LinkedIn used to just be the place to search for jobs and keep a version of your CV online. It’s evolved very quickly in recent years to being the social media platform for people in business. It’s the place to raise your profile in the industry, to share ideas, to make connections, to take opportunities and to get referrals.
It is now the ‘golden age’ of LinkedIn. Think of it like a 2010 Facebook but just for people looking to do business. There are currently 722 million monthly users on LinkedIn across 200 countries (January 2021). Its members have the highest disposable income of those on any social media channel.
Traffic to LinkedIn went up 2400% at the start of coronavirus. People are online a lot more now, they’re working from home, they’re looking for opportunities and networking online has become the norm.
How hospitality professionals can thrive on LinkedIn in 2021:
Lay your foundations
Make sure you have your foundations in place before you start posting and connecting. If you’re putting out content or commenting and liking other people’s posts the goal from that is that others will check out your profile page to see if they might want to work with you. This means that your profile page should be up to date and looking the best it can be (see below for tips).
People like interacting with people so post as yourself, not from a brand or Company Page. Show your personality. Write how you speak. Post about things that interest you.
Don’t try to sell
Think of presenting your content more as a cooking channel than a sales brochure. Show your work, your processes, your tips and opinions. Don’t just sell the end product and never brag.
Ask yourself ‘so what?’
Is this something people will really care about? Is it helpful or interesting or funny? Would you care about it if someone else posted it?
Use LinkedIn as a search engine
If you have a dream client, employer, or partner in mind, they are probably on LinkedIn. Use it to search and research to find out about people and companies you’re targeting and then make the connection.
The only way to get better is with practice
Remember, everyone feels awkward about posting at first and it does get easier but only with practice.
10 ideas for things you can post about on LinkedIn
1. Give ‘behind the scenes’ access to how you work or spend your time.
- Attend a course or networking event and share what you learnt.
- Write a blog or a LinkedIn article about something topical happening in the industry.
- Go through your emails to find where you’ve answered questions for people and repurpose them into helpful posts.
- Ask a question and think of the post as the start of a conversation.
- Tell a funny or heartfelt story.
- Celebrate, shout out or thank somebody else.
- Record a post as a video instead of writing it.
- Share a photo of where you’re working from.
- Share some top tips, shortcuts or hacks.
Tips for making your LinkedIn profile page the best it can be
- Have a professional headshot done to use for your profile picture.
- Decide what you’re looking to achieve with LinkedIn and what you want people to know.
- Dedicate time to it. Update and tweak your profile often.
- Find other people’s profiles that inspire you and ask yourself why?
- You have 2600 characters for your summary and 220 for your headline – make the most of that space but don’t use it for the sake of it.
- Make sure you put the most important things first.
- Include keywords and phrases (you are searchable).
- Use language, spacing and formatting that makes your summary easily readable.
- Jam-pack your experience section.
- Voice record your name and a message.
- Ask for recommendations and endorsements from people who know you.
- Make it personal to you.
LinkedIn is a really great way to grow your business network and keep yourself at the forefront of people’s minds. Let LinkedIn work alongside your other ways of building relationships.
Hospitality marketer Sophie Cross @FullyThoughtOut created LinkedIn For Humans, an online, on-demand course transforming how people use LinkedIn for themselves after she started to see big business gains from the channel.