We live in the social media era, in which the majority of us are connected to a network and can exercise our right to freedom of speech. More than 50 per cent of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from 2013, according to an article published by PEW Research Centre.
According to the Social Media Examiner, ‘a significant 92% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 86% in 2013’. This presents a huge area of growth in social media marketing for businesses.
Companies are increasingly using social media to manage their online reputations, and to engage and communicate with their customers. Linkedin is a particularly useful social media network for boosting your online reputation.
- LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 332 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
- Individuals are signing up to LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
- More than four million companies have LinkedIn company pages.
- Executives from all 2013 Fortune 500 companies are presented on LinkedIn as members – its corporate talent solutions are used by 92 of the Fortune 100 companies.
More and more people are managing their reputations online by making connections, creating profiles, posting blogs and joining groups – both for their personal use and for their business. According to Social Media Examiner, LinkedIn and Facebook are ‘the two most important social networks for marketers’. LinkedIn offers several specialised features and tools making it an ideal network for reputation management.
Follow these five useful tips on how to use LinkedIn to your advantage:
1. Highlight your strengths
Many people find it difficult to promote themselves … however LinkedIn encourages you to do just that! The network includes a section where you can highlight your awards, recognitions and honours. It is an opportunity to present facts, attract attention and impress your audience – ultimately allowing you to build a positive reputation online, promote yourself on the Internet, and potentially win new work.
In addition, there is an entire section available for you to post an ‘executive summary’ where you can introduce yourself, present your key skills, strengths and expertise. Including key search terms in the content will help colleagues, partners, potential clients and others searching for you online to find your profile more easily – more on this below.
2. Optimise your profile using keywords
LinkedIn works in a similar way to a search engine, so it is essential to optimise your full profile with relevant keywords. Include the important key phrases in your profile, include your job title(s), an executive summary, key skills, and awards. It is a great way to boost your online reputation management. For example, a PR executive could add keywords such as ‘communication skills’ and ‘writing skills’ in order to reach the right audience.
Securing a unique URL – for example a website or blog address, works in much the same way, helping you to optimise your keywords and increase the authority of your profile online.
3. Join relevant groups
Groups with professionals in the same field can be really useful, as users are more likely to share similar interests and content. Joining groups helps you not only to stay up-to-date with industry news, but also allows to circulate your own content and share thoughts.
LinkedIn groups allow you to join discussions, comment on blogs and answer questions, helping you to position yourself as a key influencer. The more you get involved, the more you are likely to grow your audience, attract employers or potential clients. The groups you join are an indication of your interests and areas of expertise, as other users can see your groups listed on your profile.
4. Make endorsements
Endorsements refer to the ability of your ‘1st level contacts’ to endorse your skills. Making endorsements for others in your network, may encourage others to visit your profile and endorse you back. Endorsements allow you to position yourself as an expert in specific fields.
Recommendations or comments from other users are helpful as well, since they inspire trust and encourage others to recommend you. Recommendations can have a powerful impact on your reputation.
5. Engage with your network
LinkedIn gives you the ability to have a voice on a business network. You can express your thoughts and views by making comments and posting articles. You are able to demonstrate fields of interest, and participate in discussions on specific topics. Including images, presentations or documents will help to make your content more appealing.
LinkedIn blogging is another feature that gives you the opportunity to share blog posts that have the potential to create a ‘buzz’ around your name, and present your thoughts and idea to a wider audience. Creating good quality content may well enhance your reputation and increase your connections. Data from the Content Marketing Institute showed that 92% of marketers employ the use of a content marketing strategy; up from 91% in 2012, and this number grew throughout 2014.
A final word
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for boosting executive and company reputation online. Creating a profile is just an initial step. Gaining recommendations and endorsements, and engaging with your audience is essential if you wish to optimise your profile, and promote yourself, and your work online. Used properly, LinkedIn will help you get noticed online, and significantly change your reputation.