LinkedIn is one of the top social networks in the world today and is very popular amongst professionals. With a membership of over 380 million, LinkedIn has a growing influence as a professional networking tool and can be extremely powerful when the user is aware of the platform’s features.
This is not the case with a lot of Africans as they are not fully aware of the openings that the platform can create in their professional lives. Those few who are users do not understand how to best use the platform to enhance their presence. There is undoubtedly a need for business owners and professionals in Africa to take advantage of these opportunities towards building relationships with potential customers, clients, partners and peers, and so Jumia Travel presents 4 simple and time-effective ways in which Africans can make the best of LinkedIn.
- Enhance your profile for search
Anyone who recognizes the way in which social media works, understands the importance of an outstanding profile. The way your profile is structured and the information made available on it are key to increasing online visibility and engaging others, thus by enhancing your profile on LinkedIn you will be able to attract the right people and create the right opportunities. Very similar to SEO, all you need to do to achieve this is research the keywords that relate to your industry or service and integrate them into your profile as naturally as possible.
- Encourage your contacts to leave recommendations and make endorsements
Recommendations have always been essential to the reputation and credibility of any professional and so, the LinkedIn platform offers a unique feature that functions as form of recommendation for users. This feature enables members to endorse each other’s work within specific job roles and organizations, sharing evidence that adds credibility to the user’s profile and reinforcing both current and future applications. It is therefore important that users ask contacts, from colleagues to clients and even friends to endorse their profile. A higher number of endorsements will thus provide you with a more favorable rank in LinkedIn search results.
- Use video testimonials effectively
Another way to stand out on LinkedIn is to create and use high quality video testimonials, that not only reinforce your quality of work but also provide potential employers with something unique and creative, while also showing you are willing to go the extra mile. Most users, especially sole proprietors or small business owners believe they already have a strong, existing customer base, underuse and undermine the video upload feature on LinkedIn’s profile pages. The use of video, however, can help distinguish your brand or service from the vast majority of profile pages that may even be competitors. Do some research, interview, record and upload genuine customer or client testimonials which reflect a positive light on your service. You would be capitalizing on an already existing client base.
- Stay active on LinkedIn groups
A lot of users are not very enthusiastic about constant participation in any of the multiple groups on LinkedIn as it usually is time consuming. However, in the long-term the benefits and rewards are worth the time it takes. Basically, the user has to search for relevant professional groups that are within their industry, make selections based on the group’s popularity, place relevance in terms of keywords and existing membership base, then subscribe to daily updates, delivered directly by e-mail. The user can also now participate in group discussions on the go via mobile. It is a great way to remain visible and valuable in target markets. The key is being careful not to over commit to too many LinkedIn groups. Simply take five or 10 minutes off your daily schedule to respond and interact with other members, as you share your insight and build strong professional bonds. These interactions usually increase your value on the platform.