Making the most out of your LinkedIn account

Whether it’s building brand awareness – as an individual or a business – setting out as a thought leader in your industry, networking, or generating leads. LinkedIn can be a hugely valuable tool.

Your LinkedIn account is the shop window, through which your professional network perceives you. Getting it right can have hugely positive impacts on your brand and your bottom line.

But getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile can sometimes be a challenging ask.

So to help you on your way, we’ve put together this guide to making your LinkedIn profile the best that it can be.

An effective LinkedIn account: from profile photo to SEO optimisation

When it comes to building a strong and effective presence on Linkedin, first appearances are everything.

Building a strong and effective LinkedIn profile is crucial for maximising the platform’s potential, for you, your teams and your business. Here are some practical tips to help you create a compelling LinkedIn profile.

Clear and consistent visuals and branding

If you’re a business, make sure that you have a high-quality logo or brand mark as your profile image and header. Make sure that you are following LinkedIn’s most up-to-date design rules, or else it will end up cropped and distorted.

For personal pages, ensure you have high-quality headshots. If you’re a business leader, a back-lit selfie, isn’t going to cut the mustard.

Also, consider how the rest of your teams are portrayed with their own profile photo. Has everyone taken their own? While giving your teams the freedom to choose their own, can put personality throughout your online presence. It can eat away at your brand continuity.

To fully weave your brand throughout your entire Linkedin ecosystem, a professional photoshoot is good idea. This way, you and all of your team members will have brand and visual uniformity.

But don’t stop there.

Those header images that you have on your corporate page, make sure that you’re supplying those images to your teams as well. Having this kind of continuty in brand will stabilse the visual foundations of your brand, as well establishing trust and credibility with connections and clients.

The art of the headline

A compelling summary headline that accurately reflects your role, experience, current position and your value proposition is key.

If someone visits your LinkedIn profile for the first time, it doesn’t help if they feel confused about what it is that you actually do. Be clear, be concise and give your visitors exactly what it is they’re looking for.

You can take your headlines one step further, and fold in keyword strategy!

Use online search keyword research to insert valuable relevant keywords into your headline.

Having these keywords present in your LinkedIn profile can have positive impacts on your overall search presence. Having a high presence in SERP is a crucial part of digital PR and Online Reputation Management.

For instance, if someone is searching for Project Management Specialists in the construction sector, if you’re keywords are tuned into your LinkedIn profile, they are going to have a much easier time finding you both on and off the platform.

Skills, endorsements & recommendations

Listing your own skills and experience is one thing, but it’s even more powerful when these come from your colleagues, recruiters, clients and peers.

Having others endorse you, and your teams, helps further validate your key skills and proficiences. So canvas colleagues, clients, end users and whoever you can, to add endorsements and recommendations. They serve as incredibly powerful trust signals that can hugely highly your capability and credibility.

Maintaining a steady flow of output through your LinkedIn profile

The frequency and cadence of output and engagement on Linkedin are very important.

Posting irregular content and updates serves very little benefit. You have to get into the mindset of regular, relevant content.

Content updates

You’ve gone through all the hard work to create a LinkedIn profile that looks great, don’t let it slide by letting it sit idle. You need a content strategy in place.

What this content will look like will vary depending on you and your business.

Leaders and CEOs may want to position themselves as sector thought leaders. In real terms, this translates into frequent thought leadership content. This could be long-form feed posts of LinkedIn blogs.

Top Tip: LinkedIn is prioritising video as its content format of choice, so think about how you can take your written thought leadership and convert it into an engaging and entertaining video.

Your business page should be governed by a strong and robust social media strategy.

This strategy will dictate the overall themes that you wish to communicate from your LinkedIn account, rather than the exact content itself.

For example, this could be a three-pillar approach of Culture which pulls on content strands around your employer brand. Knowledge, which activates content around your industry and sector credentials and experience and New Business, which takes elements of your Knowledge and weaves them into testimonials and successful projects.

With your pillars in place, you’ll find it much easier to develop audience-relevant content in the long term. If you’d like to read more about some of the various strategies and tactics around content creation, you can find that here

Engage, engage, engage

LinkedIn runs on engagement… it loves it when you like, comment and share content. So do that!

If there are comments on posts from your business page, engage with them. This will show that you place value in being part of a wider industry community. Don’t be a monolith in your sector.

You can also engage your internal teams, by sharing their own Linkedin content on your main business page. Has someone done something particularly excellent, or written a great post on a pressing industry topic?

Don’t hide the knowledge of your teams under a bushel, let it be known!

This kind of engagement is particularly powerful, as it not only enhances your industry standing, but it greatly enhances your employer brand and is a nice way of letting your teams know that their knowledge and experience is valued.

In terms of engaging with your wider networks. Make sure that you are engaging with content from your connections. This could be industry influencers and key decision makers, media or other thought leaders within your professional network.

Having an active community presence, individually and through your corporate pages, greatly boosts your visibility with the people that matter to you.

Understanding the risks and downsides

Like with any online network, there are some risks and mitigations that you need to understand. We’re dealing with online reputations and sometimes, for many different reasons, things can go awry.

Sensitive information

Sharing sensitive information or engaging in inappropriate behaviour on LinkedIn can harm your professional reputation and that of your business. LinkedIn isn’t like other social channels, it is a place for professional networking and the enhancement of professional experience.

Be cautious about the information you share and the opinions that you voice. You don’t want to post anything that could harm your current position.

Also ensure that your teams understand that when they are online, they’re representing the interests of the business. There’s a code of conduct when it comes to being on Linkedin, professionalism comes before personal opinion, this isn’t Facebook.

Reputation and crisis management

In business, your reputation is your bond. If anything should arise that could damage that, then you need to approach the situation very carefully. This is where crisis management comes into play.

A ‘crisis’ can be a relative term. It could be a slew of negative reviews about your products or services. It could be negative feedback or criticism aimed at your business, it could be something a lot more serious.

Whatever the issue, crises always require dedicated and delicate management. You have to be prepared to handle them with care and honesty. Otherwise, things can quickly spiral and work against you.

You can read more about why crisis management is a critical function in modern PR right here.

It just takes time

Rome wasn’t built in a day… and neither will your online brand be.

Setting yourself unrealistic targets and KPIs will only serve to demoralize and undermine the entire process of brand, reputation and platform building.

If your main goal is getting hundreds of thousands of followers, it’s going to take a long time to get there. But trust in the process and don’t set unrealistic goals straight from the get-go.

Building an online presence takes time and experience. It’s why businesses choose to partner with a strategically minded public relations agency, as they can offer the tools, knowledge and know-how to help a business achieve its goals.

Competing in a saturated market

So, you’ve spun up a LinkedIn account, and you and your teams are active in terms of output. But your engagement is low and your outcomes aren’t what you hoped for… what next?

This is where you ask yourself how much of this is LinkedIn being a very crowded space, and how much is it about the content we’re putting out?

Chances are the answer is likely a mix of both.

LinkedIn is indeed a very competitive place to set out your stall. There are 830 million members on the platform and 67 million listed companies. Whichever way you look at it, that’s a lot of noise.

Challenge yourself to consistently deliver high-quality content and engage with your audience. But most importantly, you need to know what’s working and what’s not to get noticed. So adopting a test-and-learn mindset is critical.

You are competing in a loud, and difficult market. So taking the time to test and learn is important. Don’t be disheartened if a particular post doesn’t land. Learn from it and go again!

Key takeaways

There is certainly more to LinkedIn than meets the eye!

Building an effective LinkedIn presence requires a strategic, consistent approach to branding, content creation, and community management.

Implementing clear visuals aligned with your brand identity, leveraging keyword-optimized headlines for visibility, and showcasing skills through endorsements and recommendations will only get you so far.

You have to maintain a steady cadence of high-quality, relevant and targeted content tailored to your audiences, whether thought leadership pieces, industry insights, or employee spotlights.

You have to prioritise engagement.

By actively participating in discussions, sharing team members’ contributions and networking within your professional circles and network. But, be cautious about oversharing and always be on the lookout for issues that have the potential to negatively impact your brand and your work experience and mission.

Remember, cultivating a strong LinkedIn presence is a long-term investment that requires patience, testing, and adaptability to stand out in the saturated market.

By following these practical tips, you can create a compelling and engaging LinkedIn profile that effectively showcases your expertise, achievements, and value proposition to potential clients, employers, and business partners.

If you’d like to engage with us on how to make the most out of your corporate social media strategy, the AMBITIOUS team can offer you expert guidance on social strategy and content delivery. So get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.