Top Five LinkedIn New Year's Resolutions for 2012

Friday, December 30, 2011

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"Make 2012 the year you learn how to make LinkedIn really work for you and your business," says Jennifer Bishop, one of LinkedIn Australia's top influencers.

As 2011 draws to a close and we move into relax and reflect mode, we'll consider what worked, what didn't and what is just unknown.

"For professionals who have engaged with LinkedIn to build their network and grow their business, there are often dual feelings of enthusiasm and uncertainty," says Bishop. "This lack of knowledge of how Linkedin can impact your brand reputation, findability on Google and business development, has left many aspects of this incredible business tool untapped.

"Here are 5 ways you can resolve to improve your LinkedIn presence and activity for productive networking, lead generation and branding in 2012."

1. Review and update LinkedIn Group membership and activity settings
"Cull them, cut out those that have lots of spam and that you do not get value from. Search "LinkedIn group statistics" and look for groups that have grown in 2011, that contain your target market/prospects either geographically or industry wise. Also look for groups with good spam moderation. As LinkedIn becomes more crowded only the groups with good spam moderation will continue to thrive and grow."

Bishop advises,"Change your group activity settings, I suggest you opt for a weekly group update from most groups and perhaps choose two or three to get daily updates from.This puts you in control of the number of emails received."

2. Get blogging and Integrate your blog content into your LinkedIn profile
Research from Hubspot ( consistently illustrates that Inbound Marketing (creating valuable content for customers and prospects) is more effective and costs less than traditional outbound marketing (advertising etc.) "Try and rethink your marketing budget for 2012: do some tests on leads acquired from blogging (content creation) versus leads acquired by advertising. Then measure the ROI."

"You can integrate directly into your LinkedIn professional and company profiles. Because of LinkedIn's massive SEO power, and its twitter integration via Signal, your blog articles are more likely to be found here than just via your own company brand (unless you happen to be Coke)," says Bishop

3. Take advantage of your LinkedIn Company Profile
Your company profile is linked to your professional profile. Its also extremely well found via Google. "If you're aren't already using the Company Profile option you're limiting yourSEO", she emphasises.

The Company Profile Pages, allow business owners or designated administrators (employees), to create content for particular products or services and tailor product/services to segmented audiences. The layout allows companies to create a range of content offerings including video, white paper URL's, as well as targetted landing pages for lead capture. LinkedIn members visiting Company Pages can also post recommendations and reviews of products or services.

"Therefore ensure your company page shows job vacancies, key corporate messages, video, landing page links and of course "all" of your company employees. All these lovely backlinks add massive SEO traction."

4. Start using LinkedIn Company Updates, they are SEO gems
"Your LinkedIn company profile updates are able to be seen by your entire LinkedIn network - they are also searchable via Google so go get your company updates working for brand awareness and engagement."

For companies interested in how LinkedIn can assist with their search engine optimisation this is a huge plus. Given that Social is SEO and SEO is social, for B-to-B firms wanting to drive organic SEO, Company updates, up the "ante". Now, company updates can be linked with your company Twitter account, so updates appear to followers, your network and on Twitter.

5. Use the Export Contacts function to preserve your LinkedIn contacts
"If you are a recruiter, involved in HR, management consulting or any other profession that relies on your LinkedIn network, it’s a good idea to backup your LinkedIn contacts regularly to a CSV file/excel or your own internal CRM system. If you have a large number of contacts I suggest giving each contact an ID number so similar names do not cause confusion."

This means if LinkedIn goes down for maintenance or goodness forbid has technical issues, you still have a backup of your contacts/network. As relationships can be central to many businesses and add to a brands value on the balance sheet this can be critical for many businesses.

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  1. "Your LinkedIn company profile updates are able to be seen by your entire LinkedIn network - they are also searchable via Google so go get your company updates working for brand awareness and engagement."

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