One of the social media questions most often asked of the consulting team at CRT/tanaka relates to the use of LinkedIn by individuals as a way to help their companies or causes. There have been some good recent posts on how to increase the SEO juice from LinkedIn, and I’m not above borrowing from them to share with our readers on The Buzz Bin.
Kevin Gibbons took a shot the other day at laying out some ideas, for instance, offering good advice for novice or slightly practiced users of LinkedIn. For starters, LinkedIn is nothing without a complete profile. While most consider this a personal page, make sure you include your company website and carefully craft the keywords that are included in the Summary and Specialties sections.
You should also edit the profile to claim your vanity URL. This helps optimize your own name in the search engines, but also remember to include it in you company site and to tie it as closely as you can to Facebook, Twitter and other instances of your name on the web.
Making your profile publicly available may seem like a “duh!” for most PR folks, but you’d be surprised at how many of the 50+ million LinkedIn users don’t. Steven South offers thoughts on how much to include. Blocking too much of your client/work experience may lower your SEO score.
LinkedIn. The name would seem to indicate people in search of connections, but I can’t tell you the number of times I look up a prospect’s profile and find a truly anemic number of connections. Link. Connect. Join groups. All extend your reach and improve the ability of others to find you (and your company) on the Interwebz.
Recommendations also are an often overlooked aspect of LinkedIn, and I’ll admit that I get suspicious when I see the obvious quid pro quo (you recommend me, and I’ll recommend you). Your abilities, particularly in the consulting business, are best reflected in honest recs. Don’t forget to ask for mention of your company as you seek them from your business associates. Higher numbers of recommendations also increase your profile in searches internal to LinkedIn.
CRT/tanaka also has a company profile (please don’t judge us yet). Links to this from employees throughout the company are important steps also. Building other connections is critical. (Remember to have employees exactly match the company name.)
LinkedIn is now reaching its stride in the groups section. While I’d not rank groups at the top of my list for helping stay informed in key business interests (Twitter is still my favorite), there are great groups formed around almost every interest area in PR. Lindsay Olson mentions some of them in her post.
LinkedIn Answers is an evolving opportunity, particularly for consultants. The professional version of FixYa (couldn’t resist – I love this site), the Answers section is a wide open field for intelligent thought to be shared, and with the powerful base of LinkedIn and the wide-ranging interest areas, Answers has the potential of Marketing Profs (350,000 participants there) on steroids.
I also liked the ideas from Patrick O’Malley, who mentions that the headline should carry an active voice, and the Linked Secrets duo Nathan Kievman and Peter King, who are thought provoking on the subject of effective use of LinkedIn. I particularly like Nathan’s ideas on how to use video on the service.
With LinkedIn gaining one new member each second according to Jeff Weiner, CEO, on his official blog, the world is getting a lot smaller and your connections are getting a lot easier. PR people have an opportunity to make the most of this interesting communications environment.