LinkedIn is unique among social media platforms and is the acknowledged leader for B2B marketing activities. LinkedIn’s member engagement has grown by 50% in the past year, and the number of members liking, commenting, and sharing content on the platform has actually doubled.

The primary measure of your success on LinkedIn is engagement, defined as follows: your network and target market engaging with (1) your content, (2) your profile, and (3) you personally, ultimately in an offline interaction – real business connections.

LinkedIn is set up to facilitate your success – networking, connecting, informing, and marketing.

How so?

First, the search capabilities are powerful.

LinkedIn lets you search your extended network (i.e. your connections plus their connections plus their connections) using a robust set of search “filters” that supports “Boolean” search operators.  You can even create and save searches, and LinkedIn will notify you when additional members meet the criteria of your search!

You can also search the individual connections of all of your first-level contacts. This takes the mystery out of asking your friends to let you know “if there’s anyone you think I should be talking to” – LinkedIn enables you to get specific and helps your friends help you – and vice versa!

The University search feature of LinkedIn is another powerful feature that is most people overlook.

Second, LinkedIn provides great “native” features allowing you to post great content; if you do this right, your network and target audience is likely to engage with you; and you’re likely to be “found” by people you’d want to meet – inbound leads, anyone?

The best practices for posting engaging content have changed dramatically in the past year.

LinkedIn enabled the posting of “native” video on its site late in 2017; that’s video you create and post directly to LinkedIn – not as links to YouTube or Vimeo.

It appears LinkedIn is “all in” on native video. Their algorithm determining the reach of users’ update posts now heavily favors posts that include video. That means you have a great opportunity to gain visibility for yourself and your brand if you use video properly.

The other thing that has changed in the past year is LinkedIn’s emphasis on “update posts” as opposed to long-form blog posts. There are a few key ways to take full advantage of this. Play it right and watch your engagement soar.

Okay, you’ve attracted people to engage with you – to take full advantage, it’s imperative your individual profile is optimized.

Take things even further by turning your LinkedIn profile page into an “information hub” for people in your target market. Share information from others, create your own blog posts, updates, and native video’s, and build a reputation and a digital trail that leads to you as a thought leader for your industry.

(Source: Peter Williams, Consultant, UGA SBDC in Macon)