Social media is a powerful communication tool and we have seen even more clearly just how powerful it is since the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown began. In the UK, those who can work from home have been doing so now for just over nine weeks and there has been a significant uptick in social media usage within that time.
Companies are being presented with a captive audience. This is an opportunity for businesses to communicate their vision, objectives and content but also for individuals to explore and benefit from the interaction and information that social media can bring.
Let’s take LinkedIn as an example as it is the most relevant social media channel for those in the specialty insurance industry. It is a dedicated B2B networking platform and also acts as a resource, with companies sharing insights, whitepapers, research and other useful content.
However it’s important to make sure you are using your LinkedIn profile to its potential so invest a bit of time to ensure you follow the steps below.
Check your profile picture
As the cliché goes, a picture paints a thousand words, so what do you want people to denote from your picture? LinkedIn is a professional platform so, depending on the industry you work in and the impression you want to give, photographs you’d promote on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are not relevant. Where possible, do use a photograph, but use a corporate style headshot.
Build your network
One of the simplest ways to expand your LinkedIn network is to synch your profile with your email address book. It’s often overlooked, and you’ll be amazed how many people you are not connected to. Doing this is important as it enables LinkedIn to suggest other relevant people for you to connect with and build relationships with.
Always follow up
Now is the time to get into the habit of always following up with someone new, such as a new attendee on a video call you attended. Send them a connection request on LinkedIn, and a brief message; this way you’ll keep your network relevant and up to date.
Spring clean your skills list
A really quick and easy way to improve your profile and show off your credentials is to review and update the skills part of your profile. Adding/updating skills relevant to you will help support the description in your headline & summary and importantly provides a platform for others to endorse you.
Add a headline and summary
This is the equivalent of your elevator pitch. If people come across your profile, what do you want them to take away? It doesn’t need to be long and wordy, a short pithy paragraph summarising your skills and experience to date is enough to give the right first impression.
Buzzwords and clichés
If you are going to use buzzwords on your profile (i.e. dedicated, passionate, focused, creative etc) which are perfectly fine to use, remember the words alone won’t convince people that you have these qualities. Demonstrate how you are these things in every available section of your profile, otherwise the words become meaningless.
Publish and share timely and relevant content from your profile to help start conversations
It’s great to have a network of connections on LinkedIn but it is far better to be active on the platform. Publishing or sharing content is one of the easiest and most effective ways of doing this. The more relevant and engaging content you put out, the more you establish your expertise and thought-leadership credentials, and raise your profile. You will appear more frequently in your connections’ LinkedIn feeds and crucially, in a way that adds value to them.
Join the conversation
Be ready for your posts to start new conversations, monitor the responses that you get and be active in replying. Also, don’t limit your voice to your posts, commenting on others’ content can help you build and develop professional relationships too.
Stay up to date
It is surprising how many people haven’t updated their profile since their last career move, or have overlapping job timelines, so that it is unclear what their current responsibilities are. If people are looking for an appropriate contact, they want to be able to see the relevant information quickly, without wasting their time or yours. Check that all your details are correct and up to date.