B2B companies and industry experts have made rapid use of Twitter, Facebook and personal and corporate blogs to enhance their positioning as experts. Often thought of as a virtual resume or networking tool, LinkedIn – when used properly – can act as a powerful tool to strengthen corporate and employee reputations and reach target audiences.
In fact, LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high page rank in Google. This alone provides confirmation that LinkedIn corporate and employee profiles need to be a destination, not just a supporting player in your company’s online presence.
Here are five fast and easy ways to transform your LinkedIn profile into a powerful brand building tool.
1. Optimize profile with targeted content and keywords. When completing your profile, every piece of information provided should be strategically crafted. From your title to your headline, develop copy and descriptions that incorporate key search terms for your company, product or service. Also, incorporate your value proposition (highlighting features and benefits) in the profile headline, summary or specialties sections. Finally, change the default URL for your profile to a custom URL that incorporates a key term relative to your expertise.
2. Customize and direct multiple unique website listings on your profile. List your company’s home page, company blog, key product or resources pages, etc. separately in your profile websites section. Choose the option to edit your website listings, and categorize each unique page as “Other”. Then, rename each page using key phrases optimized to help viewers find relevant company content.
3. Ask for recommendations. As a B2B marketer, you already know referrals and customer testimonials impact heavily on a prospect’s decision to purchase your product or service. Ask satisfied customers for recommendations, but ask contacts to specifically include how your company helped their business perform better in their review.
4. Use apps to place corporate and sales materials directly on your LinkedIn profile page. An app called SlideShare will allows you to embed 3 PowerPoint presentations into your profile – use it to provide introductory corporate and product/service information. Box.net’s free LinkedIn application allows you to upload and host downloadable corporate documents like whitepapers, case studies, etc.
5. Share industry expertise and social content. Use available tools to integrate your LinkedIn page to your blog and Twitter feed, and frequently post relevant news that is impacting your industry. The goal is to help establish you and your business as valuable expert resources that help customers and prospects do their job more efficiently.