Do you remember when LinkedIn was that dry, dusty platform you only went to when you needed to update your digital CV ahead of applying for a new job? Well the platform has evolved and matured over the past year or so and 23 million* UK users are now registered on LinkedIn. But how and where could you and your organisation get more from it?
by Darren Caveney
Off the back of 16 organisational social media reviews I have studied LinkedIn as a platform in some detail to evaluate and better understand how and where it might offer helpful returns.
The picture to emerge is one of untapped potential for both organisations and individuals. I build this learning into digital strategies I create for organisations now and I thought it might be useful to share some of this insight.
1. LinkedIn – a place to engage
Have you checked your LinkedIn analytics lately to see how your post or blog has performed? The analytics currently offered through the free version are fairly basic but have improved a lot over the past 12 months, and I would expect this trend to continue.
And you might be in for a surprise on the percentage engagement rates you are able to achieve when compared against Facebook and other social platforms. For comms2point0 our @commspoint0 Twitter account remains our key platform with almost 13k followers and high levels of engagement every day. But the percentage engagement for a post on my own personal LinkedIn account sometimes outstrips what we achieve on an average individual tweet.
Food for thought.
2. Engage with Groups and Companies on your patch
Do you need to engage with local business as a part of your role? If so delve into a search on LinkedIn to see how many local companies and groups are registered in your area. It’s simple to do and you might be surprised by the results.
I searched today for Birmingham (which reminds me - make sure that you add 'UK' to your search enquiry)
Here's what I found:
- 165k registered users
- 1.8k registered companies
- 130 registered groups
One of the registered groups is a business network with 12k members. Now that’s definitely worth a look if, for example, you wanted to engage with Birmingham based businesses.
3. Your next job offer may come via LinkedIn
How does your personal LinkedIn profile look these days? Have you updated it recently? Does it tell a great story about your current work and achievements? Have you added your award wins, the projects you’re most proud of? If not update it now and regularly – no one is going to be interested in what you did 20 or even 10 years ago so it’s important to sell your current work, skills and experiences.
LinkedIn forms a big part of your digital CV whether you choose to manage it or not. Future recruiters will check you out here so make sure you sell yourself and your achievements. Add images, links and interesting content - apply some of your Twitter and Facebook knowledge and skills for what makes engaging content and make your LinkedIn posts fly.
LinkedIn scores very high in Google searches too – Google yourself and your LinkedIn profile will come high, or indeed top, of the results - so make the most of this.
4. Use LinkedIn for better recruitment. Obvs.
On the ‘stating the obvious’ scale this one is right up there. But not all organisations do this and fewer do it in a really creative way. Organisations must grab attention with online recruitment advertising just as we used to back in the day of recruitment ads in printed titles - being more creative here definitely offers a chance to stand out right now.
Look at this example from Cornwall Council for what, on the face of it, isn’t the most exciting job in the world. But the creative draws you in to take a look.
5. Your organisational profile
Which brings me to my final recommendation...
GRAB HOLD OF YOUR ORGANISATION’S LINKEDIN PASSWORD
Historically, in many organisations, LinkedIn was set up as an account by HR. On more than a couple of occasions I have seen organisation not knowing their own password so the account is dormant.
So that’s a starter for 10 on having a smarter LinkedIn strategy. Build your follower numbers by connecting with people you would like to talk with and collaborate with.
Shout if you have any questions or good practice examples of your own to share.
And if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn give me a shout
*The recently released Ofwat Communications Market Report 2017 states that there are now 16 million registered UK users, but their own Bitesize version of the report quotes a figure of 23 million. A 7 million difference? That’s equivalent to more than 10% of the UK population.
I was confused so I checked with LinkedIn direct and they confirm that 23million users are registered in the UK.
Digital numbers caveat - any number quoted for online and social should be treated with a level of caution and as a ‘potential opportunity to see’ rather than anything more. Just because someone is a registered user doesn't mean they are active, saw your post, responded to your call to action. It's true for our own personal stats and analytics and it’s equally true for the big platforms.
These are always numbers for the savvy communicator to qualify, question, dissect and cross-reference.
Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and owner of creative communicators ltd.
image via the Library of Congress