There is any number of ways to make a chocolate cake. You can substitute juice for sugar, use vegetable oil in place of eggs, even turn out a flourless mousse-like masterpiece. One thing you can’t do without is the chocolate.
Social media for business professionals is a lot like that. You can substitute Twitter for Facebook and still get your news across. You can switch over from Pinterest to Instagram for ongoing photo posts. But the one key ingredient that can’t and shouldn’t be omitted (or skimped on) is a well-maintained,100% complete LinkedIn presence.
Owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn is the largest business networking site in the world with almost 500,000 users earning an average salary of $100,000. That means the Suits to the Jobseekers are using this important platform to make contacts, form partnerships, promote products and close deals. You can be sure your co-workers, future employers, current clients and even the CEO will check out your profile.
Over the years, the rules of engagement have relaxed for LinkedIn. Maybe because of the youthful digital marketing generation, such qualities as humility, sincerity and authenticity are valued more in the workplace. Now you can use your personal story and unique perspective alongside your more traditional resume format to complete the picture of who you really are. Writing about what it’s like to wrestle with and win over challenges and adversity makes for inspiring stories, perfectly appropriate for posting on LinkedIn. The point is to be a resourceful contributor with a genuine desire to share, support and succeed.
A Palatable Profile
Here’s where it all begins. What used to be more or less your online resume with a colorful skills infographic has been transformed into the primary way for people to find you.
The ingredients of a LinkedIn Profile:
The wider background shot should show something relevant to the profession such as a prized product, an industry talk, a photo with an influencer or a montage of your most impressive client’s logos.
Choose a current, high-resolution closeup.
Dean Betts, Owner, Choco-Lot Cake Company
Specializing in exceptional chocolate cake creations prized by
restaurants and connoisseurs the world over.
Customized LinkedIn URL
To use on website, resume, business cards and social media.
Simple statement of what you do:
We make cakes for chocolate lovers and cocoa connoisseurs.
How you do it:
We employ award-winning chocolatiers and accomplished candy and pastry chefs.
We seek out the finest chocolate ingredients for our recipes.
Who you do it for:
Clients include Neiman-Marcus, Cheesecake Factory, La Madeleine, Four Seasons Resorts and The Mansion on Turtle Creek.
Fifteen years in business growing revenues by 450%. Grew staff from 50 to over 500 in three years.
Specialties include wedding cakes, french gateau, royal icing, petit fours, and patisserie.
Link to rich media:
See samples of our sweet stuff at: www.choco-lot.com
This includes pictures, videos, slideshows, white papers, ebooks, etc.
Associations and Awards
Charity, events, professional organizations, networking groups, certifications.
We also run one of the most active online communities for chocolate lovers.
Links to your Other Social Media
Contact Info for Key Departments
If you want to work with us, send an email to: www.choco-lot/hr
For parties, email us at : www.choco-lot.com/catering
For info on our chefs: www.choco-lot.com/pubicity
Conceivably, our cake maker will receive skills endorsements including:
Trading endorsements is common on LinkedIn. Message or email someone to endorse you and then endorse them back. LinkedIn will prompt you with related skills for your profession. An endorsement on your page from an expert “highly skilled” in their field, say Martha Stewart in the Cake Design category, counts for much more clout.
Professional recommendations are not the same as adding to a line of endorsed skills. Make a list of previous employers, clients, colleagues, coworkers, teachers and professors…but limit it to those related to your brand who might write something specific that appeals to your targeted audience.
“Chef Dean has given the world some of the most artistic cakes. He once recreated the London Bridge in chocolate served at the House of Parliament for Mrs. Thatcher’s birthday.” — Julia Child
“I worked with this maestro at the Waldorf Astoria. He knows how to orchestrate a kitchen to produce their best creations.– Steve Ward, pastry chef at Ritz-Carlton, Paris
Connections are like your friends on Facebook, only more professional. Essentially, they are your ‘followers,’ that coveted number that says “I’m interesting” to at least 307 people. When you run out of names to connect with (LinkedIn will send you a constant stream of suggestions based on your connections’ connections), you can import and connect all emails to your LinkedIn account.
Connect with past peers, previous jobs, associations, industry peers and enforcers. Build connections through “LinkedIn Groups” or add a thread on your Facebook Groups asking to connect with others on Linkedin.
5 Ways to Find Your LinkedIn Sweet Spot
Start by joining a few Linkedin Groups and list them on your profile. Then jump in and see where you can help and network. To build and nurture partnerships, you should promptly and enthusiastically respond to all your views, likes and comments because these are your future customers or audience and will be otherwise wasted.
Be consistent. Post every day and document your particular journey with simple stories (up to 1300 characters). Post your content and it will show up on your followers’ feeds.
A word about posting: LinkedIn prefers its own native content (originated on LinkedIn) over outside link posting to keep users on the platform longer.
2. Company Pages
In addition to your personal page, set one up for your company, too. Use SEO keywords and add a Follow button to your website, blog and social media. Create relevant industry content and ask employees to link, share and post to the company page.
You can always monitor the dashboard to see how many views your profile has, but for deeper details, such as the “add-back percentage” (number of connection requests sent vs. accepted), you’ll need to delve into some basic analytics.
- Premium Account
For about $50 per month, you can get the actual names of people who looked at your profile, expand search options, message someone instantly and sport a gold premium badge on your home page. Woo hoo!
- Sponsored Content
Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, as the saying goes. LinkedIn allows you to get on feeds of very specific targeted audiences where you can test variations of messaging and track leads your ad generates.
So if you’re in business, you better be on the best social platform for serious professionals. LinkedIn succeeds at helping half a million users connect and communicate. With it, you can get noticed, gain traffic and maybe even go viral. For a first-hand look at how to leverage LinkedIn, give us a call.