24 Feb 2022 Social media

The foundations of LinkedIn for managing directors and business owners: What it is and why you should use it 

In an increasingly digital world, more and more of our daily actions are taking place online – and job hunting, networking and showcasing our skills are no exceptions. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 810 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Of the nearly 810 million LinkedIn users, more than 31 million of those are in the UK. It is a platform that should not be underestimated. 

This blog post will explore why, as a managing director or business owner, being active on LinkedIn is an effective way to thrive and grow, along with some practical advice on how to make the most out of this unique social media platform. 

From job hunting to showcasing professional achievements, as well as announcing personal news to your network, such as a marriage or a new baby, there are so many ways that people use LinkedIn alongside their personal and professional objectives.  

LinkedIn has always been a good place to start if you are looking for a job. In fact, a study found that 122 million people received an interview through LinkedIn, with 35.5 million people having been hired by a person they connected with on the site. However, LinkedIn has evolved into far more than an online CV. The social media giant connects professionals across the world, and there is no indication that its enormous growth is slowing down anytime soon.  

LinkedIn enables you to: 

  • Build your professional network and personal brand 
  • Establish yourself as a thought leader 
  • Boost your company’s profile 
  • Stay up to date with the latest industry news 

How to make the most of your LinkedIn page 

A good personal LinkedIn profile will generally be more effective than a company LinkedIn page, because people do business with people. If you can build a network of people who are interested in you and what you do, you can become a trusted source within your area of expertise. Posting regular content, reacting and responding to other people’s posts and engaging with the platform will undoubtedly be good for business. 

Optimising your LinkedIn page

Firstly, it is crucial to create a good first impression. A poor profile picture will not do. A professional headshot and banner image (with company branding if possible) is now a basic requirement, as is a complete profile. You are given 120 characters for your headline, so take advantage of this because it is an opportunity to say much more than just your job title. 

LinkedIn allows you to list up to 50 skills as part of your profile. We recommend using them all. Then go on to tell your career story in the summary section. Keywords are important to ensure your profile is found, but avoid buzzwords that will make your profile fade away like so many others. Take the time to consider who you are writing for – you have 300 words to tell people what you want them to know, and don’t forget that the first two lines are the most important as you want your readers to click and read more. 

Creating LinkedIn specific content  

Your connections are your audience. Who is in your network will decide which posts are put in your feed and who sees your content. When building your network, it is always best practice to personalise your invitations, and it is important to follow up on LinkedIn after meetings and events to keep growing your network. 

Providing your followers with great content that people are interested in, and that encourages plenty of engagement, will enable you to get your messages to a wider audience. As the platform evolves, there are a variety of ways you can share your views, ideas or ask for feedback. 

Popular methods include creating polls, which are a straightforward way for people to interact with your posts and can be great conversation starters. Publishing long-form content, articles or whitepapers on your profile can be a fantastic way to draw your audience into a deeper discussion about a topic you are an expert in. Post regularly, tagging others, and you will become a trusted, consistent voice and could quickly be seen as a thought leader in your industry. 

Content that provides an insight or behind-the-scenes view of your business shows transparency, showing the human side of your business is always well received. As does the use of great photos and video content, with the use of three or four relevant hashtags being added to posts. 

There is now a raft of things you can do on LinkedIn that can significantly boost your profile and get you and your business message seen by other people. These include writing endorsements and giving kudos to your connections who you know deserve it. 

Provide recommendations for others, but don’t forget to also ask for recommendations from people who know how hard you work and what an excellent job you do. Create your own or join relevant LinkedIn groups where you can discuss innovative ideas and share your thoughts on relevant subject matters. 

Engaging with your audience  

Engaging with other people’s content is essential and should form part of your daily LinkedIn routine. Liking a post is the minimum you can do to engage with a post. Why not use another emotion to demonstrate how you feel about the content or, better yet, write a comment and tag other people who may be interested in the content. 

Share posts

Take it one step further and share the post. Sharing a company post could amplify the original message significantly. However, when you share the post, don’t forget to add a post status that gives your audience a reason to read what you are sharing. Make sure to ask yourself ‘why does the content you are sharing matter to your audience?’ and only share what you can justify as relevant.  

Show off your services

Other opportunities to shine on LinkedIn include utilising features such as spotlighting the services you offer, and sharing your learning on LinkedIn. Follow relevant influencers and write about the other interesting things you do outside work, such as volunteering, charity work, one-off projects and personal challenges. 

Monitor your competitors

Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing on LinkedIn – reviewing their content gives you the opportunity to assess your own messages and understand their take on industry topics that are trending. 

Get your team involved on LinkedIn

It does not end there. Empowering your team to be proactive on LinkedIn will help your company’s key messages reach a much wider audience. For more information about how to generate support from your employees, read this article dedicated to this topic.

I understand that all this work takes time. However, if you do not make time, you could be missing a big opportunity to connect with your audience and share content that is less likely to perform well on other platforms. As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn has more than 810 million members, can you really afford to ignore them? If you need support in making LinkedIn work for you, then this is something we can help you with

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