This post looks at how you can use LinkedIn and video and is the third in my social media and video series.
I think LinkedIn is one of the most misunderstood social media networks around. People often view it as a professional Facebook account. This isn’t correct and leads to people thinking that it is ‘boring’, ‘useless’ or that they are using it incorrectly. The networking site is probably the most focused and straightforward social media platform out there.
The main purpose is to collect the professional profile and contact information of all the people that are in your network by creating ‘Connections’. This creates a digital network of all the people you know in your professional life. Your profile is your CV/ Resume, detailing your professional experience and qualifications.
This digital network of professionals can be used to gain referrals for work, answer questions and solve problems. Most importantly, it can be used as a 24/7 networking resource. You can view the people connected to your connections, allowing for introductions and opportunities to expand your network. Your profile can be made to stand out by receiving recommendations from people in your network. In essence LinkedIn is a professional resource that you create for yourself.
LinkedIn and video come together subtly but effectively. As LinkedIn is in essence your professional profile. By adding video into that profile you are able to make it more engaging, more accurate and more effective.
Social media is not about broadcasting messages but engaging with others. This post looks at the typical engagement experience and how LinkedIn and video can be used to strengthen and encourage that engagement.
The LinkedIn Experience
One of the most common observations about LinkedIn is that ‘nothing happens’. You have your news feed the same way that every social network has a news feed but the majority of it contains who is connecting to whom. Most of which is ‘irrelevant’ to you. Most social media is very immediate. LinkedIn follows the pattern of most real life networking. It is a long term continuous process. You build your network before you need it. You need to identify the types of people or business you want to connect with that could be mutually beneficial.
With this is mind LinkedIn becomes a very powerful tool.
With over 100 million professional users on LinkedIn, there is a good chance that you will find the types of people you want to connect with and learn about their goals, experience and qualifications. You can break it down to look at local, regional, national and international criteria.
You can also find out how you’re connected to these potential contacts through the network you already have. Depending on the nature of the relationship with your contact, it might be as simple as an introduction or as complex a strategy involving attending events of mutual interest and striking up a conversation.
The feature of groups is possibly the most exciting yet underutilised aspect of this social network. Imagine an opportunity to join or start a group with experts in key areas that could benefit your business. Imagine being able to ask questions and discuss issues that interest you and get expert insight almost instantaneously… well you can stop imagining because this is what LinkedIn groups is all about.
4. Profile Status Updates
The purpose of the profile status update is not to share every single activity in your business or personal day. Would you do this at a networking event? Probably not. You would concentrate on the information that would be strategically thought out and of benefit to you. The same applies on LinkedIn.
5. Company Pages
I mentioned in my post on Facebook and Video, that Facebook is a Business 2 Consumer platform. The opposite is the case with LinkedIn. It is a primarily a Business 2 Business social network. With this is mind, if your business is B2B, consider setting up a Company Page. With this you can attract followers who are updated with your company status that might contain, calls for collaboration, news updates, vacancies and professional advice. You don’t need to be LinkedIn with these followers in order to connect with them.
In addition the company page allows you to showcase your products and services, each with their own page that describes each USP and collects testimonials from clients and customers
Uses of LinkedIn and Video
LinkedIn is all about your professional profile and presenting yourself to a wider network of professionals. The main purpose of videos on LinkedIn is to support that. There are two main ways of using video on LinkedIn
Embed a profile video of yourself on your LinkedIn profile page. This should be framed exactly as you would like to present yourself at a networking event; relaxed, confident and interested in other professionals while efficiently conveying your business and goals.
This makes your profile more engaging. Rather than text and a picture the viewer can pick up on all the non-verbal signals we rely on in day-to-day communication as well as hear ‘from the horses mouth’ what you have to say. This creates a stronger connection, conveying the impression of having met in person and suggesting transparency and openness.
On the products and services pages you can embed a video showcasing each one you have listed. This, in effect, does the same thing for each of your products and services as your profile video does for you. It builds trust quickly and allows the viewer to see what you have to offer.
2. Sharing video content
There are no videos of cats playing the piano or dogs on skateboards here. As LinkedIn is a professional network you should be focusing on information rich video resources that would benefit your network. This could either be video content you have created yourself or that you have found. These are not limited to your profile and company status updates but should be shared wider through the groups you subscribe to.
Tips for LinkedIn and Video
I focus very much on using You Tube as your content hub to collect all your video content in a single place. Because of its flexibility and adaptability as well as its links to Google and the increased likelihood of the videos appearing in search results it makes sense. You don’t have to manage multiple channels and your content is kept in one place.
If you want to embed video on LinkedIn you have to use You Tube. Straightforward enough as it is the only platform supported.
When creating video content for Linked or considering embedding content into LinkedIn run it past the ‘networking event test’ i.e. would it represent you well in a professional light at such an event?