If you want to grow and maintain a positive online reputation today, social media simply has to play a role. Those who understand just how important social media is to a business are investing plenty of time and money into creating and keeping up with Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, and Instagram. But there are still a lot of businesses who aren’t. And that could be for many reasons.
Some may simply not “get it”. They don’t see how it will affect their business, either positively or negatively. Or they might be afraid of saying the wrong things. In other cases, they may simply want to lay low, especially in industries where privacy is a big concern.
But whatever the reason, they need to find a way to get past it. If you’re one of them, you’re putting your business on a slippery slope that could cost you many customers. While Facebook and Twitter are often the first sites people turn to, there are many others to consider – like Linkedin.
Getting a Feel for LinkedIn
Yes, LinkedIn may be the preferred networking source for many professionals, but it can also be a great asset to managing your online reputation. There are nearly 20 million registered users in the US alone and it’s available in nearly 20 languages.
It’s a site that Google gives lots of respect to. So it’s often shown in search results when someone searches for someone, something or a business on Google. The same holds true for other search engines like Yahoo, even though they aren’t used as much as Google.
Creating a profile on LinkedIn is pretty easy and doesn’t take a lot of time. It’s a quick way to get information and content about you available online and easily found. You can post your own articles and see who has stopped to look at your profile. You can also easily follow and connect with important people within your industry.
For online reputation management though, it’s important that you not simply create a personal profile but also a business page that you keep updated (You have to create your personal profile before you can create a business listing). Here, Orange Fox explains how to properly get your business page setup. Posting often will help ensure that your profile becomes more visible, hopefully weeding out inaccurate or negative information about your business from creeping into the search results.
Last year, they rolled out the LinkedIn publishing platform that makes this even easier. Early access to it has closed, but don’t worry, you either have access or soon will since they’re now rolling out the feature to all members. Once you’ve been given access you’ll see a little icon near the top of your LinkedIn page as explained here.
Here are 4 more things to consider if you want to get the most out of your LinkedIn…
Join the Right Groups
Don’t just start randomly joining as many groups as possible. Instead, only the right groups should be added. Any group you join shows up on your profile for all to see. If you join reputable groups that relate to your field, it will appear that you have a strong interest in what you do and that you’re attempting to make connections. Showcasing non-professional groups, or groups of no relation to your field of work, can look out of place and not so professional.
Use Keyword Optimization
When users search for a particular keyword, the most closely related results show up. This is true of your LinkedIn account as well. Your profile and page can be found easier if you optimize your page with relevant keywords. It also helps you appear more credible. Some suggest putting the keywords in high-impact areas. This includes skills, job titles, headlines and even company names. Consider what keywords people may search for when looking for the skills you offer, or the companies you’ve worked for. Including them will help you get found faster.
Don’t Be Shy
While you may not want to brag about your accomplishments in your about me section, you still wanna prove that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to your field of work. LinkedIn provides numerous sections where bragging is actually expected. The site gives you an area to showcase any awards or recognitions you’ve received. Feel free to discuss any and all honors you’ve gotten, and let people know you have the credentials to make it in your line of work. Always be honest about your achievements though. If you try to fluff it out, you can easily be called out and that’s certainly not going to be good for your reputation.
Get Busy Blogging
LinkedIn offers its own blog, where users are free to share their own posts. Using this long-form feature is a great way to get your name out there, as seen on SearchEngineJournal. The only worry with this is that blog posts tend to get shared quickly. If you have a typo, wrote an inaccurate statement or otherwise made a mistake, someone will notice fast. A blog post put on the LinkedIn blog needs to be well-written and free of mistakes.
If you don’t feel comfortable writing longer posts for this high profile section, you can still share some of your own posts previously written. LinkedIn allows users to link to their online resumes, personal blogging site and other work they’ve previously had published.
There are a million ways to build and protect your online reputation. Using LinkedIn to showcase your skills and get your name out there is just one of the many effective options out there. You just have to be sure you’re using the site in a professional manner and remember that what you get out of it will reflect the amount of time you’ve put into it.