Are you one of the fifty-two percent of Canadian businesses still ignoring LinkedIn? It’s been predicted that 2014 will become LinkedIn’s most influential year yet as social media trends continue to change. Forty-eight percent of Canadian businesses are on LinkedIn and the numbers are only increasing as it transitions from tedious “resume website” to qualified “B2B LeadGen Network.”
This is the first place your customers are coming to connect: LinkedIn has transformed into a reliable source for generating leads and a useful prospecting tool for B2B marketers. If your LinkedIn presence is weak, prepare to lose out on potential customers and profitable business connections.
It’s no surprise that now is the perfect time to update your LinkedIn profile. Listed below are tips you can take to ensure your personal and company profiles stand out for search and success:
Use relevant keywords
To make your personal and company profiles easily searchable on LinkedIn, use keywords to highlight skills, experience and achievements. Choose keywords that best define your organization and the work you do. Be specific about past projects and the work you’re interesting in taking on in the future. This is where you’ll share your professional life story and describe your goals, so use the most relevant and precise terms possible to get found.
Pro Tip: Run your initial keyword ideas through Google’s Keyword Planner to receive keyword suggestions based on actual search volume.
Ensure the keywords you choose are words used in conversational language, as though you are speaking to a potential employee or business partner in person. Keeping it simple to ensure your profile is at the top of the search engine results page.
Add a photo
A picture really is worth a thousand words! Choose a professional headshot to add to your profile. Select a picture that is clear and features you looking friendly and approachable. This image will make a first impression: make sure its a good one.
Complete your profile
To get the coveted “100% completed” profile status, be thorough and pay attention to each heading. Taking the time to complete each section gives fellow users a better idea of who you are and what your business goals may be. Incorporating different kinds of content where possible makes your profile more interesting and engaging to any users that stop by to have a look. Upload a welcome video or an infographic to highlight your accomplishments.
Pro Tip: Create a slide deck about your skills and abilities and upload it to Slideshare. Embed it on your profile to share your story in an engaging way.
Add your contact information
This may be the most important step of all: giving users the information to bridge the gap from online acquaintance to real-life business connection. This section of your profile allows you to specify what type of connections you’d like to make and ensure people have a way to reach you.
Optimizing your presence on LinkedIn is about more than just defining who you are and what you do. It’s important to showcase your professional side and use LinkedIn as a resume space, but it’s also about showing you are engaged, connected and sharing content. Become an industry thought leader by sharing, commenting and engaging wherever you can add value and show your authority on a topic. It’s a modern and effective way to develop your personal brand and client roster while establishing an online web presence for yourself, your team, and your company.