with people. When you find a person you want to add to your network, we recommend that you introduce yourself in the invitation so that the person knows where he/she knows you from, if it is not completely obvious.
Please note that you might not be able to text people directly if you are using the free version of the platform. If you are willing to pay a monthly fee, you will have no limit on how many people you can connect with via a direct message on a daily basis.
Be Active on LinkedIn
Having a profile on LinkedIn is one thing, using it is another. We have seen unused profiles too many times and our opinion is that people/businesses should make the best use of it for further professional development and for making new professional connections. The publicists at our agency utilize their LinkedIn profiles for connecting with journalists, sharing exciting news and articles about their clients, and for further working on solidifying relationships with editors by connecting with them and thanking them for including our clients in their articles. The further sharing of the articles on our platforms brings more readership for the certain piece which in turn helps the writer because outlets value writers whose work is being re-shared and brings more eye to their website.
Brands should also be active on their LinkedIn profiles to share recent news with their professional network, whether that be a recently written article or an important announcement. Brands and executives can also share byline articles related to happenings in the industry, offering creative content to their network. Being active on LinkedIn however, does not only mean sharing your news with others but also engaging with content others share. We definitely encourage individuals/brands to connect with other users/brands and like, comment, and share their posts. Oftentimes people share promotions on their profiles and a great way to show them your support is to congratulate them as that builds on the relationships further. People who are building their profile will also appreciate it when you write a personal recommendation for them (if you two worked together) or if you endorse them for their skills.
Share Relevant Information
As already discussed, LinkedIn is NOT Instagram or Twitter. The goal of this platform is to connect professionally and not to share photos of your lunch or your cat. There should be a clear intent behind posts that you share on LinkedIn. The following are reasons for posting on your LinkedIn profile: job search, announcing a new position, sharing and interesting article you read, thanking an editor for including your brand in a piece, announcing brand news, etc. When it comes to activations such as brand giveaways or any post with a goal of boosting consumer engagement, we strongly recommend doing these on Instagram as LinkedIn is traditionally not utilized by consumers looking for a product but rather by professionals looking to engage with brands on a more B2B level.
Use the Platform as a News Source
Last but not least, you can also use your LinkedIn page to get daily news. The platform syndicates news from a variety of news sources which allows you to receive news about the most recent events.