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Lee Hecht Harrison surveyed 895 professionals via an online poll in August 2014 asking, "How engaged are you on LinkedIn?" The survey showed:
I use LinkedIn daily: 57%
I use LinkedIn weekly: 23%
I use LinkedIn monthly: 6%
I use LinkedIn rarely: 8%
I use LinkedIn never: 6%
So with 80% of professionals using LinkedIn on at least a weekly basis, the site is a tool that should be part of a company’s marketing kit. That is, unless you are counterintuitively targeting the 6% of professionals who never use LinkedIn.
Companies and staff can use LinkedIn in many ways to both raise their visibility and establish their credibility with prospective customers. Here are 10 ways of doing these things that don’t cost a cent:
- Update your LinkedIn profile. Whenever you update your profile, a notice goes to all your LinkedIn connections telling them about the update. Result? More profile views.
- Put your company presentations and other interesting content on your employee’s LinkedIn profiles. If you have 15 or 50 or 500 employees, why not have everyone one of them--regardless of their position--promoting the company?
- Start a discussion in a LinkedIn group. Visibility? Check. Your name and headline is there at the top of the discussion. And stays there. Credibility? A big checkmark there too. Here you are starting a discussion that engages the group members.
- Comment on other people’s discussions. When you can’t come up with a topic of your own, latch onto someone elses! The only advice here is to make your comment worthwhile. “I agree with Bob.” doesn’t really add much, but “ I agree with Bob, but for a different reason, etc.” does add something.
- Fix your LinkedIn company page. A LinkedIn company page is free advertising. Use it. A fast (do it yourself in 20 minutes) and cheap (cost is zero) way to increase your visibility.
- Post company updates on your company page. Just hired someone? Post it on the company page. Going to a trade show? Post it on your company page. Got a new product? Post it on your company page. Signed a new contract? Post it on your company page. LinkedIn users have the option of clicking on a button on company pages to follow companies. So give them a reason to follow you and build visibility with them.
- Share status updates with your connections. Got something interesting to say? Say it in a status update. Any LinkedIn user can write a status update and publish it. Your update gets shown in your network, but if someone comments on it, your update gets shown to their network. This is how things go viral.
- Don’t have any ideas for your own status updates? Do like you did in LinkedIn groups and comment on someone elses update instead. You will show up as part of the conversation.
- Curate articles and share them with your network or with your LinkedIn group. Should you find an article or news online that you think a group you belong to or your network would like, share it with them. It takes fifteen seconds.
- Send links home. There is only so much you can do in a LinkedIn profile. So send your profile visitors to the place where all the info resides--your website. There are multiple places on every LinkedIn profile where a link can be embedded to send visitors straight to your website. Take advantage of this feature.
Will some of these ideas take some work and thought? Yes (hey, I said this was free, not that you could put your brain in neutral). You don’t have to do all of these, but when--like the majority of professionals--you visit LinkedIn today, if you can do just one of them, you will raise your visibility and credibility a little bit. And doing a little bit on a regular basis can bring big results.