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Top Five LinkedIn New Year Resolutions for 2012

Goodbye 2011, welcome, 2012. Why not make 2012 the year you learn how to make LinkedIn really work for you and your business?

For professionals who have engaged with LinkedIn to grow their professional network and their business, there is often a dual feeling of both enthusiasm and uncertainty. This lack of knowledge of how LinkedIn can impact your brand reputation, findability on Google and business development, has left many aspects of this incredible business tool untapped.

Here are 5 ways you can resolve to improve your LinkedIn presence and activity for productive networking, lead generation and branding in 2012

1. Review and update LinkedIn group membership and activity settings

Are you getting too many emails? I would be a rich woman if I had a dollar for everyone who tells me that. We all suffer these days from email stress. Review all groups you belong to on LinkedIn ( a maximum of 50). I guarantee you there are at least 10-20 groups that you have not contributed to or used effectively for network growth/inbound marketing or thought leadership.

Cull them, cut out those that have lots of spam and that you do not get value from. Search "LinkedIn group statistics" and look for groups that have grown in 2011, that contain your target market/prospects either geographically or industry wise. Also look for groups with good spam moderation. As LinkedIn becomes more crowded only the groups with good spam moderation will continue to thrive and grow.

To change your group activity settings, hover your mouse over your name (top right hand side of LinkedIn page) and click on settings. Here you can control your privacy settings, your visibility and how many emails you receive from LinkedIn. I suggest you opt for a weekly group update from most groups and perhaps choose two or three to get daily updates from.This puts you in control of the number of emails received.

2. Get blogging and Integrate your blog content into your LinkedIn profile

Research from Hubspot (http://hubspot.com) consistently illustrates that Inbound Marketing (creating valuable content for customers and prospects) is more effective and costs less than traditional outbound marketing (advertising etc.)

Try and rethink your marketing budget for 2012: do some tests on leads acquired from blogging (content creation) versus leads acquired by advertising. Then measure the ROI. LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing your blog content both via your professional updates and your company updates.

You can integrate wordpress.com directly into your LinkedIn professional and company profiles. Because of LinkedIn's massive SEO power, and its twitter integration via Signal, your blog articles are more likely to be found here than just via your own company brand (unless you happen to be Coke).

Recently, the US online journal, Search Engine Journal published an article and infographic on "Why content creation is becoming a more important for SEO." Google has implemented a weighting factor known as the "panda factor". Google's Amit Singhal says; "Our site quality ranking factors are aimed at helping people find high quality sites by reducing the ranking of low- quality content".

So content that is unique, valuable and recent, plus that which is published on high "panda value" will rank well. Panda weights sites like LinkedIn as high quality platforms.

3. Take advantage of your LinkedIn Company Profile

If you're aren't already using the Company Profile option you're limiting your SEO. And don’t confuse professional and Company profiles. The professional profile is for a "person", the company profile for an "entity or business". So ensure you swap your company logo/graphic for a professional photo shot and use your company logo on Your "Company Page"."

The Company Profile Pages, allow business owners or designated administrators (employees), to create content for particular products or services and tailor product/services to segmented audiences. The layout allows companies to create a range of content offerings including video, white paper URL's, as well as targetted landing pages for lead capture. LinkedIn members visiting Company Pages can also post recommendations and reviews of products or services.

Promote your LinkedIn Company Page to engage followers via all your normal customer communication channels; your website; your email signature, your linkedIn professional profile, your PDF's, business cards and Iphone apps. Also, when people search your professional profile and hover over your business name, ie; xyzdigital this link goes directly to your LinkedIn company profile. As this link appears higher up on the page than your actual website, chances are more LinkedIn users will click on your LinkedIn company page. Therefore ensure your company page shows job vacancies, key corporate messages, video, landing page links and of course "all" of your company employees. All these lovely backlinks add massive SEO traction.

4. Start using LinkedIn Company Updates, they are SEO gems

Your LinkedIn company profile updates are able to be seen by your entire LinkedIn network- they are also searchable via Google so go get your company updates working for brand awareness and engagement.

For companies interested in how LinkedIn can assist with their search engine optimisation this is a huge plus. Given that Social is SEO and SEO is social, for B-to-B firms wanting to drive organic SEO, Company updates, up the "ante". Now, company updates can be linked with your company Twitter account, so updates appear to followers, your network and on Twitter.

5. Use the Export Contacts function to preserve your LinkedIn contacts

If you are a recruiter, involved in HR, management consulting or any other profession that relies on your LinkedIn network, it’s a good idea to backup your LinkedIn contacts regularly to a CSV file/excel or your own internal CRM system. If you have a large number of contacts I suggest giving each contact an ID number so similar names do not cause confusion.

This means if LinkedIn goes down for maintenance or goodness forbid has technical issues, you still have a backup of your contacts/network. As relationships can be central to many businesses and add to a brands value on the balance sheet this is critical for most businesses.

Last year, in UK a legal case involving a recruitment business and a former employee became a landmark LinkedIn test case. The employee was ordered to give back the LinkedIn contacts he had acquired whilst being employed by his former employer. I recommend to my recruitment clients that they do an audit of LinkedIn contacts at the time of joining and one at their exit interview. I prdict that there will be increasing sophistication around the management of this data for firms and businesses based on services and relationships in 2012.

Join The Conversation

  • Jenniferlb's picture
    Jan 9 Posted 5 years ago Jenniferlb

    For Social Media Today readers LinkedIn Google+ Workshop Reminder -

    http://eepurl.com/ii-Os special offer, 3 days only

  • Jenniferlb's picture
    Jan 9 Posted 5 years ago Jenniferlb @MrRyanConnors, Thankyou for your comment. I do agree, that this was omitted and a good pickup by you. Many, people have lots of LinkedIn connections but are unsure what or HOW to keep in contact with their connections. What many dont realise, is jut by making a small change to their personal/company profiles, they can alert their network of important changes in their business services, offerings and/or employees. Your point on linking Twitter with LinkedIn is a good one. And you can customise these messages by adding the #in twitter updates. Thanks @MrRyanConnors, you can connect with me via @Jenniferlb Appreciate your time responding here: Cheers Jen
  • MrRyanConnors's picture
    Jan 5 Posted 5 years ago MrRyanConnors

    Jennfier,

    Your post was spot on with great ideas for Linkedin. One that I might add is really trying to make an effort to connect to connections. I know many people, myself included, have lots of LinkedIn connection that sit collect dust with the hope of someday being utlitized. Now, I know its's not practical to stay in touch with hundreds of different people. However by seeing their networking activities and aligning with them it will better the chances of a legitimate benefit from the relationship. I know through blogging and specific #in twitter updates, I've had connections remember me, hopefully in a good light, by rememebering the stream of good content I pump into the network. - @MrRyanConnors

  • Jenniferlb's picture
    Jan 5 Posted 5 years ago Jenniferlb

    Please let me know your thoughts. Surely with 4,000 reads and 1000 shares, someone has something to contribute, or perhaps, debate? Yours sincerely,

    Jennifer Bishop (@jenniferlb Twitter).

    Thxs!

  • Flyn Penoyer's picture
    Jan 4 Posted 5 years ago Flyn Penoyer

    I would suggest one other thing LinkedIn users should do.

    Start thinking of LinkedIn as a marketing channel and make your profile a "marketing" piece desinged to get the attention and engagement of others.

    Most users treat their activities and profiles like a resume or mini website, simply telling who they are and what they do. If you offer value instead, or talk about what you can produce for the reader you will get far better resutls.

    To learn about the "marketing aspects" of LinkedIn what the free module of my new course easily found at my website www.OnlineBusinessNetworker.com.

     

  • Jenniferlb's picture
    Jan 4 Posted 5 years ago Jenniferlb

    Hi Jordannahe,

    Happy New Year LinkedIn wishes to you!! Glad you're utilising LinkedIn to its full advantage. Just to let any readers know, I'm really happy to answer any question re LinkedIn or other marketing issue raised in the article above.

    Warm wishes

    Jennifer

  • Jan 3 Posted 5 years ago infuzemobile

     

    I wanted to bring to your attention a new tool which helps you use LinkedIn effectively.
    To extract full value from LinkedIn you need to know when your connections change their jobs. Know when your connection gets promoted, starts their own company, joins a new company or retires from their job. 
    If you are in sales, marketing, recruiting, or a job seeker you need to download JobChangeAlert iPhone app.  http://bit.ly/sYlzzN

    I wanted to bring JobChangeAlert iPhone/iPad app to your attention. It helps you use LinkedIn effectively and has become a very popular tool for recruiters.

    To extract full value from LinkedIn you need to know when your connections change their jobs. Know when your connection gets promoted, starts their own company, joins a new company or retires from their job.

    The app will alert once a day with a list of LinkedIn connection who have changed their jobs. It also has a searchable list by time with all the job changes for the user to search and review when they need it. You can congratulate/message your connection from the app.

    If you are in sales, marketing, recruiting, or a job seeker you need to download JobChangeAlert iPhone app.  http://bit.ly/sYlzzN

     

  • Jordannahe's picture
    Jan 3 Posted 5 years ago Jordannahe

    Linked in is such a great tool.  It took about three days update and manage my linkedin profile and it has been such a pleasure to be able to share my expertise with the world.

    Linking up with groups, and being about to share my portfolio, and links to my published work is amazing.

    Obtaining recommendations has been a brilliant tactic to darw attention to my professional abilities has also been helpful.

    Great post!

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