If you’re ready to rocket your career success, LinkedIn is the ultimate fuel. And you can accelerate the results even more by making it the engine behind all of your professional social media activity. Here’s how you can maximize your visibility and your value by placing LinkedIn at the center of your digital branding strategy.
Step 1: Build Brand Communications
First, you need to create the right brand communications materials to use in all forms of social media. Then you can determine how to post without having to create new content for each platform.
Brand identity. Your brand identity system is the packaging that surrounds your brand. It includes color, fonts, images, a tag line, etc. Start by developing your brand identity for LinkedIn – including creating a custom background image. Then have similar versions created for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Bio. Take the time to craft a compelling bio to use as your LinkedIn summary. You have 2,000 characters to tell the world who you are and why they should care. Because it shows up near the top of the results for a Google search on your name, your LinkedIn summary will likely be the most read version of your bio. And for people who are checking you out online before they meet you, your LinkedIn summary creates your first impression. Here’s the process that will help you create a stellar summary. Once you’re happy with it, create shorter versions for your other social media – including the shortest version of all – your 160-character Twitter bio.
Images. Perform an inventory of images that you can add to your Summary and Experience sections of your LinkedIn profile. Include items like slide presentations, photos, videos, whitepapers, etc.
The one thing you will want to vary for your profiles is your headshot. There are two reasons for this:
- You want multiple versions of your headshot to show up on page one of a Google search on you. Thanks to blended search, Google shows relevant images on page one. In order for you to appear on page one, make sure you name your photo yourname.jpg.
- Different media are better for showcasing different facets of your brand. You might want to be more professional on LinkedIn than on Facebook, for example.
Step 2: Identify Your Social Media
Choose social media platforms that are powerful career advancers – the ones where your target audience hangs out. Then identify the ways in which they overlap with LinkedIn.
Twitter. You can tweet without ever having to go to your Twitter account. When you link your Twitter account to LinkedIn, you can share updates on LinkedIn and Twitter at the same time – as long as your update is no more than 140 characters.
SlideShare. LinkedIn purchased SlideShare and has created a strong integration between them. SlideShare is a powerful tool for expressing your thought-leadership. When you publish the PDF of a slide presentation at SlideShare, you can instantly make it available to your connections and groups at LinkedIn, and you can publish it to your LinkedIn profile.
YouTube. Now that LinkedIn allows you to integrate videos into the Summary and Experience sections of your profile, you can easily enhance your profile with relevant videos that you publish to YouTube. In addition, via the share function in YouTube, you can make your video visible to valuable LinkedIn connections and groups.
What does all this add up to? Mastering LinkedIn is the first step to mastering social media. The final step is to build a well-connected network and then create a schedule for sharing your content with them on a regular basis. This will put you on the fast track for becoming visible and valuable to an audience of decision makers.
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