All social media platforms are beneficial in spreading messages. Fun, important, life-changing, opinionated, useless – if there’s a thought out there, someone’s probably posted about it. However, LinkedIn is a different machine. It’s a world for professionals looking to network with other professionals. Whether it be to stay updated on their industries, employ trusted talent, or influence their markets, LinkedIn is undeniably the most effective place to make a professional impression.
Unfortunately, so many intelligent people with incredible credentials and work experience still use LinkedIn all wrong. Some treat it like any other platform and post about their social lives (the equivalent to attending a professional conference in sweatpants and showing attendees your baby pictures). Others post about professional topics but don’t consider important questions that could streamline the overall look of their LinkedIn feeds.
So, for that purpose, we’ve asked 4 questions you should ask yourself before posting anything along with detailed answers. Let’s get started!
Is there a purpose?
If you’re on LinkedIn, the chances are you’re probably also on at least one other social media platform. As such, deciding what goes where is important. Something might be interesting but that doesn’t make it professional or interesting to those who follow you on LinkedIn. If that’s the case, it might be better suited to Facebook or other general social media platforms. Professional platforms or professional profiles on other platforms should be curated and kept professional. Otherwise, you risk losing your reputation as a professional.
Is it relevant?
The word “relevant” is multi-faceted in this context. On the one hand, your post needs to be relevant to you based on what you usually post. Constantly contradicting yourself with different posts (unless you’re a professional debater) only presents a conflicting image. Furthermore, don’t be posting about what you aren’t an expert in. For your word to be highly regarded, you need to present a “master of one” image, meaning you’re an expert in your area and you keep it that way. Otherwise, your opinion won’t be regarded as trustworthy.
Next, your post needs to be relevant to the industry you’re in. Don’t be posting your opinions about philosophy if you’re an electrical engineer. The two are unrelated and your professional network doesn’t need to see an attempt at branching out if it isn’t necessary.
Lastly, there must also be relevance to your audience. Your professional network is also a target audience hand-picked by you. Treat them like you would a target audience of customers. Post relevant things that you know fall into their areas of interest. Having said that, if you’re targeting someone specific (a future employer, employee or client) or a certain group of people in your network, ensure what you’ve posted is precise and tailored to them so that they’re interested in opening the link/reading the post.
Is there an outcome?
You can’t expect to know whether your post has been received well if you don’t encourage people to receive it! Add a call to action. Ask your audience to engage with what you post by asking them to click, fill out, comment, share thoughts, buy, contact, etc. It sounds so simple, but it can make the difference between someone scrolling past a post thinking it’s just there for looks, or clicking into it and receiving your message.
Is it redundant?
Building credibility isn’t difficult but it doesn’t work when people try to spread themselves over their entire industry. Climate change is such a broad topic and someone who works in the environmental services field may be inclined to post about anything and everything related to climate change. This may work, we’re not saying it won’t. However, information on climate change is easy to come by on Google. Why would anybody want this person’s opinion if the information is redundant?
A good way to build credibility is by focusing on niches within a broad topic. In this case, if an environmental scientist focused posts on, say, solar energy, carbon taxes and innovation in wind power, audiences on LinkedIn would know that this person has expert information on specific areas. That’s how one can ensure they’re creating the image of an influencing force with valuable opinions on their industry.
These four simple questions can help drive your LinkedIn presence in the right direction. Just to be clear, any and all of these suggestions can be completely ignored on personal general social media platforms. There’s no limit to what you can post for your friends to read. However, professional spaces require a different approach and that’s what this article is regarding. Let us know how you’ve built your LinkedIn profile to present you professionally. We’d love to hear from you!