How to successfully navigate the troubled LinkedIn waters

The number of LinkedIn users is continuously growing and currently exceeds 930 million globally, so there is little chance that you have not heard of this social network so far. Professionals around the world gather on LinkedIn to stay connected and informed, advance their careers, and simply work better and smarter. There are more than eight hundred thousand of them in Croatia, but only a small number of them are really active. This means that there is still room for positioning here.

If you are still thinking about whether you should start communicating on this network, you are wasting valuable time for learning, gaining experience and acquaintances. In order to make your first steps easier, here are some simple tips on how to start building an organic presence on LinkedIn.


1. Fill your LinkedIn profile as accurately as possible


What you should definitely have in addition to your name and surname is a profile photo, information about your current workplace and organization, a short profile summary in which you will say the most important things about yourself (what you do, what are your areas of interest, what can you offer other LinkedIn users) and finally data on work experience and education. The cover photo is a great place to highlight something that represents you or your organization. It is also nice to list successful projects, scientific papers, awards, recognition, etc., these are details that will show how expert you are in your field.


2. Define areas of your interests and plan the content


Defining the topics you are interested in and about which you can and want to communicate on LinkedIn is the first thing you need to do. That way you will have a clear picture of what you are doing on this network and who you are talking to. To begin with, keep your focus on topics you are familiar with. In order to overcome initial uncertainties as easily as possible, create editorial calendar. Even if you don’t have all the information you need to publish when creating it, “reserve” dates for topics that will be relevant to you in the coming weeks.

Define your posting schedule and try to be consistent. Find what works best for you. Add a personal touch and share your thoughts and experiences to make your content as authentic as possible and to make it easier for other users to identify with it. Remember that it is better to create your own post than to just post someone else’s (repost). Not only will you have better results in the short term, but also in the long term, because each post builds your personal brand on this platform and is a new opportunity for other users to learn something about you.


3. Pay attention to the visual part of the content and text formatting


Include visual content such as photos, videos, infographics and presentations in your posts. Think about how the visual content looks and whether it fits the network and post. Aim for a professional style, but a natural, realistic photo taken with a smartphone can be just fine, as long as it relates to you and the content you’re posting. In the absence of a good visual, you can use links to websites, but it is likely that your posts will have less reach compared to other formats.

Two more ways to make a post more visually interesting are emojis and graphic editing options. To format the text using the bold or italic option, look for tools outside the LinkedIn platform that will allow you to edit the text in such a way. Use both ways with caution because you don’t want to take the focus off the message itself with too many colorful and emphasized parts of the text. Use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your post (3-5 max) and include branded ones when appropriate.


4. Before publishing, do one last check


One of the most important actions that can make a difference in the quality of your content is the final check. Ask yourself if this post is relevant to my community, what information is in focus and what value it provides, if this is the right time to post it. Think about tone – what your post reflects (is it inspirational, educational, emphatic, positive and successful…?) and how it resonates with your usual messaging. If you answer everything successfully, you have the green light to publish.

A good trick is to use a tool to check the grammar in the text. If you do make a mistake, don’t edit the post within the first 2-3 hours minimum because the reach otherwise decreases (LinkedIn uses that time to rank your post).


5. Be active in communication with other LinkedIn users


A lot of time needs to be devoted to content planning, but it’s just as important to be active in other ways. First of all, by connecting with other users. In your posts, try to invite people to share their opinion about your posts. Like other people’s posts, comment on topics you are interested in and participate in discussions with other users and share knowledge. Be professional and constructive, and be careful and moderate with criticism and negativity. Rather, occasionally praise someone’s success and sincerely support someone else’s work if you recognize the effort. Finally, follow relevant influencers in your industry and topics you’re interested in, and get inspired by examples of their content and interactions with other users.