The stratospheric rise of social media and digital platforms for marketing and brand awareness has given professionals the opportunity to connect with influencers, collaborators and like-minded peers like never before. But simply opening an account and ‘being’ on a social media platform just isn’t enough if you want to make the most of the opportunities it can provide. Below I have outlined some of the strategies I have implemented that have provided me a lot of success on my platform of choice – LinkedIn.
Firstly, it’s important to really think about what platform might work the best for you for the industry you work in. For some it will be Facebook. For those in creative or visual industries, Instagram may be the best platform for you. Working in a professional environment where networking with candidates and clients is the cornerstone of my day to day activity, LinkedIn is by far the most efficient platform I use, and that’s what I’ll be focussing on today. As it’s a free platform, you have the potential to connect with anyone which in turn could lead to your next placement, client or career opportunity. When used effectively, it is invaluable.
In this article you will find handy tips and a basic checklist of what you should be doing on LinkedIn daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly to implement your brand and be known within your industry!
A posting frequency of 3 – 4 times a week will engage your connections, and show LinkedIn that you are active and consistent (thus giving the algorithm a nudge in the right direction!). Below are some different topics I post about to keep my content fresh and relevant.
Active roles I am networking for
This should include something visual and eye-catching, and give your connections a good understanding of what you are looking for. End with a call to action so potential candidates know what they need to do to apply or contact you for more information.
Celebrate someone else’s success
Share an update from a client, a connection’s promotion, or an award that your client or candidate may have won. Ensure you tag people in your post by using the @ symbol. Make a genuine comment as to why you are excited for them (authenticity is key – avoid being generic!).
Relevant industry updates
Sharing relevant industry articles will not only give you insight into your market, but will show people that you are involved and knowledgeable within your field. Use Google Alerts to get articles relevant to your field automatically emailed to you.
Show off your personality and what life is like at your company
If you’ve gone out to a networking event, take photos and post these. Or better yet, write about some of the insights you have gained, or that interesting person you connected with. Went to a team lunch? Take photos and post them on LinkedIn (feel free to use a little humour if the occasion calls for it!). Post about the topics that mean something to you, whether that be charity, mental health or social issues. This will show your network your human side, and help people connect with you based on your passion and values.
Simple liking and commenting on a regular basis is an easy way to get your brand out there, as every post you like or comment on will show on your connections’ feeds.
Make a habit of it
Every time you go into your feed (try for twice a day) you should be liking or commenting at least 10 times. A good rule of thumb for social media is to comment on one post for every three you give a like to. Commenting is a great way to show interest and demonstrate thought leadership without having to write a blog every day.
Start a dialogue
When you comment on a post, the goal should be to start a conversation with someone. Make an effort to engage with people and you will pick up new ideas and build relationships quickly and easily.
Connecting with people on LinkedIn is key. The more your network grows, the further your brand reach will be, and the more information and insights you will receive. Here are some ways to grow your community quickly, effectively and authentically.
LinkedIn will feed you relevant connections under the ‘People you may know’ section in ‘Connections’. Sometimes this is pulled through the Contacts on your phone or email, sometimes they might be people who have worked somewhere you have worked before, sometimes it just may be people that you have in common with your existing connections. Either way, regularly go through these suggestions and connect with people relevant to you and your industry.
Customise your connection request when you reach out to someone new as it gives a personal touch, and shows that you are interested in them personally – not just an extra number in your network. When you do connect with someone, speak to them. Direct message them and thank them for connecting with you. Start a conversation whenever possible.
If you meet people when you’re out at a physical networking event, and you want to learn more about them as a person or the company they work for, connect with them on LinkedIn.
By following relevant companies and influencers, you will keep your feed stocked with key industry information, motivational videos, tips, ideas and general knowledge.
Don’t just follow the businesses you currently have as clients, follow the ones that you want to work with or learn more about. By showing interest in their business and making an effort to engage with them regularly, you’ll be one step closer to building a mutually beneficial relationship.
Pick a couple of key influencers who post content and ideas that resonate with you. They build their own brand by creating quality content based on good advice, motivation and insights. By sharing their posts, you will be tapping into an already popular content stream that should assist you in building engagement on your own account.
Getting involved with groups that are relevant to your industry will give you insight into market trends, issues and ideas, and help you connect with like-minded peers.
Aren’t in any groups? Join some!
To find groups to join, go to the top right menu item and click ‘Work’, then click ‘Groups,’ and then ‘Discover.’ Find and join any groups that are relevant to you and your industry. Comment and like people’s posts, and start a dialogue. Publish your own content and ask for insights and feedback.
Writing blogs or even short opinion pieces can give your connections insight into your strengths and the topics you are passionate about. But just writing something and plonking it on LinkedIn isn’t enough. Here are my top tips for making the most of the time you spend blogging.
Make a habit of writing a blog or opinion piece at least once a month. If you can’t manage that, make it every six weeks, or every eight. Whatever you can manage is ok as long as it’s consistent.
You’ve just spent a fair chunk of your time writing a blog, so tell people about it! Write a post about it and talk about why it would be relevant to your connections. Share it in the groups you belong to and ask a question to illicit feedback. Ask others to share it for you – while this can be uncomfortable sometimes, the truth is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Audit your profile regularly so it remains up to date with your achievements, experience and qualifications. Aim to do an audit every quarter so your experience reflects what you’re actually achieving. This may even give you the push you need to set a special quarterly goal and work hard for it – just so you’ve got something new to add!
An updated profile looks professional
Your profile is basically a resume that anyone can access. Have as much information as you can on there, because this is likely the place your connections will go to first. Take some time to write a catchy personal summary that will introduce new connections to who you are, your experience, and your values.
Hopefully, these tips have given you new ideas that you can implement today! If you take anything away from this, the most important thing I can say is to be consistent! It’s difficult at first, but once you get into a routine it becomes easier and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can build your network.