Using your client’s LinkedIn page to tout expertise and share industry news is an effective strategy to help spread their sphere of influence.
However, the inherent value LinkedIn offers and any business benefits for the client are often lost for a very big reason: Your LinkedIn profile isn’t up to date.
It sounds rudimentary, but PR pros are often pushing content through a page that’s equipped with minimal information, such as names, titles and college attended. There isn’t much value derived from a profile that shares only the most basic personal information.
Of course, getting a client to update their pages with all the information can be a challenge. Many people still have common misconceptions about the platform, such as how any activity can signal that they’re going on the market or that LinkedIn is just an electronic rolodex.
Pushing relevant content through a completed profile can be a powerful business driver for your client if you understand the benefits of the platform.
Here are a few thoughts for how you can showcase the value your client can get out of a LinkedIn platform:
1. Social listening tool
If you’re pushing content through your client’s LinkedIn profile, the end goal shouldn’t be just grabbing “likes” and comments. Instead, try to understand who is liking and making comments and what you should do with that information. Work with your client’s marketing and recruiting team to comb through any engagement to find potential recruits and discover existing customers that could benefit from some outreach.
2. Digital business card
Every company writes an executive bio differently. The one great thing about LinkedIn is that a fully developed profile provides a very uniform executive biography. Many conferences are asking for LinkedIn profiles instead of plain text bios in their speaker application forms. Reporters and producers also like the uniformity of the LinkedIn profile because they know exactly where to go to vet and understand the expertise of the source they might interview.
3. SEO booster
Google your client’s name and the first handful of results will probably be their LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn has incredible SEO. LinkedIn states that the more information completed in the profile will aid in search engines making your profile a top search term. Even if LinkedIn isn’t a top priority for your client, it just makes business sense to fill it out.
4. Where experts can be found
LinkedIn users are using the platform to share ideas, engage with subject matter experts and ultimately educate themselves on the latest industry trends. If you’re looking to share your expertise, having that comprehensive profile will help showcase your background and credibility.
Imagine that two similar executives with matching qualifications are publishing content and posting industry information on their profiles. You want to follow the most credible author. One profile lists a name, title, company, and college, however the second profile also shares responsibilities for each job role, projects completed, interests, networking groups, board associations and awards won. Obviously, the second profile offers the clearer picture of why this writer is an industry leader.
5. Analytics can inform content creation
After posting a link or an original article, the analytics that come in are incredibly valuable. You can see what geographic locations are reading your content the most, and the job titles held by your readers. If your analytics are consistently saying that technology sales associates are reading your content in the Southwest instead of the executive leaders that you’re targeting, it might be time to reevaluate the content you’re creating.
It might take a bit of work or prodding to get your client to stop thinking about LinkedIn as an electronic resume and to do the work necessary to unlock to true value of the platform. However, the return on investment will make them wish they did it sooner.
Mike Adorno is the VP of communications at Hot Paper Lantern.