Founded in 2002, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 500 million members in 200 countries and territories around the globe. It connects colleagues with each other, businesses with current and potential employees, and aids job seekers’ job searches, all while promoting community development and content sharing. LinkedIn’s strength for your state lies in its ability to build authority, establish thought leadership, and cultivate a robust network. Read on to learn more about LinkedIn and see if it’s a match for your state goals.
LINKEDIN FOR BUSINESS
LinkedIn has become much more than a networking site for professionals. It has turned into a Facebook-like atmosphere where users and companies share interesting news articles, recent statistics, job openings, and tips for career fields. Currently, 52% of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 18 and 34, making them prime targets for recruiting. If you haven’t already created a page, start here for directions. Once you’ve created your page, let’s talk about next steps and tips for success. First off, tell everyone. You need a following. Every Soldier from your state should find your LinkedIn page and follow it. You can also announce your page on your other more popular social networks by creating a graphic and giving users the link to your page. Here’s an example.
COMPLETE YOUR COMPANY PAGE
Fill in as many details as possible about your company and ensure the information is always up to date. If you change your structure or have company news to share, be sure to update your company page on LinkedIn, because it will update in your followers’ News Feeds.
Similarly to what you do on other social networks, make sure to respond to posts, comments, and questions from followers. If they have a complaint, address it. Answer questions and offer advice and assistance. Remember, you can “@” people on LinkedIn, so respond directly to comments or questions in a timely manner.
LinkedIn allows brands to create posts for specific audiences. This means that you can target posts to segments of your audience(s) by industry, job function, seniority level, geography, and more. Targeting is useful if you want users in a certain location or career field to engage with your content. Impressions and engagement numbers may be lower, but leads may be higher. Ask yourself if you are active on LinkedIn. Are other states? Look at examples to get an idea for post and engagement expectations.
LINKEDIN BEST PRACTICES
Again, as with all social media channels, with every interaction you have on LinkedIn, represent your state as authentically as you can. When users ask a question or respond to your post, offer a personalized interaction and make them feel like you actually value and care about them and their interest. On this network, you are likely to hear from prior Service members and jobseekers more than a new recruit, and a response might open the door to a possible message and conversation.
IF TIME ALLOWS, CONSIDER JOINING A LINKEDIN GROUP
Contribute to popular discussions that LinkedIn members have already started. As people “like” and reply to your comments, you have a chance to become a “Top Contributor” in the group. When appropriate, link to your company’s page to help interested members gather more insights and info.
Since hashtags aren’t recognized on LinkedIn, avoid tools that automatically transfer posts from other platforms, as posts from other platforms may not make sense to your LinkedIn audience. Posts on LinkedIn should be informative and stay on the professional side. Types of popular content include:
“Top” lists: Create a “Top” list, such as “Top 5 Professional Skills that Translate into Service with the Army National Guard,” to educate users and provide quick information.
ASVAB Questions: Trivia is popular on LinkedIn and people love a good challenge. Other post types could include trivia or facts about ARNG.
Articles: Recent news about your state. This could be any type of coverage, as long as it’s timely and relevant.
There isn’t an optimal post length for LinkedIn updates, but multiple paragraphs are never a good idea. Include only the most important information that you’re trying to convey, and always include a call to action, such as “read more,” “visit,” or “learn more.” As a reminder, hashtags are not recognized on LinkedIn, so avoid them.