LinkedIn has made dramatic changes to its platform over the past 18 months, making what was a rather plain but effective business networking tool into a content-rich, visually dynamic, more interactive professionally-focused social network.
Among other changes, the addition of showcase pages for businesses, expanded content publishing and media sharing capabilities, and changes to group email updates are all designed to make LinkedIn into a business-oriented version of Facebook. Facebook may be fighting back, but time will tell regarding its true intentions and objectives on that front.
Whether your goal is use LinkedIn to find your next job, market a business product or service, or just expand your professional network, you’ll find helpful guidance below in 20 of the best LinkedIn guides of the past year or so.
7 Guides to Using LinkedIn for Career or Networking
Boost Your Brand’s Visibility With LinkedIn’s New Profile Features by Sprout Social
Jennifer Beese reports that recent changes to LinkedIn’s “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature gives you “more ways to manage your professional identity and increase your visibility across the professional social network,” and serves up three helpful tips for capitalizing on the insights gleaned, such as using visuals to showcase “your talents in a whole new way by adding photos, videos, and slideshows to your profile.”
21 Steps to Create an Awesome LinkedIn Profile by jeffbullas.com
Jeff Bullas writes that answering the question, “So, what do you do?” isn’t as simple as it used to be, because “Today we have careers, businesses and life work that didn’t exist a decade ago.” He continues, “LinkedIn has redefined the online version of a resume and having a well organised LinkedIn profile is now essential,” then shares nearly two dozen tips for creating an “awesome” profile including using a professional photo, writing in the first person, and using keywords in all relevant sections.
Making LinkedIn Work for You by NoddlePlace
Sheree Van Vreede presents an excellent infographic that illustrates LinkedIn best practices across half a dozen key areas, including activity, connection requests, sharing updates, and reaching out (“Prominently display your contact information…(and) clearly state your networking purpose on your profile”).
The LinkedIn Recruiter & Job Seeker Disconnect by Winning Impression
Katrina Collier shares an infographic loaded with stats and guidance for job seekers on LinkedIn. While some of the numbers she shares are specific to the U.K. (e.g, only one-third of British workers have profiles on LinkedIn, and nearly half of those are incomplete), the guidance and best practices are universal.
Guest author Margaret Adams writes, “Once you who you want to attract you will need a plan to make sure you don’t waste your time and your efforts when you’re using LinkedIn,” then offers four tips to optimize use of the professional social network, such as “Be visual…Upload images, videos and presentations to supplement the text you write. This will help to build your credibility on LinkedIn. You’ll demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about and that you can deliver.”
The Secret Benefit of LinkedIn Endorsements by The Social Media Hat
Mike Allton delves into the workings and benefits of the Skills & Expertise function in LinkedIn, how it’s connected to LinkedIn Endorsements, how to optimize your skillset for social SEO, and the right way to grow your endorsements (“sift through your own connections and start endorsing the people you know. They will get a notification and many will reciprocate”).
Want a Job? Here Are 6 LinkedIn Tips by MediaPost
Explaining that, “For recruiters, LinkedIn is the largest and most current database of business professionals in the world. For job seekers, it’s a portal into new opportunities, connections and references,” Scott Gillum offers half a dozen tips for job seekers to make the most of the platform, including keeping your past up to date: “Companies go out of business or are acquired all the time. Make sure your resume reflects or notes that change.”
10 Expert Guides to Corporate Marketing on LinkedIn
The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn, an infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO
Berrie Pelser shares an infographic he calls “a strategic guide full of interviews and tips from marketing thought leaders combined with expert insights from the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team (designed to help marketers) embrace the vast opportunities that await—increase awareness, influence perception, generate leads, and ultimately drive revenue.” The checklist-style guide enables you to score your brand’s LinkedIn efforts across 14 different areas like sponsored updates, showcase pages, and use of LinkedIn groups.
Writing that “LinkedIn has historically been overlooked by SEOs in favor of other social media platforms, primarily due to the fact that links in profiles and discussions aren’t really ‘SEO friendly,’” Derek Edmond explains why recent changes by Google have increased the importance of LinkIn for organic navigation, and present seven tips for making the most of that, such as “In addition to the deeper cross-link into the organization’s website, B2B marketers should incorporate applicable keyword targets with descriptive product and services copy.”
Best LinkedIn Company Pages of 2013 by LinkedIn on SlideShare
This short presentation showcases the top 10 LinkedIn company pages of last year, explains what makes each of these pages stand out, and offers general guidance for creating an optimizing a brand’s presence on LinkedIn.
5 easy ways to master content marketing on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection
Writing that “brands must creatively combine paid, owned, and earned media to fully realize all potential points of contact with consumers” (i.e., embrace the web presence optimization model), Roger Katz supplies a handful of useful tips to “kick start your brand communications and content marketing strategy on LinkedIn,” like utlizing relevant LinkedIn groups by “asking questions, answering questions, sharing discussions, and measuring your results using tracking tokens and Bit.ly links.”
LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates by Brent Carnduff
Brent Carnduff explains what sponsored updates are and why they are worth looking into, then walks through a detailed step-by-step guide to creating sponsored updates, selecting content to promote, targeting your audience (by geographic region, skills, and “more targeting options” such as “schools…LinkedIn Groups, gender, or age”), and measuring results.
A Guide for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Company Page by B2B Inbound
Greg Elwell provides detailed guidance on how to optimize a LinkedIn company page, but in terms of visuals and text (e.g., use the maximum number of characters allowed; include plenty of white space and bullets; and “Sprinkle keywords throughout your description and write it for the user and what’s in it for them”).
9 Ways to Get LinkedIn Company Page Followers by Green Buzz Agency
Want more followers for your company page? Victoria Ipri passes along nine helpful tips, like getting your employees involved, sharing your LinkedIn page on other social media sites (“Are you using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other SM platforms? Share your LinkedIn Company page on these sites to hit as many followers as possible with your request. Ask your employees to do the same”), and adding your LinkedIn page URL to your commpany email signature.
To make the most of the strengths of LinkedIn as a platform for B2B marketing, Ross Wilson recommends optimizing the “About” section (“Most companies simply copy and paste the “About Us” section from their website onto their LinkedIn profile. However, this strategy is a mistake for those seeking to network on LinkedIn”) and featuring your employees (“People want to see the faces that are behind your brand”) among other tactics.
Top 10 Tips from Best LinkedIn Company Pages [SLIDESHOW] by LinkedIn Official Blog
Lana Khavinson shares 10 tips from top company pages (yes, it’s from 2012, but most of the tactics still apply!), among them: creating banners that show the vibrant nature of your business and culture (like Aurecon ) and “post content that interests your followers and less about how great your company is” (like Xactly).
Adding a Linkedin Group to Your Company Page by Social Media Tutorials
Jacob Curtis writes that adding a group to your company page on LinkedIn shouldlead to “an increase in traffic and engagement between the two,” and steps through the process for adding any type of LinkedIn group that you manage or moderate, including networking or community groups; resource or information-based groups; and employee or training groups.
3 Guides to Optimizing LinkedIn Company Profile Pages
LinkedIn Creates Product Pages In Bid for More Content-Marketing Dollars by AdvertisingAge
In this short article, Cotton Delo reports on LinkedIn’s experiments with product pages, and notes that “LinkedIn has already made it clear that urging brands to promote the white papers and links to thought-leadership pieces that they’re currently publishing on their company pages to a wider audience is the way it intends to grow its ad business.”
Linkedin Showcase Pages Create New Points of Discovery by iMedia Connection
Following up on the post above, Tom Edwards provides more detail on product / showcase pages, delving into what techniques and content work well by using pages from HP, Adobe, and Microsoft as illustrative examples, though he concludes that “This new showcase option will need to be carefully considered though when deploying…(brands will need to determine) which products have enough content to support the audience in addition to further segmenting the brand’s following into subgroups.”
Pointing out that “When conducting online research, B2B prospects will often judge a company’s credibility based on its website and social presence, particularly on LinkedIn,” Valerie Levin explains how to take advantage of four key LinkedIn company page features, including showcase pages, news feeds, and customized link preview images: “We’ve all had the experience of posting an update to LinkedIn that includes a link, only to find that the preview image that appears just isn’t that relevant. Now, LinkedIn enables you to customize this picture.”