With new social networks being created regularly, LinkedIn can be a platform that’s often forgotten about and underused. However, it can be an incredibly powerful tool for marketing your event – especially if you’re aware of many of the platform’s hidden tools that don’t seem to get the attention they deserve.
To help you learn how to use LinkedIn effectively to promote your next event,here are some tips to show why it shouldn’t be overlooked.
What is LinkedIn?
Before we jump into the tips here’s a quick overview of LinkedIn as a social media platform. It launched in 2003 and is the fourth most popular social media network among US adults. It’s primarily centered around careers and business and enables users to connect and share content with other professionals, including colleagues, potential employers, business partners and new employees. If you run a B2B or career-focused event, LinkedIn can be a fantastic marketing tool.
1. Customise your public profile URL. Make your personal profile look more professional and easier to share by customising your LinkedIn public profile URL. Instead of a URL with a million confusing numbers it will look more clean and professional.
2. Add a LinkedIn background photo to your personal profile. In June 2014 LinkedIn jumped on the ‘cover photo bandwagon’ and started rolling out the ability for users to add a background photo to their personal profiles. This gives your LinkedIn profile a little more personality and can be a great way of promoting your event if you have a social media banner prepared. Don’t forget, LinkedIn is a professional network so make sure you choose your photo accordingly!
3. Add a ProFinder badge to your profile. LinkedIn has made some changes to the types of badges that are available over the years. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you may want to consider adding a ProFinder Badge, which is used to identify freelancers and services within LinkedIn’s ProFinder network. This is a service which matches contractors with project managers seeking help.
4. Take advantage of the blog/website links on your profile. Instead of using the default anchor text links in the website list within your LinkedIn profile’s contact info section, you can now add links to your portfolio and social networks. You can also add links to your work under each job description, so if you’re looking to increase clicks through to your event, make sure you populate those areas with the online presence you want to draw most attention to. There’s now also the option to upload multimedia for a given job or project. For example, if you have some photos or video content of your event you can add those in to help promote your event.
5. Search engine optimise your LinkedIn profile. SEO isn’t just limited to blogging. You can also optimise your profile to get discovered by people searching LinkedIn for key terms. You can add these words to various sections of your profile, such as your headline, your summary, and your work experience.
6. Add, remove and rearrange entire sections of your profile. LinkedIn also enables you to reorder entire sections of your profile in anyway you prefer. When in edit mode simply hover your mouse over the double sided arrow in each section. Your mouse will turn into a four arrowed icon, at which point you can click then drag and drop another position on your profile. This way you can prioritise event related media to the top of your profile.
7. Use open messages to send messages to people you aren’t connected to. With the exception of your fellow group members, LinkedIn only allows you to send messages to people who you share a first degree connection with. But some people let you send message to them anyway, even if you aren’t connected. The ability to be a part of the Open Profile network is only available to premium account holders, but it allows users to choose to be available for messaging by any other LinkedIn member, regardless of their membership level. This is perfect for reaching out to people who may be an asset to your event team or simply promoting your event to a larger network.
There are other options for sending messages to those you’re not yet connected with, like sending a request to connect with a note attached. We don’t recommend overusing this. If you’re a premium account member you can also use InMail.
8. Check your network updates or share your own. Found on your LinkedIn home page, network updates are essentially LinkedIn’s version of the Facebook newsfeed. Check this feed periodically for a quick snapshot of what your connections are up to and sharing, or share updates of your own, such as a noteworthy content related to your event. You can also sign up for email notifications and sort by top updates or recent updates to filter your feed one way or another.
9. Be identifiable. Allowing others to see who you are if you view their profile. To enable this, visit your settings (click your thumbnail image on the top right and click Privacy & Settings) and then click “Profile Viewing Options” under “Privacy”. Make sure you check off the ‘Your Name’ and ‘Headline’ (which is the recommended option), as it will allow you to take advantage of the next tip on our list!
10. Check out who’s viewed your LinkedIn profile. The ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ tool, which is accessible in the main navigation via the profile dropdown, allows you to identify which other LinkedIn users have visited your profile page. In fact, LinkedIn gave this a facelift in February 2014, so the information it provides is better than ever. You can now also see how you stack up against your profile views for your connections, people in your company, and other professionals like you.
This is useful if someone has been checking out your profile who you’d like to connect with or who could be potentially interested in your event. This could be the ‘in’ you’ve been waiting for to connect. This feature is only available if you follow the above steps though.
11. Easily find new connections – or reconnect with old ones. The connections tab in the top navigation offers multiple tools to grow and connect with contacts in your professional network. When viewing your connections, click the “Manage your synced and imported contacts” and from there you’ll be able to sync your email contact to see who’s on LinkedIn and who you can invite to join. These contacts can be essential when it comes to spreading the word about your event and offering support on the contact you may share regarding your event.
12. Make the most out of LinkedIn groups – Did you know that if you’re a member of the same group as another user you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them? As long as you’ve been a member of LinkedIn for at least 30 days and a member of a particular group for at least 4 days, LinkedIn allows you to send up to 15 free 1:1 messages to fellow group members a month (across all groups you belong to).In addition to this group, members are also able to view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Join more groups relevant to your event and industry to enable more direct messaging possibilities and make sure you participate in discussions to build trust within your group.