This is an instruction manual for the use and application of LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com).
It examines the opportunities that are available for Public Relations practitioners using the popular form of social media.
The content offers a guide only and users should be aware that LinkedIn is evolving and changing which means this manual will always be a little out of date.
Ideas for the use of LinkedIn outlines in this manual are for guidance only and even David Phillips does not warrant their efficacy or application.
The use of the Internet to carry out certain activities has been developing significantly amongst older age groups. The proportion of adults aged 45 to 54 using the Internet for finding information about goods and services, increased from 74% in 2013 to 84% in 2014. Internet banking activity in the same age group rose from 50% to 62% over the same period. For adults aged 55 to 64 the use of social networking rose from 29% in 2013 to 37% in 2014.
Social networking has been one of the major success stories of the Internet age. In 2014, over half (54%) of all adults participated in social networking, up from 45% in 2011. Almost all adults aged 16 to 24 (91%) used social networks in 2014, but it is important to note that its use is not solely confined to the youngest age groups. Around 37% of adults aged 55 to 64 and 13% of those aged 65 and over participated in social networking in 2014.
- A contact network is built up consisting of direct connections, the connections of each of their connections (termed second-degree connections) and also the connections of second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections). This can be used to gain an introduction to someone a person wishes to know through a mutual contact.
- LinkedIn can then be used to find skills, jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by someone in one's contact network.
- Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates and can offer a wide range of LinkedIn plugins for their web sites.
- The "gated-access approach" (where contact with any professional requires either an existing relationship, or the intervention of a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service's users. LinkedIn participates in the EU's International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles.
LinkedIn gets more visits from London than anywhere else in the world.
LinkedIn offers its own plan for success:
The LinkedIn service
- Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile.
- Find the section you'd like to edit and click the Edit icon next to it.
- When you're done making updates, click Done editing in the box at the top of your profile.
- Name - First, last, and former names.
- Headline - This information will default to your current job title. Learn how to update your professional headline. Note: If your headline is the same as your current position, the current position won't display in the top section of your profile.
- Location - Learn how to update the location listed on your profile.
- Industry - Learn how to update the industry on your profile.
- Photo - Learn how to add a professional photo of yourself.
- Contact Info - Learn more about editing your Contact Info, including your email, phone, IM, and address (only visible to connections), as well as your Twitter handle and web sites.
- Summary - Information about your mission, accomplishments, and goals.
- Experience - Professional positions and experience, including jobs, volunteer posts, military, board of directors, nonprofit, or pro sports. Learn more about adding, editing, or removing these items.
- Education - School and educational information. Learn more about adding or removing education.
- Recommendations - You can request professional recommendations and display them on your profile. Learn more about recommendations.
- Certifications - Certifications, licensures, or clearances you've attained can be added as a new section. Learn how to add certifications and other sections.
- Courses - Adding your body of coursework can help your education to stand out.
- Honors & Awards - Show off your hard-earned awards.
- Languages - Languages you understand or speak.
- Organizations - List the organizations or associations you've been a part of along with your role.
- Patents - Any patents you've applied for or received.
- Publications - Publications that have featured your work.
- Projects - Showcase the projects you've worked on, along with team members. Learn more about Projects.
- Skills & Endorsements - A relevant list of skills on your profile will help others to understand your strengths and improve your ability to be found when opportunities present themselves. Learn how to add and remove skills on your profile. You can display endorsements of your skills that your colleagues have given you. Learn more about skill endorsements.
- Test Scores - List your scores on tests to highlight high achievement.
- Volunteer Experience & Causes - Organizations you support, causes you care about, and the types of volunteer opportunities you're looking for.
- Additional Information - Interests, personal details like your birthday or marital status, and advice for people who want to contact you.
- Keep up with discussions
- See new activity across your groups in one feed so you don't miss a thing.
- Start a conversation
- Share ideas, ask questions, then hear what your group has to say.
- Members-only Group (Discussions can only be viewed and shared by group members.)
- Group Logo:
- Display the group logo on my profile.
- Contact Email:
- Use when receiving communications from the group:
- Add a new email address »
- Send me an email for each new discussion.
- Digest Email:
- Send me a digest of all activity in this group.
- Delivery Frequency:
- Daily digest email Weekly digest email
- Send me group announcements. (Never more than one a week.)
- Allow members of this group to send me messages.
- Created: March 3, 2008; Type: Networking Group; Members: 427,420; Owner: John Horsle
- Created: September 21, 2007; Type: Professional Group; Members: 99,095; Owner: Dharmesh Shar
- Created: November 12, 2007; Type: Networking Group; Members: 552,753; Owner: Robert Fleming
- Created: February 2, 2008; Type: Professional Group; Members: 243,469; Owner: Gerald Haman
- Created: November 28, 2007; Type: Professional Group; Members: 56,879; Owner: Holger Schulze
- Created: November 4, 2008; Type: Professional Group; Members: 36,184; Owner: Joel Harrison
- Created: August 6, 2008; Type: Nonprofit Group; Members: 30,914; Owner: Carrie Montagna
- Created: October 1, 2007; Type: Professional Group; Members: 155,636; Owner: Laurent J.V. Dubois
- Created: March 27, 2008; Type: Networking Group; Members: 134,206; Owner: Eric Blumthal
- Created: March 6, 2008; Type: Professional Group; Members: 734,068; Owner: Michael Crosson
Creating LinkedIn Groups
- The most successful groups focus on gaining relevant members with common goals, and they are managed very well.
- To implement a successful LinkedIn group strategy, assign the role of primary group manager/moderator to someone who pre-approves discussion posts, asks great questions and determines which members get accepted into the group.
- When the organisation launches the LinkedIn group, be sure to get the word out organically to a wide range of the organisation constituencies.
- Identify top influencers and have them serve as group ambassadors to help recruit members and to lead interesting discussions to keep the group active.
- LinkedIn has stated that organisations only need 100-200 followers for the Company Page to reach the tipping point to start making an impact and driving engagement.
- In the Specialties section of the the organisation description, it helps to use relevant keywords to be found in LinkedIn searches.
- You must have a personal LinkedIn profile set up with your true first and last name.
- Your profile strength must be listed as Intermediate or All Star.
- You must have several connections on your profile.
- You're a current company employee and your position is listed in the Experience section on your profile.
- You have a company email address (e.g. email@example.com) added and confirmed on your LinkedIn account.
- Your company's email domain is unique to the company.
- Use the advice provided by LinkedIn here. The case studies are excellent too.
Considerations for the Company Profile
1. Consistent and accurate
- If you are not utilizing the Careers tab section of your Company Page, you will see a default image of your logo icon and some default text that says “Learn more about our organisation.”
3. Products & Services
- It is possible to showcase free downloads or special reports etc.
- The goal is to get your Company Page visitors interested in learning more about the organisation and how they can be usefully engaged..
- On the Products tab of your Company Page, ‘product’ recommendations are more prominently featured in the sidebar! Such recommendations are extremely valuable and are a display of social proof. Any visitor to this area of the page can see who in their network is endorsing the organisation activity.
4. LinkedIn featured products
5. Add Administrators
6. Post Status Updates Regularly
7. Image Profile and Banners
- You can create hyper-linked banners featuring calls to action. This is a great technique to serve targeted content.
- You can also measure the measuring ROI from banner ads thanks to click-throughs.
- Banners spice up your page by bringing in some character and color.
8. Highlight Products
- The first is to share news regarding your products or services through Company updates. This information will appear in your followers’ news feeds and can include images and video.
- The second option is to use Showcase Pages. LinkedIn states that you can highlight your services and products in the Showcase Page and people can follow it just like they can with a Company Page.
9. Add Videos
10. Link to a Landing Page
Building a following and creating an integrated policy
- Invite existing employees, selected opinion formers, vendors and other ‘partners’ (e.g. similar/competitor organisations) to follow the organisation’s page, and showcase it to relevant LinkedIn members and encourage them to follow by using LinkedIn’s paid targeted advertising.
- There is a strong case for development of linkedIn skills among employees. “How You Rank” is one of the most popular destinations on LinkedIn. It’s hard for employees not to keep checking back to see how they rank among their connections and colleagues at your company. For those who are premium members, LinkedIn recently added another competitive lens with “Professionals Like You”. Not only can employees see where they stack up in their first degree network and company, but now they can view how they rank among industry peers (LinkedIn say “if you’ve ever wondered whether you have a professional doppelganger, this list is a treasure trove”).
- If it’s appropriate and/or allowable, ask key constituents to recommend the organisation's’ services on the LinkedIn company page. These recommendations show up on the the organisation page for everyone to see, and serve as powerful testimonials for your business.
- Filling the LinkedIn company page with compelling and interesting status updates about the organisation’s work, economics and other significant content is the most effective way to grow followers and increase visibility. As the organisation grows a following, it will be time to segment members and target them with more relevant updates.
- Inviting employees to examine the LinkedIn profiles of people they meet in their daily duties is also a powerful tool. It ensures your employees are well briefed and prepared when meeting or talking to contacts. It also help build a wider following and interest. Encouraging them to also recruit followers of the organisation’s LinkedIn Groups (see below) is a good idea too.
- Equally, when dealing with outside organisations, LinkedIn offers an insight into the organisation that would take months to achieve in other ways. Analysis of employees and ex-employee profiles offers insights that show the focus of activity in almost every organisation.
- As your presence grows your visibility will become important. LinkedIn company page stats provide you with valuable insights about followers, engagement, clicks and more!
A salesman’s tool
Developing a Thought Leadership Programme
LinkedIn’s Professional Portfolio?
Visual Content on LinkedIn Profiles
- Speaker videos
- Latest slide decks from speaking engagements
- Launches and special projects such as books and programs
- Recent articles or features in the press
- Work samples and client work
- Screenshots of social proof (for example, tweets from your speaking engagements)
Paid Advertising and Sponsored Updates
- Link to a LinkedIn Advertising Post
- There are numerous banner ads on LinkedIn that are designed to have members click through to company websites. Unfortunately, many times there’s no specific call to action on the landing page the advertising leads to This is a wasted opportunity.
- Making sure the landing page attached to a the organisation banner or text advertisement includes a relevant incentive with clear instructions on what people should do to access the offer (e.g. download the Governor's speech here!).
Paid Company-Sponsored Updates
- Create a Post
- Post the update to the the organisation page as normal. Wait a few minutes and then refresh the page until the Sponsor Update button appears.
- Select an update to sponsor by clicking the Sponsor Update button.
- the organisation can sponsor any of the updates on its company page, even one that’s a few months old. From there the service offers a capability to choose the target criteria for the Sponsored Update.
- Name the Campaign
- When setting up a campaign, it will need a name e.g. trial 1.
- As the organisation sets up other Sponsored Updates, it has the opportunity to use the same campaign criteria each time, making it easy to duplicate a practice that works well.
- Target The Campaign
- The target can be an update for:
- Location – by country and some area
- Company – by name or category (industry or size), or exclude
- Job title – by title or category, or exclude
- School – by school/university name, or exclude
- Skills – by skill name, or exclude
- Group – all or a particular group, or exclude
- Age – several age brackets to choose from
- Choose A Payment Option
- The service allows a choice of budgets and whether to use cost per click (CPC) or cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM). There is no need to wait for LinkedIn to authorize your Sponsored Update; it’s live within a few minutes.
- choose payment option
- Check the Preview
- Once your advertisement is set, it can be previewed by clicking Preview in the Campaign Manager to see what your visitors will see.
- Tracking the impact of each Sponsored Update is an obvious task to remember.
- The green + signs will be seen on the Sponsored Update statistics, but not on the organic statistics. They simply refer to the extra visibility given to the update by sponsoring it.
- Metrics are available at any time by going to your post and clicking on the highlighted campaign name or you can go directly to LinkedIn Campaign Manager to find out how your updates are performing.
- The campaign can be terminated at any time and in two ways—through the Campaign Manager page by turning the status to off or directly from your post by clicking on Manage. Simply uncheck the box and the promotion will be stopped.
- There are two types of clicks to be aware of—social and billable. Social clicks are simply post likes, shares and comments. Billable clicks are amassed by someone clicking the post title, the post link or the the organisation logo within your Sponsored Update.
- Consider using Sponsored Updates for:
- To announce significant upcoming events
- Marketing giveaways such as white papers and eBooks
- New product/service/activity launch information
- A blog post that is already working hard and generating good results for the organisation
- Best Practices
- The great thing about LinkedIn Sponsored Updates is that they run on a very professional B2B networking platform, so your target audience is very much available to you. The link to the relevant LinkedIn page is: