By Susan Saldibar

Are you one of those executives who, a few years ago, set up your LinkedIn profile and, but for the occasional random post or two, basically forget it? What about your LinkedIn business page? When was the last time you had a look at it? Does it still have those same 20 or 30 followers it had when you set it up?

If you’re a LinkedIn “no show” you’re really missing out. LinkedIn has moved far beyond being a platform for job seekers to become a real power tool for networking and amplifying your brand. Even if you’re using it, you may be only tapping a fraction of its potential.

Debra Gawet, Social and Digital Content Strategist Supervisor for Sage Age Strategies (a Senior Living Foresight partner), recently shared with me some of the capabilities of LinkedIn. They’re pretty impressive. So, if you haven’t already, you should really take a second look at LinkedIn as you roll out your 2020 marketing/sales plan.

Here are some things that you may not realize LinkedIn can do:

  • Position your brand in a professional manner.
  • Establish your community leadership as being experienced, credible, and a resource.
  • Attract new talent. (Yes, this is still a great recruiting tool for those who learn how to use it.)
  • Spotlight awards and/or special accomplishments of your community.
  • Increase the number of professionals who are aware of your community.

But all of this doesn’t just happen by itself. Half baking your LinkedIn presence may not yield any of the benefits listed above. Debra urges Sage Age clients to put care and planning into establishing and maintaining their LinkedIn sites. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Make sure that all your employees are also connected to your LinkedIn page. You’d be surprised at how many LinkedIn pages are created with only a handful of employee participation. This is really important. Having your employees connected amplifies your presence and demonstrates loyalty. It also is a good way to quickly “seed” followers of your business page. 
  • Post frequently and consistently. LinkedIn suggests at least one post per day. And keep in mind who your audience is. Your postings should either be a recent blog from your community or an article that catches your interest and is of use to your peers.
  • Use hashtags. You can add up to three hashtags to your business account profile. What does this mean? It means that your page will be able to like, comment, and reshare posts on these hashtag feeds. It also means that you can track those that are most popular and build a brand presence there.
  • Use the analytics! And there are plenty of them. Be prepared to make adjustments along the way. LinkedIn analytics and reports can help you optimize the information you post and how you engage with others.

Message to Leadership: Get Your LinkedIn Page Up to Date and Start Contributing!

Debra underscores the need for leadership to understand that establishing a strong and credible LinkedIn presence requires their solid commitment. Don’t relegate your profile postings to someone else. Take it on yourself. “LinkedIn, after all, was created to establish a business platform for professionals to connect with each other,” Debra says. “That means leadership needs to be committed to taking some initial steps themselves, such as reaching out to other leaders in this industry and regularly sharing information that is useful, rather than promotional,” she adds.

So maybe you’re still not convinced. But for those who opt to take LinkedIn seriously and contribute to its information stream regularly, the payoff is real. Debra tells clients that they should give LinkedIn at least the same amount of attention as their website, given its ability to provide a snapshot of your organization, along with supporting information. But LinkedIn goes even further with its unique power to enable interaction with other professionals.

So, if you’ve been avoiding (or out-and-out ignoring) LinkedIn, maybe 2020 is the year to get reacquainted with it. Debra urges communities to learn more about what LinkedIn can do and to take a strategic approach to using it. And, of course, Sage Age is there to help.

For more information about Sage Age Strategies, you can visit their website.