A strong profile is critical to driving visibility on LinkedIn, but a profile alone won’t drive awareness, network growth or the kind of engagement that strengthens your personal brand and takes it to the next level. Thoughtful and strategic participation is essential. Instead of posting incessantly or “Liking” everything in your feed, invite people to connect, share information, comment on posts or write an article. Bring your perspective and brand to join and start conversations.
To get better noticed on LinkedIn, here are 10 things to do:
- Share helpful content. Posting articles with informative content, noteworthy events and anything related to your functional area or industry is a great way to position you as a go-to resource and increase your visibility. Consider quality and relevance, however, when deciding if you should share something. For most people, math brain teasers and inspirational quotes about working hard aren’t relevant posts.
If the content you share reflects something specific that you or your company is doing, that’s an added win. For example, a cybersecurity expert might share an article about how boards are handling cybersecurity challenges and include a brief comment on the solutions they’ve recommended to recent clients. The key is to share information that’s helpful to others, not lead with self-promotion.
- Proofread. Your communications shape the impressions you make in every setting, so proofread carefully whenever writing a comment, post or article. Frequent typos and mistakes will make you stand out for the wrong reasons; others may view you as sloppy or careless. Take the extra quality-control step to ensure you represent yourself well with correct grammar and spelling. If you include a link, test it before you post. If composing on the mobile app (even a quick comment), take caution and read it out loud before you post — mistakes are even easier to make when typing on a phone.
- Keep it professional. While everyone knows that LinkedIn is a professional platform, too many forget that this means not posting personal things, unless it somehow relates to you as a professional. For example, the owner of a 3rd generation, family-run insurance business could reasonably share old pictures of her and her grandfather standing in front of the agency’s original office, commenting on their business growth and announcing the opening of their 5th office location. However, sharing photos of her daughter’s recent high school graduation isn’t appropriate — save those posts for Facebook or Instagram.
- Tag individuals and organizations with @mentions. Tagging others is a great example of the two-way street of networking. These digital shout-outs associate those you mention with the content you share, help highlight something about them and reflect positively on you in the process. Even if you’re not directly connected to a person or company, @mentions drive visibility and grab their attention (and potentially the attention of anyone who follows or is connected to them).
- Vary sources. Did the last 3 articles you share all come from the same source? While Harvard Business Review or Fast Company may be your favorite publications, vary the outlets you tap into when sharing interesting or helpful content. It may take a little more time, but drawing from diverse sources and perspectives shows better depth.
- Do more than “Like.” Clicking “Like” is a start to increasing visibility, but it doesn’t bring anything extra to the table. Your expertise, perspective and opinion are not highlighted. One more “Like” has the same impact as anyone else’s “Like” on the same post. This is ok in some instances, but it doesn’t help to differentiate you. Genuine, effective engagement on LinkedIn includes comments, questions and shares with an introductory note. Commentary showcases your unique voice and viewpoint.
- Follow companies that interest you. While not seemingly obvious for visibility, following companies that you’re interested in increases the likelihood of recruiters finding (and reaching out to) you for related opportunities. Recruiters can identify potential candidates based on who follows a specified company. This can also differentiate you (albeit in a small way) when pursuing board positions.
- Include older content when relevant. As an overwhelming volume of content is published every day, it often seems like anything before yesterday is outdated. However, helpful analysis and perspective can endure much longer. Consider the impact of time passed before sharing something. For example, advice from 2 years ago about how style impacts impressions you make during meetings or interviews is still highly relevant. An article from the same timeframe about how to make specific LinkedIn profile updates may no longer be accurate, however, if the user interface has changed.
- Send personalized invitations to connect. As frequently as this advice is given, it’s still ignored. Clicking on the “Connect” button without a personal note is about as thoughtful as clicking “Like.” Generic invitations are too easy to overlook or ignore. Boost visibility by sending an invitation with a personalized message. This increases the likelihood that your request will be accepted and sets the stage for a follow up conversation. Simply heeding this tip will help you stand out from the crowd when connecting to new contacts!
- Join and participate in Groups. LinkedIn’s groups are communities that share commonalities – functional or industry focus, membership in professional organizations, alumni associations or affinity groups etc. – and as such, they’re good forums to join. Not only do they enable access to content, resources and potential contacts, joining the conversation and engaging with these communities is a great way to increase your visibility among potential connections who share a stake in topics/areas/opportunities of professional interest to you.
Taking your LinkedIn game to the next level means joining the conversation and engaging. Logging in to comment here or there once every few weeks isn’t enough — commit to spending some time regularly each week. Adopt a strategic and thoughtful approach to interactions, keeping in mind that everything you do on LinkedIn reflects your personal brand. What you say and how you engage should align with how you want to be known professionally as you make the effort to get noticed and increase your visibility.