If you aren’t on LinkedIn, you’re missing out.

Hands down, LinkedIn is the hottest social media platform for the working class and the number one way to gain relevance among other professionals, businesses and organizations. You just can’t beat this platform, for your own personal networking and to share thought leadership in your industry.

Your Personal Network

If you dread updating your paper resume every time you learn a new skill or acquire a new responsibility, worry no more. With LinkedIn, you can have an updated resume in seconds. You can even notify your following when you update your resume—it’s easier now than ever to make sure your online presence looks polished.

Perhaps more importantly, LinkedIn just may be the new vehicle that will bring you your dream job. In a survey of 1,848 staffing professionals, 97.3% reported using LinkedIn to aid their job search. It’s easy, efficient, and free—LinkedIn sends your resume with the click of a button and all you have to do is sit back, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Your Company Page

However, LinkedIn dropped the ball a little for page owners; company page functionality is a little less stunning on the admin side. Anything beyond daily updates might be difficult to figure out at first and finding answers to questions requires serious digging. But the good news is that LinkedIn updates frequently, so there’s hope that the admin and ad manager will get better.

The first thing you should focus on as a company is creating an unforgettable page summary that immediately grabs your audience’s attention. You can even list out your products and services to help sell your company even more. Make sure your header image is captivating and add career information for the convenience of all interested people.

Starting out as a new company page can be difficult, so enlist your employees to be your advocates. Getting their likes on the company page will help your content be seen by larger audiences. So share lots of content and office updates. Give an inside look but err on the side of professional. Be cautious about appearing just fun and hip; LinkedIn is the place where you want to build credibility, not just humanity, around your brand.

LinkedIn also does a great job of pulling people to your page through ads, so invest a couple hundred dollars, and run your most compelling content as a sponsored post or create a sidebar ad. Our favorite part about LinkedIn ads is the option to do unlimited testing through them. You can create several different versions for your sidebar ad, watch their performance for a day or two and then run the winning one for the duration of the ad. Don’t be afraid to invest a lot in ads at the beginning—it will take some work to get your page out and seen by people.

Also consider adding the LinkedIn button to your emails, newsletters, and blogs to give people easy access to your page and attract new followers. Cross-promote your page through your social channels to alert people of your LinkedIn presence. But don’t cross promote more than once or twice a week—more than that will annoy followers and lead to increased unfollow or unsubscribe rates.

Content, Content, Content

Where LinkedIn began as a professional networking site – a purpose it still serves – recently, it seems to have found its niche as a hub for thought leadership and sharing content. With so many top-notch professionals and experts interacting on the site, it’s a no brainer that it’s also become a source of knowledge and insight.

Make LinkedIn a vital part of your content marketing strategy, especially if your target audience is other professionals or industry referral sources. Every profile has a “microblog”, allowing you to post longer form content, articles and updates than other social networks. Key contributors from your organization should post content and thought leadership articles, sharing it with their networks and industry groups. Don’t have time for all that extra work? Repurpose content you’re already creating for your blog and other outlets, and use LinkedIn to help get more eyes on your work!

Once you have seen some traffic to your site—analyze your data through the company page analytics. Test out different strategies of sharing through content type, posting time, and posting style. See what works best, but never settle for one style. Revisit every quarter, analyze the new data, and revise your strategy.

The most important part of your LinkedIn presence, whether you’re using as an individual or as a company is to provide compelling and relevant content. You can’t become a thought leader without it.

social media cheat sheet

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