In today’s fiercely competitive markets, it’s common for brands to struggle to find true differentiators. Gaining a competitive edge now requires more than traditional marketing and business strategies. Many brands and the executives who lead them rely on a solid online presence to stand out in their field…
That’s where LinkedIn can help. Gone are the days when this platform was just a site for job seekers. Today, LinkedIn can be the perfect place for executives to share their wisdom, make valuable connections, and demonstrate thought leadership.
Let’s dive into how brand leaders can maximize LinkedIn’s features and make this tried and true social platform work for them, no matter the industry!
Key LinkedIn Features for Brand Leaders
LinkedIn offers a plethora of bells and whistles users can leverage to stand out on the platform. Let’s look at some core features every brand leader can use to create a stand-out profile…
Professional Profile Photo
One of the first things users will see when they come across your profile in search results is your profile picture. Needless to say, this photo needs to make a stellar impression. There’s room for creativity on your profile, but you’ll want to keep this image clear and professional. A filtered selfie, a photo taken at a party, or a snap from your latest vacation are probably not the best options for this particular platform.
Creative Banner Image
While the banner image doesn’t show in search results, it’s highly prominent when someone visits your profile. This image is an opportunity to make a statement, show off some creativity, or reinforce brand messaging.
LinkedIn offers a few built-in options, but the best banner images are personalized. Executives or high-level leaders may use it to highlight their company or offerings, promote causes or partnerships the brand is involved in, or share a visual representation of their brand’s mission statement. Creativity can take the driver’s seat here, but—like the profile picture—it should be clear, professional, and appropriate.
Short, Impactful Headline
Profile headlines are one of the first things users see when perusing search results on LinkedIn. Headlines are limited to just over 200 characters, meaning every word counts in this precious real estate!
As a brand leader, an effective headline clearly states who you are and what you do, but it should also make an impact. This could mean getting creative with how you present your current role or a particular set of skills pertaining to your work.
The About section on a LinkedIn profile page serves as the user’s bio. As a brand leader, this is the place to go into detail about significant accomplishments, areas of expertise or interest, and other company highlights. In other words, this is the brag zone! Just make sure to keep it concise by focusing on high-level results you or your company has achieved. It’s not the space for a full-blown case study (but there is one for that, which we cover below).
Sharing or Oversharing? How Much to Post
There’s good news for the social media adverse when it comes to LinkedIn: It’s not a platform that requires daily content generation. In fact, sharing more than once a day can be counterproductive as the platform’s algorithm prioritizes feed content based on engagement, social graphs, and other factors, but not frequency of posts.
Busy brand leaders can maintain an active presence by sharing a mere few posts per week. And if you have extra time to kill after, you can use it to engage with followers and others in your industry. LinkedIn is truly a social network; much of the platform’s power is in the connections and conversations that happen there!
Thought Leadership = LinkedIn Currency
Consistency is critical when developing a LinkedIn content strategy. Brand leaders will want to share thought leadership content, finding ways to consistently tie it back to their company or industry. Establishing a good cadence of curated content will help establish your voice in the conversations happening in your field, allowing others to become familiar with your name and expertise.
Good thought leadership content can include industry insights, personal experiences, predictions and projections, lessons learned, and advice for other professionals. One thought-leadership-related post per week is a great starting point if you’re new to LinkedIn. But it can’t be said enough: consistency matters. Don’t stop posting altogether or change up your content strategy without offering your followers an explanation.
Going the Extra Mile
While the above points highlight essential features for beginners, LinkedIn also offers additional features that can help your profile stand out.
- Creating a customized Profile URL can make your profile more memorable and easier to share. A custom URL can be between 3-200 characters. Use the space to match your profile URL to your name, area of expertise, or brand identity.
- The Articles feature offers a way to share long-form content directly on your profile. You can also feature your articles in a newsletter that other users sign up for and receive automatically when you publish new material.
- The Featured section of your profile is an excellent place to share portfolio items from outside sources, upload case studies, or highlight some of your best content.
- Endorsements, skills, & recommendations add additional “spice” to a LinkedIn profile and provide deeper insights into your professional persona. They allow others to boost you up, verifying your expertise or sharing their feedback on working with you.
- Use Keywords throughout your profile to help improve your profile’s performance in search results. Being specific about your skills, expertise, and the products and services your brand offers can help your profile show up higher in search results. As a bonus, using thoughtful keywords will also make it easier for other users to read and navigate.
When utilized effectively, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for brand leaders to promote their company, make an impact in their industry, and reinforce their personal brand. But it’s worth noting that managing an active, consistent LinkedIn presence as a brand leader amidst a rapidly evolving social media landscape can be time-consuming. We’re here to help!
Visit our website to see how we can help you succeed in your LinkedIn journey to finding the right social media content and management strategies.
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