With an overflowing inbox, a 24-hour news cycle and an ever-more “connected” culture, adding one more task on your to-do list can seem overwhelming. However, if you are looking to stand out in a crowded marketplace, position yourself as a thought leader or build your personal brand, tapping into a resource you’re already familiar with and using regularly is key.
LinkedIn may seem like another social channel you have to keep up with, but it’s a much more powerful tool when used appropriately. Not only does the social media platform boast more than 500 million followers, with 40% of monthly active users using the network daily, but according to the 2018 Business Insider Digital Trust Report, it is the most trusted social media platform.
Here are five reasons why you should start leveraging LinkedIn right now.
1. Thought leadership
LinkedIn provides professionals with an opportunity to build their professional credibility on their own terms. One of the most effective ways to do this (and a feature most underutilized) is through the creation of owned LinkedIn articles. This content provides users with the chance to share their perspectives on industry-related topics in a much more expansive way, driving conversation and dialogue with their networks.
However, like any other form of content, it should be strategic, purposeful and planned – with personal and company goals and objectives kept top of mind. For example, if you are a cannabis professional, it would be worthwhile to write a thought piece on the upcoming legalization of edibles and what that means for Canadian consumers. On a similar token, if you are a marketing executive, commenting on Instagram’s recent removal of likes is a great way to insert yourself into an existing conversation – building trust and credibility not only within the platform, but within your industry as well.
2. Demonstrate brand pillars
In addition to publishing LinkedIn articles, it’s also crucial to be mindful of what your company and personal brand pillars are – and these don’t necessarily need to be directly correlated to your field. For example, if you’re enthusiastic about sustainability, this can serve as one of your brand pillars. Alternatively, if you are a female executive, women’s empowerment may be one of your passions. Once you’ve identified three brand pillars, use these to guide what you share on LinkedIn. Whether it’s an interesting study, a Ted talk or simply a status update tied to how these pillars represent who you are, LinkedIn can help you become a leading voice in these realms, which ultimately can transpire into future opportunities such as award nominations or speaking engagements.
3. Build a personal brand
LinkedIn provides the perfect platform to help you build and establish your personal brand. From something as simple as your profile picture and summary, to what you’re sharing and commenting on, LinkedIn allows you to own who you are and what you stand for in a supportive and professional space.
4. Connect and engage with a like-minded community
Although LinkedIn is a platform developed with the professional in mind, and it is often viewed as a job search site, its intent has always been socially-driven. As a result, it’s vital to keep this in mind when using the channel. From joining relevant groups, to commenting on employees’ posts or re-sharing an intriguing article, this all provides tremendous value and helps you expand your network and community. Additionally, don’t shy away from sharing and reposting the work of other professionals and leaders that you admire. You never know what type of connection can form as a result of this simple gesture, and who knows, they might return the favour, exposing yourself to a wider, more diverse audience.
5. Share company updates and announcements
Beyond using LinkedIn for personal reasons, it’s just as imperative to use the platform to expand your company’s visibility and culture – and the role you play within it. Whether your team is looking for a new candidate, or an employee you’ve mentored has been bestowed with an award, be sure to communicate these updates and announcements with your network. This will go a long way in not only raising your company’s profile, but will demonstrate how you contribute to your company’s success and growth as well.