Social Media - Back to basics with LinkedIn

Social Media is no longer just something people play around on when they should be getting on with their work or just want to chat to their friends.

But you know this, right?

The number of users on social media is continuing to rise and you don’t want to be left behind. Thinking that you’ll get around to it soon means potentially wasting opportunities, but it also takes time to build a brand on social media- it doesn’t happen overnight.

If you’re reading this and thinking you don’t need to go on any further because you don’t have a company to build a presence for, then stop there – what about brand ‘you’?

Yes, you!

Your personal brand encapsulates how people think of you when they meet you in person, how your industry and peers recognise you and if you are known to them.

Building a personal brand online is just as important as building a company brand; it allows you to become more real to people you’ve not met yet and starts to build trust for future relationships to be built on.

Now, are you thinking ‘I don’t have anything of any value to say, there’s nothing I’m working on that’s important enough to share’? This is that pesky imposter syndrome and we all get it from time to time. But you are you – you have heaps of personality, skills and so much knowledge that you could share with others to help, guide and educate.

But why should you? Why should you spend time and effort doing this?

Using social media (and I mean more than just logging in) and using it well will help to elevate your position within your company, with your peers and in the industry. This opens you up for career progression, job opportunities and becoming a key person in your field.

If you are looking for career progression, to become more known in your industry and to stand out amongst your peers, then keep reading.

Over the next few months we will be releasing a series of articles about different social media platforms with tips and guides for how you can get the most out of them. But today, we are going to start with LinkedIn, and I’ll explain why.

There are 21 million registered UK users of LinkedIn and it’s a social network that has seen real growth in activity and results over the last 12-18 months. Previously it was seen as a job-hunting site- you’d create your profile based on your CV and wait for the job offers to roll in.

They never did, and you probably didn’t log on that much- particularly if you weren’t actually looking for a new job.

But things have changed.

LinkedIn has become much more active. More people are logging on every day and they’re engaging with other people’s content- this is where the opportunity lies.

LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to create a brand, allows you to talk about what is important to you, help others and establish relationships that can then be taken offline and developed.

We need to start with your profile, and whilst this might seem very basic there are some key areas that we need to look at to make sure you will stand out from the crowd.

Your Name

We will start off with your name. It should be your first and last name, written in the correct case. Often people create LinkedIn accounts, type in their name all in lower case and don’t realise that it will be displayed for the world to see so, first things first, check that your name is written correctly.

Your Profile Image

This is a key part of peoples first impression of you and you want it to be a good one – don’t you?

I’ve seen lots of profile photographs that are taken at weddings, before a night out or just a company logo. These don’t create a professional impression of you.

Your profile image should be your face, without a distracting background, and your face should take up at least 50% of the area. This makes it easier for people to recognise you- especially when you consider how small your picture is when you’ve written a comment or liked a post.

You don’t need to have a professional headshot taken, but you need someone to take it for you so that it’s not a selfie.

Get lots of photographs taken and consider the impression you want to create, whether that be approachable, serious, happy, you need to look relaxed and professional in the image.

I really don’t like having my photograph taken so having someone take lots of photographs of me helped- when I relaxed and wasn’t expecting to have a photo taken we got the winner.

Your Headline

Generally, people put in their job title- but how does that explain what you do and what you are passionate about?

Your headline area (limited to 120 characters) not only allows you to use your job title but also explain how you can help people.

You can also use emoji’s to draw attention or to separate parts of the headline.

When writing your headline, consider using your job title, the industry you’re in and the type of people you work with.

Examples

  • Head of Finance | Residential Property Development
  • Business Administrator – providing high-quality support to the banking sector
  • Managing Director⚠️ Pest Control specialists in London

You want people to know what you do and what industry you work in very quickly when looking at your profile and displaying just your job title doesn’t achieve that. When people are unsure if you’re the right person for them, they are unlikely to spend time investigating. They will simply move on to the next profile that tells them immediately what they need to know.

Your Company

Historically, lots of companies didn’t have a LinkedIn company page and that meant when you added the company that you worked for in your experience section, the company name appears at the top of your profile with a generic grey icon.

Linking to your correct company page means that your company logo will be displayed and it will look so much more professional.

Your Header Image

The LinkedIn profile header image is an often-under-utilised tool considering that this is probably the first area people will see on your profile and you can use it to display more than just an image.

Your header image could include your company logo, text about what you do plus a call to action that you would like people to take.

There are lots of tools out there that you can use to create your header image, such as Canva, Adobe Spark and Fotor. All of these tools have templates set up that are the right size for you to use.

Its best to have the important information on the right-hand side of your header as your profile picture will display on the left-hand side.

Updating your LinkedIn profile is all about creating the right impression and helping you stand out from the crowd. The more people looking at your profile the more relationships you are going to be able to develop and hopefully the more leads you’ll generate for the future.

Once you’ve updated your profile, send me a message on LinkedIn as I’d love to take a look.

I’m Rebecca Kelly, Head of Partnerships at Flat Living Magazine and Co-Founder of Be Original, a new social media marketing agency for those in or supplying to the property management industry.

If you’re keen to improve your social media knowledge check out the blogs on our website or the services we provide.