What is LinkedIn to a Salesforce Trailblazer like you?
Is it yet another social media account or is it a place where you build your entire digital reputation?
Well if your answer is the former, then this guide is going to be a revelation for you. If your answer is the latter, then bookmark this guide right away, as this includes a handy checklist to optimize your LinkedIn profile, to near perfection.
My agenda with this article is pretty straight-forward. My aim as a Marketer in the Salesforce ecosystem is to impart all that I know to help you make the most of your professional social presence. So, adding on to my previous article, which was the Trailblazers guide book for Twitter, this one will help you create a glamourous LinkedIn profile within no time.
Cutting the chase short, here’s the first tip.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile
Have you ever googled yourself? Well, in most cases from recruiters to the guy you met on Twitter, to the client who you have the next meeting with, instinctively to know more about you, they’d probably Google you. If you have a search engine optimized (SEO) LinkedIn profile, then that’d be the best place to point them to quickly get to know you.
Your LinkedIn profile is pretty much the face of your digital reputation. It speaks about who you are, what your skills are, where you have been working, why you are great at a certain something, and also about what people think of you.
In short, your LinkedIn is much more than an extended resume!
That said, here are few tips on how you can optimize your LinkedIn profile impactfully.
#1 – Personalize your LinkedIn URL
URL optimization is one of the most vital elements profile discoverability. For LinkedIn, it is advised to have the URL personalized to your name. This is particularly useful for those with common names.
Check out the gif below to see how:
Pro Tip: If your name is common, add in your domain or industry to your URL. For example, you can add the “sfdc” as a suffix or “salesforce” as a prefix.
#2 – Add a Professional Profile & Cover Photo
LinkedIn is a social media which is distinctly different from Facebook. Everything on this website is professional, unlike the latter which is more personal. To create the right first impression on LinkedIn, make sure to put up the smartest professional photo on your profile.
Studies have shown that it only takes one-tenth of a second for someone to draw conclusions about you, based on your photo. So make sure, you put one up that gives an elegant perspective to your profile.
Here are some great tips on picking the right profile photo for LinkedIn.
In addition to the profile photo, make sure to use your LinkedIn cover photo, which is quite often an underused visual asset. The cover photo could possibly be custom made to include your Salesforce certifications, your initiatives (like being a User Group Leader), achievements (like being a Salesforce MVP, Speaker, etc.), or you could simply add your company’s banner that shows who you are and what your area of expertise is.
#3 – Jazz Up Your LinkedIn Headline & Summary
Your headline is the 1-3 lines underneath your name (120 character limit). If you haven’t already edited it, then LinkedIn must have automatically populated it with your current job title and company name. However, this is a critical piece to optimizing your profile with the appropriate keywords and while creating the best first impression!
So, make sure to jazz up your headline and make it – eye-catchy, stuffed with the appropriate keywords that communicate your expertise, your field, and also add a pinch of why you’re special.
Your LinkedIn summary (2000 characters) is the ultimate place to tell your story. Both first-person and third-person formats are acceptable for your summary. Although, I would vouch for using the first-person format, especially since it is more intimate and it connects with the reader emotionally.
Are you accidental admin or do you have a really interesting story to say about your work in Salesforce? Put it down in your summary and make it compelling, interesting, and moreover, make it thoughtful.
Here are some examples to compose a great LinkedIn Summary.
Pro tip: Irrespective of what your LinkedIn goals are (be it networking, getting hired, establishing credibility, exhibiting expertise, recruiting, etc.,), standing out is always a good thing. So, make sure you add appropriate keywords to your domain in your headline and summary to ensure being searchable.
#4 – Highlight your Experience, Skills, & Accomplishments
Experience & Education:
Many a time, you might have seen LinkedIn profiles with a timeline of jobs and degrees but not even a single line explaining what the job was or what your responsibilities were while you were at it. Spend a little bit of time to craft a read-worthy description for each of your jobs and educational qualifications. This will give an added depth to your profile and a better understanding of your personality for your profile visitors.
Skills & Endorsements:
Skills & Endorsements are where you list down all your credibilities openly. LinkedIn allows you to add up to 50 skills to your profile, and your connections can validate them, by “endorsing” you. Since its launch of endorsements in 2012, more than 10 billion endorsements have been shared by connections.
Looking to up your Skills game with 99+ Endorsements, check out this article.
The accomplishments section is the perfect place to feature the work you’re most proud of and your career milestones. This is the section where you go crazy on promoting your projects, publications, honors, awards, certifications, coursework, memberships, and language proficiency. Leave no stones unturned, jot all of them down on your profile. They are all here to stay. This is your opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.
#5 Give Recommendations, Get Recommendations
Have a colleague or client who would vouch for you? Get them to write a personalized recommendation for you. This will not only be a social proof that gives your profile the needed credibility but also will pack a punch when it comes to supporting your professional brand and telling the world that you’ve got the goods.
While you are at it, be nice and make sure you recommend the amazing people in your network as well.
Marketing Yourself on LinkedIn
You are your biggest advocate. Consider LinkedIn as that loudspeaker through which you tell people how awesome you are. Here are few tips on how you can leverage LinkedIn to improve your personal brand.
#6 Creating Viral LinkedIn Posts
A while ago, you could see many people sharing their blog posts written on LinkedIn Pulse. The idea was to produce long-form in-depth content that showcased them as a thought-leader among their connections. Some were even lucky to have the LinkedIn editors feature their blog posts on the top shelf of Pulse, making it viral. (Here’s one of mine on Salesforce training that got featured on Pulse!)
But now, things have changed completely. What works now on LinkedIn is entirely different from the other social media. Here are two hacks on how to beat the LinkedIn algorithm to get the most engagements on your posts:
- Stories posts over Links & Images
LinkedIn now favours text-based status messages (stories) which has a higher reach instead of links and images which is shown to a smaller sample of your followers. The main reason for this is that LinkedIn has reduced the preference to the links that take people away from the site and images that take up more data on their servers.
A growth hack here is that, instead of adding a link in the status message, make it an extensive excerpt or compelling story that forces people to click on “See more” and engage with the post. Further on, you can add the link to the 1st comment of the post, which will bypass LinkedIn’s algorithm while giving the link the much-needed visibility.
See the anatomy of a viral LinkedIn post for more inspiration.
- Go Tag/Mention crazy
Mentioning or Tagging people/companies in your network is one of the best ways to grab their attention. Much like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn now banks highly on the mention feature which not only invites conversation but also expands the visibility of your post.
So, the next time you have something to share, tag the relevant people from the SFDC Community to spread the word quickly.
#7 Be a GROUP Contributor
Much like the featured groups on the Salesforce Community, LinkedIn also hosts many discussion groups that you can join. They are populated with Salesforce users from all backgrounds looking to discover great content on the domain. One of the biggest benefits of groups is that by default LinkedIn sends the latest updates in the groups to the email. Which makes it easier to discover new content.
As you connect with folks on LinkedIn, look at the groups they are members of, which you can see towards the bottom section of their profile.
To make it easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of top Salesforce groups in this sheet.
Pro Hack: You can in-mail people on LinkedIn if you are part of the same group and group. Being a member of the same group could also give you a common ground to engage with new people.
Have any more tips, or groups to be included in the list? Feel free to suggest them in the comments or tweet out to me – i_mgokul.
Gokul is the Product Adoption Expert and Marketer at Whatfix. Working actively with the Salesforce Community in 3+ years. He loves writing for the SFDC community and actively participating in discussions on Twitter. You can find the articles he’s written here and reach him on @I_mgokul