Golf has Tiger Woods, basketball has Lebron James, and tennis has Roger Federer, but when it comes to the master of LinkedIn, there is not one single superstar that stands out. So instead of choosing just one expert to highlight, I’ve worked with my team to collect tips from ten LinkedIn experts from all across the interwebs. Here are some of the best LinkedIn tips we found, in no particular order:
(1) Beat the LinkedIn Algorithm
“By adding a photo and post text to your post, publishing, then clicking on the edit button to edit the post and add in the relevant external link to your post, this seems to be a way of getting good interaction on your posts as it confuses the Linkedin algorithm into thinking the link is an internal platform one.”
(2) Change Your “Connect” Button to “Follow”
“And why is this a good thing? Well, for one it makes it a tad more difficult for people to connect with you. They can still connect, but they’re gonna have to look for the connect option (in the More… menu).
Putting this tiny hurdle in place may improve the caliber of your connectors. Second, you don’t have to do a single thing when people follow you; you don’t have to accept/ignore, it’s perfect for busy people who are not on LinkedIn all day. Third, your network count will still increase when people follow because LinkedIn insists on co-mingling connections and followers. Fourth, think of followers as potential connections, think of having a Follow button as a sign that indicates that you’re kinda fussy/particular about how you build your network. LinkedIn previously only allowed “influencers” to have the Follow button, now doesn’t that make you feel a wee bit special?”
(3) Make Sure Your Profile Image Doesn’t Block Any of Your Background Info
“Go to your home/feed page and look in the upper left. There you will see your photo centered over your background photo. It’s probably too small to see clearly. Now hold down the CTRL key while pressing the “+” key. That will begin magnifying your entire home/feed page in varying increments with each press of “+”.
Keep pressing the “+” key (while still holding CTRL down) until you can see those background and profile photos in the upper left of the page in better detail. You’ll then know if anything important on your background photo is being covered up by your profile photo when people are on mobile devices. This method probably isn’t an exact pixel-by-pixel match between the two platforms, but as the old saying goes, ‘close enough for government work.’
When completed, hold down the CTRL key and press the “0” (number zero) key to return to standard 100% magnification.
You’re all set now to ensure that the design of your background photo always conveys what you want any LinkedIn user to know about you and your brand — no matter how and with what device they use to view your profile.”
(4) Request Recommendations
“Not a lot of people know about this feature hidden under “Additional Information.” You can actually reach out to people in your network and ask them for recommendations based on your time together. It’s a pretty great tool to use for social proof.”
This is one of my favorites: whenever someone pays me a nice professional compliment that I would love to have become a testimonial, I immediately ask, “Would you be willing to recommend me on LinkedIn sharing what you just told me?” People say yes every time.
(5) Meaningful Engagement Over Likes
Likes are good, but taking the time to go the extra mile makes a big difference and will make you stand out.
“When you engage, do the activity that the receiver would truly value. A like is nice, but a comment will warrant more attention. When you respond directly to someone’s post, use his or her first name. This is a great way to stay top of mind with key networks.”
Just a quick reminder, to easily tag someone, begin their name with the @ symbol and LinkedIn will find their profile immediately.
(6) Post Unique or Unusual Content
“My key piece of advice is if you want to stick out on LinkedIn, post something you wouldn’t normally see on the platform. Unique content gets promoted organically at a rapid rate, enhancing your chance at achieving virality.”
I’m a big believer in this particular piece of advice. A while back I took a picture of a thank you gift the firm Jackson Walker gave me when I came to speak to their employees. It was a somewhat unique picture to post, and it completely went viral, racking up over 25,000 views.
(7) Seek to Understand First
This is more of a life skill than a LinkedIn tip, but I wish even 10% of the people pitching me each day understood this:
“Instead of spamming people with your sales pitch, ask them questions to learn what their needs are. Then you can learn where they’re at in the sales cycle and genuinely bring them value, even if there’s not a sale involved.”
(8) Pull Key Stats and Figures From Shares to Post in Comments
“In addition to sharing great articles, pull key quotes and data from articles to share — readers and followers appreciate the thoughtful effort of providing educational value.”
Just to give you an example, if you read a great article that has one or two powerful statistics, pull those stats out and highlight them. You might comment, “Great post with unusual LinkedIn tips, I especially liked #8 on pulling out key stats to add value in the comments when sharing.” This way you add value even if they don’t read the article. Plus you give them a little teaser of why it is worth their time to read the article.
(9) Treat LinkedIn Differently than Facebook
This may seem obvious, but it has to be said:
“LinkedIn users need to be keenly aware of the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn. Treating them the same may give your peers and professional contacts pause. Personal rants, family photos, and the like are rarely embraced on LinkedIn.”
(10) If you are Barry Manilow, Go All-In on Being Barry Manilow
“Share content regularly on LinkedIn, even if some people see you as Barry Manilow. By that I mean, some people LOVE Barry Manilow and think he hung the moon. Other people think he’s a treacly hack. The point is, by sharing content that puts your ideal prospect’s needs front and center – you cannot fail here. Over time, you will build a tribe of followers, referral sources and brand ambassadors who sing your praises and hire you because you keep showing up and providing value. You’re not here to please everyone, just the ones who get you.”
I wholeheartedly agree with this one. Share what you know and the people that love you will eat it up. The people that unfollow you were never going to be part of your “tribe” to begin with.