Whether you’re building a business or a personal brand, LinkedIn is a great platform for building credibility and authority.
Regardless of your industry, with over 400 million users (over 100 of which are located in the United States,) LinkedIn is a social media entity that you can’t ignore.
In order to help you build your authority on LinkedIn, I am going to break down a few special features that you can start taking advantage of today.
Beefing up your profile, be it your company page or individual profile, is a must.
LinkedIn is the number one channel that individuals use for looking for jobs. Similarly, if you’ve recently applied for a job, LinkedIn is typically the first place employers and recruiters go to vet candidates.
If you’re a business and are just getting started building your company page or personal profile, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Include a header image: 646 x 220 is the recommended size. I recommend using a promotional, branded marketing graphic for the header image that calls out a special offering or your company’s tagline.
- Profile photo: If you’re a business, you want to use your logo sized at 100 x 100. If you’re an individual, you should use your headshot for your profile photo.
- Include information: Put information about yourself in the description and/or summary section of your profile. Include keywords that are relevant to the work you do, the industry you’re in and the services and value you provide to those who will connect with you.
- Showcase pages: These pages are only available for business pages. Showcase pages are a great way to segment specific types of content for your business page, as you can create separate posts and graphics for these pages that won’t show up on your main company page. With Showcase pages, you can use a scheduler to plan content ahead of time, add a page description and a custom hero image to represent the page. (It’s recommended that your hero image be 330 x 974.)
- Post regularly: Once you’ve created a profile, it’s time to post. It is recommended to share a status update at least 4x/week in order to stay top-of-mind for the individuals you’re connected to on the platform. By posting regularly, you create an opportunity for engagement. Keep your posts short, informative, engaging and digestible so that you give a reason to keep your audience coming back.
Once you’ve covered the basics (creating profiles that look beautiful and branded,) the next step is to use LinkedIn to build your authority.
Introducing: LinkedIn’s publishing platform, Pulse.
While you can’t use Pulse as a company or showcase page, it’s a powerful tool for individuals to use to build their authority online, create a loyal audience of followers, start conversations and share expertise.
Through use of Pulse, many individuals are positioning themselves as experts in their industries.
By creating consistent, informative content that is targeted to a specific audience, individuals can successfully build their KLT (know, like and trust) factor online.
Build your authority online by joining LinkedIn groups.
You can search for groups on the platform, ask permission to join the group (some will be open and some will be private,) and start contributing to discussions.
Consider introducing yourself to the group, then start to share your expertise to position yourself as a thought-leader and expert in the specific industry.
Be sure to ask people to comment on your discussions or Pulse posts in order to facilitate a greater connection and meaningful conversation.
Note: Pulse and Groups are located under the “Interests” tab on LinkedIn, and both have a strong search feature that can help you find content, or groups, that you are most interested in. You can also find Pulse channels by clicking here.
Now that you’re getting connected and have an outlet to share valuable content, you need to start thinking outside of the box for what types of updates to share.
The best kind of content to share fills one of the following needs: entertainment, solution-based, original, inspirational, educational.
Strong networkers and LinkedIn users know which connections value which types of content. You can use messages or the “Keep in touch” feature (located under the Connections tab) to keep your contacts informed of content you think they would appreciate.
LinkedIn has a variety of features that allow you to expand your network and successfully build your credibility and authority online.
By utilizing LinkedIn Groups and Pulse, you’ll be on your way to reinforcing relationships, establishing yourself as a thought leader and expanding the visibility of your profile.