The consequences of your LinkedIn profile or business page being incomplete or inaccurate may not like a big deal, but tell that to the person vetting architects for the new billion-dollar stadium project or the headhunter looking for Silicone Valley’s next greatest start-up idea.
· Be Thorough: List all your contact details, including other social media profiles you maintain. Link to your website, blog, online store, etc. Post your business hours. List professional achievements and recognitions. For businesses, connect with and link to your employee’s profiles.
· Be Honest: It’s relatively easy in this day and age to confirm whether the details or claims of an individual or business are true or not. For that reason, your profile or business page should be an accurate reflection of who you are or what you do. Likewise, your first-degree connections and references should be people you genuinely know and have worked with at some point.
· Be Current: Old or outdated information can prove disadvantageous and even costly. Make sure that updating your LinkedIn profile or business page is a required part of the process when fundamental or strategic updates occur at your company.
A successful LinkedIn profile or business page requires steady dedication and constant activity. As we’ve discussed on this blog on many occasions and as any social media manager can tell you, an idle or abandoned social media profile or business page can be a death knell. If you’re searching for a job or new clients, an inactive profile could be the difference between landing the job or client of your dreams and sitting at home on your couch in your bathrobe watching Golden Girls reruns. For businesses, it could be the difference between increasing your sales by a considerable amount and having no reason not to take a two-hour lunch because you’re probably not there anyway. At least, according to your profile.
· Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Up-to-Date: At least once every 3–4 months you should update your LinkedIn Profile, and certainly every time you receive an award or community recognition for a volunteer project, start a new position, or earn an educational achievement.
· Post Weekly: Post something new to your profile each week. Add events, share links to blog posts and press releases, ask for and give recommendations, etc. Don’t let your LinkedIn profile stagnate. But remember to keep it professional; save personal updates for Twitter or Facebook.
· Be Responsive: Establishing a dialogue is important, as no one wants to feel as though they are just another customer to be marketed to or talked at. Respond to posts, reviews, and questions. If a user leaves a product review, thank them. Complaints and negative responses should be addressed in a prompt and professional manner. Answer questions and offer advice and assistance.
The long and short of the matter is that social media and social networking is like most other things in life: you’ll get out of it what you put into it. This is perhaps doubly true for LinkedIn, where career advancement and occupational promotion are the order of the day.
· Participate in Groups & Group Discussions: The more you actively take part in LinkedIn, the more you’ll build credibility and boost your personal authority among peers, colleagues and members of your industry’s extended community. This may also lead to new opportunities and connections. (Note: only available to individuals as of this time.)
· Generate Quality Content: The principles of share and share-alike are alive and well on LinkedIn. Share your own content and share high-quality content from others and showcase your offerings in Products & Services.
· Watch and Learn: Titans of industry and leading experts, including people from all Fortune 500 companies are currently participating on LinkedIn. As such, it can be an amazing source of knowledge and an amazing resource for your own professional development. Follow your competitors’ pages and watch for industry news, updates and opportunities.
This is just an introduction to best practices for establishing and maintaining a successful LinkedIn profile or business page. Next week, we’ll take a more in-depth look at Company Pages and their benefits as a marketing tool.