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5 Ways to Market Yourself on LinkedIn

If you’re trying to get more eyes on your LinkedIn profile, you’ve got a lot of tools at your disposal. You just have to start using them! Here’s a look at how to use Sponsored Updates, discussion forums, analytics, and more.

1. Use Sponsored Updates

You probably know all about sponsored updates on other social networks because they’re pretty popular among businesses. Well, LinkedIn has this option, too, and it works just like you’d expect. With Sponsored Updates, you choose the posts you want to promote, set your budget, and then benefit from the fact that more people – not only your LinkedIn connections – will see your content.

You can choose to pay either per click or per impression, and you can even select who to market to based on the targeting options LinkedIn gives you. All you need to get started is a Company Page, followed by a business account for billing purposes. Then you can create your campaign and decide which updates you want to promote so you can start getting more views for your content right away.

2. Get Familiar with LinkedIn Analytics

Did you know you could keep track of how you’re doing on LinkedIn through its analytics for publishing? This is a fairly new development that was rolled out in May. Previously, the LinkedIn Company Page analytics only tracked the performance of – you guessed it – company pages. This meant you could see the demographics of your connections and anyone viewing your updates. Then LinkedIn started allowing any individual to publish long-form content, not simply bite-sized updates. Now there’s a way to track the success of these published posts on your own profile.

With analytics for publishing, once you publish a post, you have access to a graph that tells you how many logged-in LinkedIn users have viewed it. You can also find out certain demographics about the people who have looked at your posts, such as the top:

• Industries
• Job titles
• Locations
• Traffic sources

Of course, you can also see how many views and likes each post has gotten. With all of this information, you can tweak your profile as needed until you get the results you’re after. You might find that your published posts are not reaching your target audience at all. Or you might find out that lots of LinkedIn members have read and even shared your posts, in which case you can reach out and thank them with a message.

3. Enrich Your Profile with Visuals

Visual content in digital marketing is huge right now, so if your LinkedIn page doesn’t have any, there’s your first mistake. If you want to get the attention of LinkedIn’s more than 347 million users, you need more than just your headshot or logo on your page. Your first step should be to include some kind of visual on every update, whether it’s a picture, video, or even a slideshow – and luckily SlideShare makes that very easy.

But you can also add some pizazz to your actual profile through the Professional Portfolio. This tool allows you to upload images and videos to your profile so you can easily display any work you’ve done, such as infographics you created or videos you made to promote your brand. Who says visual marketing is only for image-based social networks like Pinterest and Instagram?

4. Get Personal with Tagging and Messaging

When you mention followers or friends on Twitter or Facebook, you probably tag them, so why not do the same on LinkedIn? It’s just as easy, since you simply have to type @ and the connection’s name right after it. If you think a connection will be interested in the content you’re posting or if he or she is somehow connected to your update, a tag is appropriate.

As far as messaging people on LinkedIn, social media experts like Ted Rubin caution against sending a generic message with a sales pitch. But that doesn’t mean you can’t send messages at all. You can always check in with your connections by sending messages with genuine content, whether it’s a question about how they’re doing or a suggestion to look at a blog post that could truly help them. And if you send messages to people who are not yet your connection, definitely avoid generic content and sales pitches! Tailor those messages to them so they actually see the value in becoming your connection.

5. Join Discussion Groups

One of the best ways to get more connections and profile views on LinkedIn is to join some groups related to your industry. There are so many great marketing groups that it can be hard to know which ones to join first. HubSpot has a good list to guide you. A few examples on the list include Digital Marketing, B2B Marketing, and eMarketing Association Network.

Once you join a few groups for your industry, you need to add some value to them by commenting on discussions that interest you. People will be able to tell if you are not truly into the conversation and simply want to sneak a link into an otherwise pointless comment. Take some time each week or so to find a few topics of discussion you can add real value to and people will naturally gravitate toward your profile. Who knows? You might even learn something new about the marketing world.

Have you been making use of any of these LinkedIn tools and best practices? If so, what has worked best for you?