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Optimizing LinkedIn for Business makes a lot of sense for many reasons. Facebook may be getting much of the press but LinkedIn can and does generate significant returns for any professional. With over 85 Million users and one being added every second of the day, you want to have a presence via this truly global tsocial media platform.
Just a few days ago LinkedIn opened its Groups so all discussions within its 750K Groups will now be accessible to search engines and the public at large. The only caveat is that individual moderators or owners of Groups have the ability to decide whether or not they want a Group’s content shared. Some critical steps for Optimizing LinkedIn for Business are mapped out in this post below.
Using Anchor Text in the URLs that link out to your site, Twitter account, etc. - this will drive more search engine rankings.
Incorporate targeted keywords in the actual profile writing itself. This should include your Summary, Profile and Experience.
Incorporate an image in your profile - probably 10-20% of LinkedIn users do not do this, missing critical opportunities.
Integrate your professional or company Blog with your account (more on this below).
More and more professionals are incorporating a video via their profile - this can help you stand out from your peers.
Make sure you achieve 100% completed status via LinkedIn’s system - anything less than this will impact your profile negatively.
Once your profile is complete, ensure that you cross promote it by adding a link to your Google Profile and add to your email signature.
Many recommend starting a Group on LinkedIn, as it gives you powerful marketing capabilities downstream. I don’t recommend doing this initially, unless you have a lot of time to invest in building a Group - your better off getting a sense for how this dynamic social media platform works and coming back 2-4 months later and creating and managing your own Group.
LinkedIn has connected their community and platform with a wide number of third party applications that help to extend the functionality and cross promoting your content and other social media profiles.
Your Twitter account can be easily connected to your Profile and will then make your status update very dynamic. I recommend integrating a Twitter account as long as you are not using Twitter in a superficial way (“Just pulled in to Starbucks with my team…..”). If using Twitter and broadcasting content that is meaningful then I would integrate it with LinkedIn.
SlideShare.Net can be easily connected to your account, enabling you to share business presentations you have done.
I don’t use LinkedIn’s Company Buzz application as my brand focus is different from some of you. But it’s an interesting application that enables you to monitor what is being said about your brand or company.
Box.Net lets you easily add any type of a file to your account which facilitates sharing professional information (Resume or Bio) or for your brand: Facts doc or Company overview.
I don’t use Trip.It but its a cool way to share right on your travel plans with others and understand where others are going so you can easily meet them when you are both traveling to the same destination.
Utilize the WordPress application to add your Blog to your profile.
You can join up to 50 Groups via LinkedIn and this is one of the most powerful features of this dynamic community. Become an expert by actively responding to questions within your Groups and driving discussions and visibility by posting intelligent questions for your peers.
As discussed at the beginning of the post, LinkedIn is now opening Group discussions so they can be viewed on the internet and show up in search results. Contributing to Groups could give you great visibility moving forward.
You can add your Blog to your LinkedIn Profile via a third party application (takes just 2-3 minutes) which will enhance your profile and drive much more views of your Blog via potential customers and others.
The pay it forward component of LinkedIn can be found in recommending others within your profile - this helps to stimulate recommendations back to you as well, although I wouldn’t count on this happening. There is nothing wrong with soliciting recommendations from others as well.
If possible, you want to have 3-5 recommendations for each position you reference in your LinkedIn profile with at least ten recommendations. But, it can be challenging at times to get recommendations from others. But, keep after them, as recommendations add considerable weight to how people view your profile - the more the better of course.
Optimizing LinkedIn for business can be driven by aggressively building connections via the network. There are many schools of thought on just how aggressive you should be. I’ve built my network over a couple of years with some real time and attention to doing same.
I would also counsel you to immediately accept and invitation to connect via LinkedIn as long as the profile of the individual is consistent with your optimizing LinkedIn for Business.
Adding connections via LinkedIn is similar to what happens via any other social network - you won’t pick these up instantly, but over time (assuming your active within the community and promoting your profile) you will generate inbound requests.