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LinkedIn Tips: Network Like Clockwork LinkedIn is the web's central hub for professionals and businesses to connect and market their brand, expertise, and skills to the world.

The individuals who use LinkedIn aren’t necessarily doing so for enjoyment; it’s a professional site, like a professional networking event, so your approach to it needs to be treated as such. People won’t be interested in trivial products; they want to making connections and find professional solutions.

As an individual on LinkedIn, you can - among other things - use the site to establish a professional profile and control one of the top search results for your name, build a broad network of professional connections whose knowledge you can tap into, and discover new business opportunities.

A LinkedIn Company Page is a place for companies to provide more information about themselves, their products and services, job opportunities, and where they can share expert insights.

Any LinkedIn user can follow a company that has set up a Company Page to receive and interact with updates on their home page, which allows you a chance to drive awareness of you and your brand.

Research by LinkedIn has revealed that you only need 100-200 followers of your Company Page to reach the tipping point to start making an impact and driving engagement, so it's well worth making sure both it and your personal profile are doing the best job they can.

Note: Many of this chapter's tips are prefixed with either "Personal Profile" or "Company Pages," and some with both. This will help you tell where the advice given is best applied. Where there is no prefix, the tip is a more general hint about one of LinkedIn's many features.

LinkedIn Profile Optimization Personal Profile and Company Page:
Fill them in completely Make sure you fill out all of the sections on your LinkedIn profiles, and that you set up both a personal LinkedIn profile for you individually, and one that is specifically for your business - a LinkedIn Company Page.

Either page might be the first port of call for a potential client, so you'll want to make a good first impression. Important personal profile sections The Experience section is one of the most important parts of your personal LinkedIn profile, as you can really expand upon your current and past roles and responsibilities and your achievements.

It's also a really good place for you to drop in some relevant keywords which will aid your chances of appearing higher in LinkedIn's search.

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With a quick glance at your personal profile, visitors will know what you’ve done at each of your jobs, can learn more about you and determine whether you’re someone they want to connect with to foster a new professional relationship.

To make a prospect's job even easier, use short paragraphs or bullet-pointed lists. If you use bullets, start your sentences with verbs (past tense verbs for past positions, present tense verbs for present positions). Rather than state what you did, tell people what you accomplished or how you helped the business progress.

The more concrete and quantifiable you can be here, the better. The Intro section as is also crucial, as it is your first opportunity to write an overview or statement about who you are and what you can offer your audience and a chance to show what makes you unique and desirable to prospective connections. Make sure your Intro expresses who you are as a person.

Your company website or LinkedIn Company Page is there to tell people about your company, but your personal profile is there for LinkedIn users to learn more about you! How to Create A Company Page To add a Company Page, sign in to LinkedIn as a personal user and click on the "Work" link in the bar at the top of the site.

From here, click the Create A Company Page' link from the drop-down menu. There are a few small milestones you have to reach and a few simple administrative technicalities to overcome before LinkedIn will allow you to get started, but it won't take you long before you're ready to roll.

You must have a company email address, e.g., yourname@yourcompany.com, in order to create a LinkedIn Company Page. You are not permitted to use an address with a domain such as Outlook or Gmail.

Once your Company Page is created, you can begin to flesh it out with details about your location, size, contact details, industry, etc. Important Company Page sections Obviously, the ‘About Us’ section is very important.

Write a high-level overview of your business that showcases your brand and tells people what makes you unique. It is the perfect place to start spreading your message and opening up avenues of conversation with potential partners.

The 'Specialties' section of your Company Page overview is also very powerful. Here, enter relevant keywords about who you are and what you do, so that there is a greater chance that you’ll be found more often in a LinkedIn search.

Create Showcase Pages for specific products or services In November 2013, LinkedIn introduced Showcase Pages, a dynamic replacement for the old Company Page "Product and Services" tabs, which were removed from the site in April 2014.

Showcase Pages aren't the same as Company Pages, and they don't have all of the same features. Think of Showcase Pages as children to the parent Company Page:

a way to extend your LinkedIn presence by posting regular updates about a specific product, service, department, business initiative, etc., rather than your business as a whole, and a place where you can share unique and specific aspects of your brand to a more concentrated and distinct audience.

For example, Microsoft has a main Company Page, but several Showcase Pages for products and services Office and Microsoft Training and Certification. Users can follow and receive updates from Showcase Pages in the same way as any Company Page, so keep the top-notch content flowing with images, links, videos, freebies, etc.

If an update appeals to both your wider fan base via your main Company Page and the more niche audience of a Showcase Page, don't be afraid to re-purpose it. Showcase Pages have their own unique URL for easy sharing, and also appear on the right-hand side of your Company Page.

After identifying an area (or areas - you can create up to 10 Showcase Pages) of your business for which a Showcase Page would be useful, here's how you create one. After you have identified business areas that need a Showcase Page, click the Edit button on your Company Page and select ‘Create a Showcase Page.’

Optimum Company Page and Showcase Page branding image sizes: Cover image: 1536 x 768 pixels. Company Page “Life” tab cover: 1128 x 376 pixels.
Logo: 300 x 300 pixels.

Note: Download a Company and Showcase page cover photo template optimized for desktop and mobile screens (and lots of other great stuff) via the Premium Content Bundle chapter of this book.

Personal Profile and Company Pages: add a profile photo, logo and banner images On your personal profile, add a recent photo to humanize it - quite a few people don't, to their own detriment. LinkedIn profile pics are 200 × 200 pixels in size.

Keep it smart, though - don't post a photo on your LinkedIn profile of you in your bathing suit on the beach - a head and shoulders shot of you looking smart and presentable is best.

And as with your profile information, keep your profile photo updated with your changing look - hairstyles, glasses, wardrobe, etc. This will ensure that you are recognizable at meetings, conferences and events at which you and your LinkedIn connections attend! LinkedIn started to roll out Facebook-style cover photos for personal profiles in the summer of 2014.

The recommended size for background photos is 1536 x 768 pixels. Use this space to be showcase your brand personality, help people understand who you are, what you do and how you can help them - ideas include a photo of you, your contact details (email, phone, Twitter handle, etc.) and a call to action.

The default landing tab for your Company Page on LinkedIn is the Overview tab, and this is where your company logo and banner image will appear. It's very similar to how your Facebook cover image looks, but the size is different.

Note: Download Personal and Company page cover photo templates optimized for desktop and mobile screens (and lots of other great stuff) via the Premium Content Bundle chapter of this book. Personal Profile:

Make it client-facing The biggest mistake a lot of LinkedIn users do is to treat their personal profile as a virtual résumé. The truth is that most potential connections that come across you are not interested in seeing where you went to school, what your first job was, or what tasks you achieve.

At the very least, the Intro - at the top of your profile - should tell visitors who you are, what you do, who you help, how you can help them, and what others say about you (with a short, complementary quote).

Personal Profile: craft a catchy headline Your personal LinkedIn profile headline is the first piece of information a potential connection will see about you, so make it catchy and individual. Something generic like "Retail Manager" is not enough - there are millions of those on LinkedIn.

Think about what differentiates you, what makes you special and what you want to be known for. Craft a headline to match.  At the time of writing, my headline reads: Andrew Macarthy - Social Media Consultant, Bestselling Social Media Author, Content Curator.

Another quick trick is to update your personal profile headline every couple of months, which seems to help boost views within search, and ensures your profile's keywords will be found by different people typing different search terms. Personal Profile:

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Grab a vanity URL As with other social networks, LinkedIn offers the ability to create a custom profile URL to make directing potential clients to your profile that much easier. Here’s how:

1. On your profile page, click the "Me" drop-down menu at the top of
the page and choose Settings and Privacy from the drop-down menu.
2. Click on the Privacy tab and click "Change" next to the
Edit your public profile heading.
3. On the right-hand side, click the pencil to add or edit your custom
LinkedIn URL.

Personal Profile: Optimize your location Entering your location on LinkedIn might not be quite as obvious as it first seems. For example, I have spent a lot of time in Berwyn, IL, a city that is just a stone's throw from the much bigger and better-known Chicago - so let's pretend for a moment that I live in Berwyn.

If a prospect scouring LinkedIn was in charge of finding people from the Chicagoland area, listing my location as Chicago will help me appear in more search results (if filtered by location), and I will also be seen as someone "local" to others within my target market.

Think about how this tactic might apply to your location and adjust your profile accordingly. Personal Profile: showcase your Accomplishments LinkedIn allows users to add projects, languages, publications, awards, test scores, courses, patents, certifications and volunteering carried out to your profile.

As you can imagine if you put yourself in the shoes of a potential connection, this will add a lot of value to your profile, both in business terms and showing you off as a well-rounded individual. So, if you have these details to add, make sure you do so. Personal Profile:

Add rich visual content like images and presentations
Visual content like images, videos, infographics and even Slideshare presentations can be used to make your LinkedIn profile more eye-catching, while showcasing your achievements, brands that you have worked with and provided benefit to, your research, and skills at the same time.

Examples of great content to feature include popular blog posts, screenshots of customer testimonials (like a tweet or product review), or a video of an impressive speech you gave at a conference. Simply click the pencil icon next to any job position, then choose to upload a file or share a link to media under the Media heading.

Personal Profile and Company Pages: insert bullet points to make your pages more readable If you've filled out your LinkedIn profile in full, you've probably got quite a lot of text there, some of which (achievements, responsibilities, etc.) would be so much easier for prospects to read in a bulleted list.

As it happens, you can insert bullet points into your LinkedIn profile sections, but it's not something LinkedIn shouts about. Here's how:

1. Scroll to the section of the profile where you want to add bullet points
and click the pencil icon.
3. Copy and paste a bullet point from any other source
(Google Docs, Microsoft Word, the bullet point Wikipedia page, etc.)
and paste it at the beginning of a line on LinkedIn.
I personally use this website:
4. Write and save your text, and you're done, and your text should be bulleted.

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Personal Profile and Company Pages: Write for LinkedIn SEO; use relevant keywords When you optimize your LinkedIn pages with relevant keywords to you, your expertise and your business, it stands a chance of ranking higher in Google and LinkedIn searches.

Don't make it too obvious by writing in an unnatural style that renders it blatant to readers that you are trying to crunch in as many keywords as possible - but be aware that you'll want to include them nonetheless. Whenever you gain new skills and expertise, don't forget to add these into your profile too.

LinkedIn allows you to add up to 50 skills, so fill in as many as you can. The keywords you use should be a mix - from broad terms to those that are very specific, as you never know which search terms someone will be using to potentially find you.

Where you put these keywords matters, too - research by blogging4jobs.com revealed that your name, headline, company name, job title, and skills keywords rank the highest.  Another important place to use keywords on your personal LinkedIn profile is in the Experience section, both for your current and past positions.

Use lots of detail, going into the same amount of depth that you would on your resume about the position you held, the responsibilities you had and the goals you achieved. Don't be afraid to brag a bit! Personal Profile:

re-order job positions by importance LinkedIn will automatically order your job positions in chronological order, but you can override this and arrange them by importance to you (and potential connections) by clicking on the “multiple lines” icon next to any position and then dragging and dropping it into whatever order you like.

LinkedIn Marketing and Content Strategy Personal Profile: promote your company through employee profiles Getting all employees on board with your LinkedIn strategy is crucial to its success, as it helps to create an extended network that amplifies your company's standing and influence on the site.

Ask your employees to create their own LinkedIn accounts and to list your company as their employer. If necessary, provide them with training on how to build a great LinkedIn Profile (shameless plug: check out my book,

How to Build the Ultimate LinkedIn Profile in Under an Hour, for a step-by-step guide), and pass on the benefits that growing their own professional network can provide.

Rather than being scared that employee profiles will make them a target for headhunters from rival firms, see them as reflecting extremely well on your business instead. It is likely that many of your employees already have LinkedIn accounts and, sadly, there isn't much you can do to keep them from moving on if they decide to - just focus on the positives.

Personal Profile: follow other companies Company follows make it possible for you to keep your eye on key events happening at companies you’re interested in, handy for keeping tabs on the opposition and for your own inspiration.

You can follow or stop following a company from the “Follow” button on its Company Page, or by finding it in LinkedIn Search and clicking the “Follow” button right within the results. Personal Profile: Use Advanced Search to find prospects and earn trust that leads to sales/partnerships.

LinkedIn's Advanced Search function (click on the Search box and choose the “search for people with filters” link) is a great way to find and connect with potential new prospects. You can filter by relationship, industry, location, past companies, etc., then even create a search alert to be notified when new results become available.

Even if you aren’t able to Connect with or contact someone instantly because they’re a 3rd-degree connection (and if you don’t subscribe to LinkedIn’s Premium InMail service in order to bypass this restriction), you might be able to pick up enough clues from their profile to contact them outside of LinkedIn, via their website or other social account.
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Note: If you hit the "Connect" button on someone’s profile, a box will appear prompting you to compose a customized invite (highly recommended if your invite is out of the blue, especially if you don’t know the individual).

Greet them by name and add a short note that personalizes your invitation, e.g., genuine evidence that you have enjoyed a blog post they wrote or a lecture they gave which you attended. Complete your invitation by offering a compelling reason why you should connect with one another.

These extra touches can help to flatter a potential connection, make a good first impression, and increase your chances of developing a relationship. Once you have successfully connected with a prospect, send a quick thank you message and then follow-up with conversation to help the relationship blossom.

Depending on the reasons you connected in the first place and your overall goals, your follow-up strategy will differ. Ideally, you don't want to go pitching your service or product right off the bat; get to know your prospect first, perhaps by picking up on a commonality between yourselves from the details on their profile.

It could be as simple as setting up a reminder using the LinkedIn Contacts feature to "touch base" over the course of several weeks, or to sweeten things up by offering a free quote, PDF, or other valuable resource out of the goodness of your heart.

When the relationship is sufficiently strong, you can think about moving the conversation to other social networks and offline as a way to get things moving towards your end goal, e.g., providing a product or service or striking up a meaningful partnership.

Personal Profile: Accept quality, relevant invites In addition to looking to connect with others, start accepting invitations from those who want to connect with you. The more connections you have, the larger your expanded network grows, in turn creating more opportunities down the line.

Unfortunately, spammers are present on LinkedIn as they are on all social networks, so be careful only to accept invites from reputable and relevant profiles. Personal Profile: recommend and endorse others The more you give on LinkedIn, the more you'll get back later on.

Recommend and endorse others often - especially colleagues and even competitors - even if they don't ask you first. Each time you give or receive an endorsement, it will appear in the LinkedIn news feed for your network, which means more visibility for you and your brand.

As you'll discover, endorsing somebody almost always results in them returning the favor, and as your endorsements grow you may even want to move that section towards the top of your profile to showcase your most valuable skills to potential contacts.

Do keep in mind that you want your endorsements to be received as genuine and well deserved (more so by other users than the recipient, in a lot of cases), so don't go overboard on your first round of endorsements for an individual; spread your efforts out so that it doesn't come across as spammy or a suspicious act of over-praising.

A good rule of thumb is to review each invitation request received and make sure that the person in question has at least completed their profile and added a photo. Also ensure that the connection is purposeful and relevant to you and your brand.

Do they, in your mind, offer a good reason to connect, or do they personally tell you why they want to ? Do you know them already, or have they worked in the same industry as you ?  Finally, always reply when accepting a genuine and interesting connection request.

This is an easy way to start forming relationships. Personal Profile, Showcase, and Company Pages: drive traffic with value-added updates and an emphasis on images Like other social media sites, focus on providing interesting and value-added updates to help others succeed in business.

Research shows that the types of updates that resonate most with LinkedIn users are the sharing of expertise and industry insights, but of course you may want to talk about company developments and new products from time to time, too.

The updates you share on your Company Page are displayed prominently on the main Home tab and include a nice big space for images, so don't forget to make them compelling too; for personal accounts, updates appear in a feed visible when users sign in.

When you post an update to LinkedIn, you will need to copy and paste your link to the specific article and LinkedIn will automatically pull in the image and post for you. From there you can edit and publish your update.

Use questions or ask for feedback to drive engagement! Remember that you can delete the URL that you pasted into the update after LinkedIn has found the website in question.

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This will keep your update looking more clean, concise, and clickable. Personal Profile: mention LinkedIn users and companies in updates to heighten engagement In April 2013, LinkedIn introduced mentions to its social network, allowing you to easily and effectively tag connections and companies in your updates, as well as in comments.

LinkedIn mentions also seamlessly integrate with Twitter handles.
When a person or company is mentioned, they will be notified within their LinkedIn profile. Here's how to start:

1. Begin by typing the name of a connection or a company in your LinkedIn status update box or a comment field on the Homepage.

2. Select someone from the list of your connections that appear in the drop-down, complete your status or comment and post it.

By mentioning individuals and companies in your updates, your ability to engage and grow connections with business partners and customers is given a welcome boost. Personal Profile, Showcase, and Company Pages: be visible, valuable and timely When you've built up a thriving network of connections, you're going to want to maintain that reputation.

To do this, remain consistently visible, valuable and timely in your participation in all areas of LinkedIn. Your most recent activity will appear near the top of your profile, but if you're not very active, nothing will show.

As with other social networks, a rate of activity that works out at about one or two updates a day is a good target to aim for. Use the Notifications option at the top of your profile to review the most recent interactions from your network and respond in a timely manner.

Personal Profile, Company Pages, and Showcase Pages:
What to post ? One of the most in-demand content types on LinkedIn, perhaps unsurprisingly, is industry insights. Research from the social network shows that 60% of users are interested in industry insights, over half are interested in company news, and more than one in four are interested in hearing about new products and services.

As with other social networks, asking questions, including visual elements, sparking discussions, etc. are all good tactics. LinkedIn’s busiest hours are weekdays, morning and midday, so experiment with posting at these times and monitor how your audience reacts. Personal Profile:

Publish original "thought leader" content and grow a tribe of followers LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform to all users in February 2014.

It allows you to post full blogs on LinkedIn that become part of your professional profile and they are also sent out to your network as a status update. Ideally, you want to use the publishing platform as a way to share value-driven (non-salesy), expert content to both your current and potential audience.

Potential topics include important trends in your industry, what advice you would give to someone hoping to enter your field of work, the biggest challenges your industry needs to solve, etc.

There is no word limit, but some of the best examples so far aren't "full-on blog replacement" in length either. If you are inspired to come up with something between 400 and 600 words once a week that will build your credibility and strengthen your standing on the site, that is just what LinkedIn is looking for.

A bite-sized version of a recent blog article isn’t a bad idea (link to the full version at the end of your post), and – for SEO purposes - make sure to give it a compelling title that differs from the original.

To start writing, click on the “Write an article” button at the top of your LinkedIn home page and a familiar word processing layout (complete with the options to add links, videos, and images) will appear.

Once you've finished writing, conclude your post with a call to action if necessary, but definitely include a quick few lines of bio with links back to your LinkedIn profile, website, or blog.

When the post is shared to LinkedIn, re-post it on your Company page and other social networks for maximum exposure, then keep an eye on the metrics LinkedIn provides to help determine how well your content is resonating with your audience. As you publish more and the breadth of your statistics grows, you will be able to replicate the kind of post that does well.

Personal Profile: join and be active in LinkedIn Groups Whatever your industry, consider getting involved in Groups related to your industry as a way to connect with others, discuss and learn new ideas, and - more subtly - as a way to connect with key partners and find out what your target market is interested in.

With the shift in social media usage in the recent years, closed communities such as Facebook Groups as LinkedIn Groups might be the next top way to engage your audience – especially if you are a B2B company.

Being actively involved in one or several LinkedIn Groups can have many benefits for businesses, including: Building more awareness about you within your target markets. Positioning your company (or you as an individual) as an industry thought leader Nurturing valuable industry relationships.

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A showcase for your great industry-leading content and products. Generation of interest and inquiries for your business. Converting Group members to subscribers and advocates for your brand. Using the ideas you find - from popular discussions, statuses with the most likes and comments, etc. - to help you work on ideas and topics to feature in your company's status updates.

As with much of social media, leaping into a LinkedIn Group only to self-promote will not go down well – and may even get you removed. Instead, use Groups as an opportunity to share posts on a topic of interest to other members, and to engage in conversations in order to highlights your expertise.

When starting your own discussion (whatever it may be about) draft a compelling title to encourage views and end your message with an open-ended question or a call to action to get people to reply. The more popular your post and the more active it is, the more visibility you will receive.

As a result, people will see that you have important and meaningful insights into your area of business and may then decide to follow or connect in order to build a relationship. Groups can be searched for in the search bar at the top of LinkedIn (filter with the “Groups” tab in the results).

To access and manage your group participation, select the “Work” menu at the top of your LinkedIn homepage, then click "Groups." Joining local groups with less members may be beneficial, since their members are more likely to read your posts and there's a higher chance to make relevant, local connections.

Regular positive interaction, like posting and commenting thoughtful topics and responses, will raise your standing in the group, while promotional, spam, negative or inappropriate content will damage it.

If a group you intend to join is already well established, you can easily view and search (via the box at the top of the page)r topics within it to see what type of questions and issues are drawing the most engagement and whether these are of interest to you and your business.

Start your own LinkedIn Group If you can't find a Group that's right for you, why not start your own ? Crucially, the most successful LinkedIn Groups are focused around a topic that has a natural connection to your brand, and less on promoting your brand or company directly.

Having a topic that your customers care about will not only attract them to be part of your LinkedIn Group, but it will also help keep the conversations in the group focused and make it easier for you to manage. Here are some questions to help you decide on your group topic:

What are your goals for the LinkedIn Group ?
What are some of the topics that your brand is related to ?
What conversations can you have that would be useful to your customers ?
What are some questions that your customers often ask you ?

People should join the group because they are interested in the topic, not your company. Over time, (with you as group leader), members will create a natural connection with the topic and your brand. To create a LinkedIn Group, choose "Create A Group" from the Work > Groups menu. Fill in as much detail on the Group creation page as possible.

LinkedIn Group title, Summary, description, and rules The right LinkedIn Group name is critical to attracting the right members, so include a simple and specific title that instantly tells people what the Group is about. Tying your Group name to a location, e.g., "Toronto Entrepreneurs," or an industry,
e.g., "Hotel Industry Professionals," works well.

Add a succinct and keyword-rich Summary (which will appear in, and help your Group be found, in search results. Around 140 characters of your Group description will appear in search before being cut off, so make them count!).

Add a more detailed description, which will appear on your Group's profile page. Thinking about the Group description, use specific words and phrases that will encourage people to join and differentiate you from the competition.

Lastly, but very important - focus on creating a set of clear group rules. Your group rules will help your members understand what’s expected of them (e.g. no self-promotional links, profanity, etc.), and having them stated explicitly upon joining will make it easier for you to manage and moderate conversations.

Inviting and approving LinkedIn Group members To cut out the spam that has plagued LinkedIn Groups in the past and to ensure your Group remains a trusted place for you and your members to congregate, you can now invite only people whom you’re connected to on LinkedIn.

To invite your connections, click “Manage” on your LinkedIn Group homepage and choose “Invited Users” on the left. People who aren’t in your connections can Ask to join the group when they discover it in search, and LinkedIn allows Group owners to pre-approve every member who attempts to join.

In order to encourage people to find your group more easily and grow its member base, optimize and edit your group information to include keywords that prospective members are likely to search for and encourage group members to invite people to join. If you have the budget, you might also want to consider advertising your group with LinkedIn Ads. It might be tempting to think that the bigger your group is, the better it would be.

However, many of the largest LinkedIn Groups have thousands of members and by this stage are often filled with links and spam.

It is often smaller groups with manageable moderation that have the most meaningful discussions, and the most engaged audience. Make this a consideration as you begin to grow your group; slow and steady wins the race.

Setup message templates One very useful feature of LinkedIn Groups is its message templates, which allow you to create custom messages that are be automatically sent to people interested in joining your LinkedIn Group.

These messages are a great first point to introduce your Group and your brand to prospective members. If you don’t customize them, LinkedIn will send out a default message for each of the following message actions: Request-to-join Message (to people who requested to join the group).

To go a step further on this one, if you would like interested people to fill out an application form to join the group, you can include a form in the request-to-join message. This way, you can ensure that only people that really fit your criteria and are keen enough to make the effort, will get through.

Welcome Message (to people who you have approved group membership). Decline Message (to people who you have group membership).

Decline and Block Message (to people who you have declined and want to block future requests). To setup custom message templates, click “Manage” on your LinkedIn Group page, select “Templates” on the left, then click “Create Template.”

Be active in leading the LinkedIn Group As the owner of a LinkedIn Group, it is important that you maintain an active role in discussions and position yourself as its thought leader. Do not expect the Group to lead itself.

Once you’ve created your LinkedIn Group and invited your connections, your group is likely still feel quite barren, and new members might not post anything if there aren’t already any posts in the group.

As a starting measure, I would recommend creating a “Welcome” post as the group’s first discussion and pinning it to the top of the group (click the three dots in the upper-right corner of the post and selecting “Feature”.). Here, you can welcome new members, share what the group is about, ask them to introduce themselves, and gently remind members to adhere to the group rules.

As the ball starts rolling, tips for keeping things moving smoothly include posting a weekly discussion or question (with a LinkedIn Poll, perhaps), commenting on existing discussions, and encouraging engagement through questions and feedback requests.
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These actions will encourage your members to post themselves and show them know the type of discussions that are welcomed. Although starting discussions and participating in them is time-consuming, your effort will pay off once you have created a culture of starting meaningful discussions.

New members will mimic the actions of existing members, so if they see only quality conversations and no self-promotional posts, they’ll more likely to contribute meaningfully, too – i.e., not self-promote !

Use LinkedIn Group announcements LinkedIn Group Announcements is a feature that allows you to send one announcement per week directly to the actual personal email inboxes of members, not just a notification on LinkedIn.

This is the perfect opportunity to share new content and discussions, encourage people to visit your website and blog, invite them to an event or webinar, or anything else you think will benefit them and foster more brand loyalty. Remember to craft a compelling subject line to make sure your email is opened among all of the other LinkedIn notifications and other emails people receive every day.

Company and Showcase Pages: monitor and tweak performance with Content Marketing Score and Trending Content In order to gain a clear insight into the performance of your paid and organic content on LinkedIn, keep an eye on your Content Marketing Score, a feature first introduced in April 2014.

It measures reach and engagement with your Company Pages, LinkedIn Groups, employee updates, Sponsored updates, and more. It then gives you a single score, ranked against your competition, and provides recommendations about how to improve your score.

To drill down the information for more detailed insights, you can filter your Content Marketing Score by location, company size, industry, and more. If you want to get the best idea of how your LinkedIn marketing is helping you reach your social media goals, use your Content Marketing Score in conjunction with the rest of the site's analytics tools.

Meanwhile, Trending Content is a tool that ranks all of the issues that resonate most with specific audiences on LinkedIn by their levels of sharing and engagement. Use Trending Content as a way to help tailor the content you post to be as effective and relevant as possible. Personal Profile:

Analyze your history with the Data Export Tool The free LinkedIn Data Export tool provides you with a .csv file complete with a detailed overview of your past LinkedIn activity. Crucially, the data it holds can be analyzed to tweak and optimize your LinkedIn profile, relationship-building strategy (on LinkedIn and away from the site), and ad-targeting - well worth a look !

How to find the Data Export tool and request an archive:
1. Go to the Settings and Privacy section of your profile.
2. In the Account tab, click on the “Getting an archive of your data” section.
3. Click the "Request Archive" button.

When your archive is, LinkedIn will send you an email with a link you can use to start the download. Some of the most useful archives to explore and exploit for your benefit include: Ads Targeting: information to create and target LinkedIn ads more effectively, based on data about your profile. Ads Click Data: see which LinkedIn ads you click on.

Skills: review and revise a list of your Interest keywords with a quick copy and paste from the .csv into your web profile. Connections: a full list of your connections and their basic info to help re-target LinkedIn ads.

Endorsements: a full list of people who have endorsed you - use it to leverage and cultivate relationships with your biggest fans. Need references too ?
Export your profile as a PDF via the Edit Profile drop-down menu from your personal page. Comments: view all past comments to see if there is anything you need to follow up or elaborate upon.

Search Queries: A way to see which successful searches you have made on LinkedIn. Note: If you have clients who are willing to give you access to their LinkedIn Data files, the above archives will provide invaluable data on the behavior of your customers as well.

LinkedIn Advertising Strategy The key to remember when advertising on LinkedIn is you’ll be targeting ads to a professional audience; people use the platform to network, look for jobs or new hires, and connect with industry peers.

As this is the case, B2B businesses will likely have the best results on the platform. Although LinkedIn ads aren't cheap compared to something like Facebook, they can provide immense value for certain businesses if they’re utilized properly.

Here is a brief overview (and benefits) of each of the three main types of LinkedIn ad: Sponsored Content: Similar to boosting a post on Facebook, this increases the visibility of status updates in your audience's feeds.

These ads appear seamlessly, and are only identifiable as ads by a small “Promoted" marker attached to them. Sponsored content is ideal for promoting content like blog posts or business announcements, and for driving engagement. It’s also helpful in spreading awareness of your Company Page.

Sponsored Inmail: This LinkedIn ad lets you mass-deliver private messages to the LinkedIn inboxes of your audience. As an alternative to placing an ad in the news feed, Sponsored Inmail is highly personalized; users' interest is piqued by a notification of a message.

You can add a call-to-action button to the messages, allowing you to drive conversions effectively, whether you’re trying to get downloads of your newest whitepaper or registrations for an upcoming event. The other great perk of Sponsored Inmail ads is that they’re only delivered to users who are actually active on LinkedIn.

Text ads: Similar to ads in Facebook’s right-hand side bar; these will be small and unobtrusive, off to the side of LinkedIn's feed. Only available only for desktop placement, text ads are most effective if you want to show your ad to as many people as possible. You can run text ads even if you don’t have a Company Page.

Note: Your ads account is organized by campaigns. Each campaign has its own daily budget, targeting options, and ads. LinkedIn recommends that you create at least 3 ad variations, varying the ad text, calls-to-action, and images each time. You can create up to 15 different ads within a campaign, and by doing so, you’ll be in the optimum position to see which ads performs best.

Once a promotion is live, visit your Company and Showcase page's analytics to see how it performs. To set up an ad, visit the LinkedIn Ads page

and click Create Ad to begin. Whichever ad type you choose, you’ll be able to target it towards specific audiences based on location, job title and category, company name and category, group, and more.

In order to make your ad spend as effective as possible, spend time to anchor it with an appealing headline (questions work well, e.g., “Need a Web Designer ?”,

an eye-grabbing image (the maximum size is 50 x 50 pixels; use colors that contrast against the white background of the site) and a strong call-to-action like “Download”,
“Try”, or “Sign Up.”

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