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You on LinkedIn: your audience thinks it’s legit

By Jason Mudd

Update that profile (audiences notice) and 5 other PR tips for LinkedIn

update-linkedin-profileMoving on from how to use Twitter to updating your LinkedIn: If you know you need to strengthen your online reputation, you can’t overlook LinkedIn anymore. To your audiences, it’s totally legit. It’s also one serious way you can cut through the social media clutter that clogs up every industry. Read on to see how the recent report shared on Forbes impacts how you use LinkedIn to build your brand as part of your PR strategy.

1. Know thy data.

This impacts your use of LinkedIn just as it does for other PR top trends for 2014. Not only do you need to be on there sending and accepting invitations and following groups, you need to know which ones your target audience is interacting with, too. Here’s another way to mine data from LinkedIn: Use polls. Polls you conduct through LinkedIn can help you capture opinions that you can use in your company’s messages, such as your blog and social media posts. You can also get valuable feedback through polls and then tweet your results to generate more interest and build your online reputation.

2. Using LinkedIn a lot already?

Don’t assume you’re a pro. Take time to get to know the tools, tricks and options LinkedIn offers, because the network isn’t getting any smaller. According to recent statements from the company, there are more than 300 million users worldwide, and premium subscriptions increased by 46 percent over 2013. Wayne Breitbarth, a LinkedIn consultant and expert, shared some information recently about how people are using LinkedIn in 2014 compared to 2013. Surprisingly, he said many users aren’t getting all that they can out of the networking site, and this includes ways to build brand perceptions among target audiences. One solid way is to encourage your audience members to share testimonials for you, especially if they’ve already praised you on other social media platforms.

3. Have you actively used the status update feature yet?

In 2013, this ranked as the favorite feature for only 10 percent of users. In 2014, it’s jumped to nearly 40 percent. In terms of boosting your online reputation, there are some guidelines to remember here for PR. First, don’t make your status updates completely promotional. Instead, try to make at least 60 percent of them educational in nature. Pull quotes from trusted sources that can shed light on a relevant topic. You can also provide information that comes from you and/or your company, but just make sure it also provides something to your audience on an educational level. Experts suggest that you keep your promotional posts down to one out of every 10 or more.

4. Run into Twitter trouble?

Use LinkedIn to leverage other posts – especially on Twitter – when you’re trying to run damage control. We’ve all seen how some well-intentioned brand-boosting strategies can turn negative at lightning speed on social networking sites. If that happens to you, use LinkedIn to help address the situation instead of hiding. Stay consistent and leverage what you can through LinkedIn’s resources, such as starting new conversations in groups. Being consistent and adding valuable posts throughout the year on LinkedIn (such as blog posts) paves the way for audiences to view your company as even more trustworthy should a social media crisis occur – and it can help you create some true brand champions.

5. Your company page on LinkedIn really does matter.

Use it to share your most important key message points, because media representatives are using LinkedIn when they’re looking for news contacts. Only 24 percent of companies used LinkedIn to promote a company page in 2013, but that number has jumped to 57 percent this year as more organizations get comfortable with the platform and see its value. Don’t let your competition get ahead of this trend before you do.

Lastly, be sure to encourage your employees to have a consistent message and tone on their LinkedIn pages since they’ll be talking about your company. This impacts the way audiences view you as a whole, and company consistency can help strengthen your online presence.

If you’re looking for public relations strategies that creatively and meaningfully leverage social media sites like LinkedIn, call Axia Public Relations. We recognize social media for what it really is: a lively (and sometimes very loud) conversation in which you can be the guide and the curator – with some savvy PR strategies in place.

jason-mudd-axia-pr-1 – Jason Mudd, APR, is CEO of Axia Public Relations. He is an Emmy Award-winning accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur. His public relations portfolio includes work for established national and emerging brands such as American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, Brightway Insurance, Florida Blue, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, It Works!, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Ray Charles, Southern Comfort, Verizon and more. Connect with Jason on Twitter at @jasonmudd9 and Axia Public Relations at @axiapr. Be sure to tweet and share your thoughts below. We’ll read and respond to each of them.

photo credit: clasesdeperiodismo via photopin cc

Topics: public relations, PR tips, shared media

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