Is LinkedIn Finally the New “It” Girl?

Is LinkedIn Finally the New “It” Girl?

Everyone is talking about LinkedIn making a comeback. Did it ever go away? Well, perhaps it was stuck in its own version of the ’80s with its bad hair and awkward sense of style. I mean let’s be honest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even the hip app, SnapChat have all had their day as the “It Girl” platform. But LinkedIn has had the reputation of being not so social and so uncool.

Just this morning I was on a call with a potential client and she asked, “Should we even bother updating our team’s LinkedIn profiles? Isn’t it just used for job seekers?” LinkedIn must feel like women in their 50’s (ummm…. ME)—no one is paying attention to anything we do anymore! Well, it’s time we turn around and look again at this powerhouse social platform and start treating her with some R.E.S.P.E.C.T!

Here are 11.5 things you need to know about this new “IT” GIRL:

 

1. LinkedIn is still the Queen of B2B.

While all marketing is P2P (person to person), if you are looking to connect and build relationships with people in the business sector, LinkedIn is tops. It has grown steadily year-over-year from it’s creation in 2003 to now, and there are no signs of it stopping.
LinkedIn Statistics 2019(source: Statista)

Executives and other decision-makers are on LinkedIn LOOKING FOR GREAT CONTENT and VALUABLE RESOURCES! They aren’t looking for goofy farming games, guess your celebrity personality tests or baby pig videos (although who doesn’t want to see baby pig videos?). People come to LinkedIn to read great content and connect with people who are serious about making things happen. Hootsuite wrote, “LinkedIn users are the educated and affluent people who are already in a professional headspace and actively looking for solutions.”

2. There are a lot of people here.

While it’s not the size of Facebook’s community, there are 630 million members on LinkedIn and it continues to grow, probably due to all of the Facebook algorithm hubbub. Two professionals join LinkedIn every second! 177 million of those members are from the US and 48% of all members log in monthly. 43% check into their LinkedIn profile daily. The best part is that 40% of users on LI are decision-makers! We’re not talking about spending your time chit-chatting with your creepy cousin Eddie and his friends anymore.

3. Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in 2016, for 26.2 BILLION and they’ve been busy.

You will see more Microsoft integrations coming and I’m already seeing more PowerPoint slide decks being shared on profiles. LinkedIn’s slide deck sharing platform, Slideshare has over 70 million users and that is going up monthly. When you add your marketing deck to Slideshare first, you can pull it into your profile and now it’s doing double duty for you. I have to admit, I initially went gangbusters on Slideshare years ago and I have forgotten about the power there. You can even add a lead magnet into the backend to use it as a great lead gen tool. Bottom line is, adding any visuals to your profile will make it stand out and a well-crafted slide deck is an easy way to do that.

4. Every “sophisticated marketer” uses LinkedIn as their primary channel to distribute their B2B marketing content.

The good news is there aren’t that many “sophisticated marketers” out there since so few actually post regularly on LinkedIn. This makes it a great place for you to stand out! To make sure you’re making the most of LinkedIn in 2019, be sure to download the guide that LinkedIn puts out each year. 2019 they published their anniversary edition THE FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF LINKEDIN’S “THE SOPHISTICATED MARKETER’S GUIDE TO LINKEDIN.

5. Start sharing your knowledge in articles.

So few people have published an ARTICLE on their LinkedIn profile, that you will automatically shine here. Only 1 million out of the 520 million users have published an article on LinkedIn. (source: OmniCore) Articles, which used to be called POSTS, are the blog-like content pieces that stay on your profile in a fashion that very much resembles a blog post. Share content that highlights your expertise and personality! [READ: 4 Qualities to Become More Likeable Online and Off] If you look at your profile under “Articles and Activity” you will find the home of your content. I still feel that this needs to come out from hiding—most people don’t even know where to find past posts and articles.

LinkedIn in 2019 for marketers

According to Daniel Roth, LinkedIn’s Editor in Chief, “Every day, over 2 million posts, videos, and articles course through the LinkedIn feed, generating tens of thousands of comments every hour –and tens of millions more shares and likes.”

6. Be sure to SHOW, and not just TELL with your content on LinkedIn.

Posts with images get 2x the number of comments and according to Peter Roybal, LinkedIn Senior Product Manager, people are 20 x more likely to share a video with their connections than any other type of LinkedIn post. People are also 5x more likely to comment on video content. Soooo, get that great content into short video-bytes, and make sure they are super helpful. If you get too salesy you get tuned out! My rules for social media are: Be INTERESTING, Be HELPFUL or Be QUIET!”

Here are a few ideas for you and your team to kick around and start planning for when LinkedIn Live reaches you:

• Product demos
• A chat to discuss trend reports
• Fireside chats with experts, vendors, and employees
• FAQ sessions
• Field visits and tours

7. Visit your LinkedIn profile and connections more often.

Don’t be a dead-beat parent on your own LinkedIn profile. Stop in daily for 30-minutes to share something or comment on what others are posting. If daily is unthinkable, aim for 3 times a week and build up to it.  The more frequently you show up and engage on LinkedIn, the more frequently you …. Show up! You will be amazed at the increase of connection requests, profile views, and even BUSINESS if you increase your activity on LinkedIn.

8. Make sure you have an updated photo and profile.

I think when LinkedIn launched in 2003 people loaded their stoic corporate headshot or a glamour shot from those cheezy mall studios (yep..I had one and my children still pull it out for the occasional comedy relief) and never looked back. Let’s face it, we’ve gotten older and that’s OK! You need to put up a headshot that actually looks like you. One that was taken within the past 6-12 months. While you’re on your profile, go through and update your skills and experience. We don’t need to know where you went to grade school but beef your profile up a bit. Tell us about projects you’ve been working on, the revenue you have helped to generate or save. You have 2,000 characters you can pack into your summary area alone. Use all of your space.
[Download our resource guide that will help you maximize every area of your LinkedIn Profile]
LinkedIn Character Count

9. Get over that 500 hump!

When you have more than 500 connections you have hit the tipping point that allows you to start reaching and connecting with even more people. When you go to someone’s profile and see “78 connections” or whatever number they have, you wonder where they’ve been. Once you get over 500 connections, then the playing field evens out—they all say “500+.” Now I am not saying you should go and connect with all of the random strangers and spammers to get to 500. I’m suggesting when you meet someone at an event, a business meeting, a friend’s house for dinner, you reach out and connect on LinkedIn after.If you are seriously still collecting business cards and bundling them in your desk drawer as if you will even remember anything about the person, forget about it. Take the business card, and if you really want to be savvy, download the Microsoft Pix app which allows you to scan the card right in front of the person and select, “Connect on LinkedIn.” Once you do that, hand back their paper business card back and tell them…one small tree branch saved!

On your phone, open your LinkedIn App and click on the little head icon at the bottom now in the top middle, turn on “FIND NEARBY” when you are at a conference or event where there are several people to connect with. Go ahead try it now.

10. Jump on LinkedIn LIVE as soon as you get it available on your profile but keep your expectations low in the beginning.

What I mean by that is, the typical LinkedIn user barely engages with written content. They read it, but they do so quietly in their office or cubical. To expect people to consume long-form video while at work and then chat it up with you is a BIG stretch. Keep your videos short and informative. Share your expertise but allow time for LinkedIn users to grow accustomed to this form of content here. It’s like when women were allowed to stop wearing pantyhose to work (yes those were barbaric times … *shudder*), it takes time for people to come around to radical change. I think LinkedIn will be rolling out lots of changes once LIVE video hits everywhere to figure out where it will live. Like articles and posts need to be displayed more prominently, so will video.

11. Consider creating or re-engaging your business page (if you have a business).

There are roughly 35 million business pages on LinkedIn, which is just a fraction of the number of people and businesses actually on LinkedIn. While they do function VERY differently than a personal profile and get a lot less attention, they are a great way to showcase your content to those who DO choose to follow your updates there. Consider this: To follow a business page on LinkedIn, you have to typically search for it, then you have to follow the updates of that page, and then… well OK, it’s not that hard at all…but for someone to go through those two steps … they WANT YOUR CONTENT! Don’t leave them hanging. It’s like asking people to subscribe to your boring newsletter and then when they actually do, you never send anything out. (Ooo… sting!)If you have employees in your organization, be sure to encourage them to share the content you are sharing on the company’s business page and when someone shares something on their personal profile, LinkedIn now makes it easy to share it on your company’s page. On your business page, there is a small section to the right that says, “Communities” where you can select up to 3 hashtags that you want to follow. You can also click on “See what others are saying about (your company). Now you can select content that others are putting out and share it on your company’s page. Seems a bit clunky, but a great way for a brand to monitor and share the content employees and others are talking about.

Here are a few more fun LinkedIn facts to impress your friends and family…if they care!

  • The average user spends about 17 minutes a MONTH on LinkedIn (That’s depressing for me as a content creator unless all 17 min are spent on my content!)
  • Motivated was the most overused word on LinkedIn in 2014 AND 2017
  • Specialized, Experienced, and Skilled were the most overused words on someone’s summary section. Change these up to standout!
  • There are 5.5 million accountants on LinkedIn. Wow sounds like Digital Marketers.
  • There have been over 11 billion endorsements made on LinkedIn (most by people who don’t even know the person they are endorsing!)
  • 90% of LinkedIn members use Facebook. This is a statistic for all of you who have told me “my customers are NOT on Facebook!” (source: DataReportal, Pew Research Center)
  • The percentage of premium LinkedIn users currently stands at 39%, while 61% of members are still satisfied with the basic free accounts. (source: Kinsta)

I’d love to hear from you. Are you an avid LinkedIn user? What tips and tools do you have or do you find most useful? And while you’re at it… Connect with me on LinkedIn!