LinkedIn is by far the most professional of all the social networks. It acts as an online resume and provides you with a place to highlight your best work and experience in a place where people who’ve never been to your website can find and possibly get in touch with you.
But wouldn’t it be great if you could bring some of that LinkedIn goodness to your website?
I mean, your website is your home on the web. It’s your property. So you’re going to want to display some of the same information that’s featured on your LinkedIn profile as well.
The trouble is it can be time-consuming to bring all of that information over. Sure, you can copy and paste but how will you manage the formatting?
My point is, why go through the process of creating a resume twice when you can just create it on LinkedIn with minimal fuss then integrate it into your site? You’ll save time and likely a few headaches.
Before we delve into all of your options for proper LinkedIn integration, let’s spend a few moments discussing how to really make good use of your LinkedIn profile.
Making the Most of LinkedIn
There’s a shortage of coverage regarding LinkedIn. It’s a very popular social network with over 347 million users according to HubSpot, but it still doesn’t get as much blog coverage as networks like Facebook and Twitter.
I think that largely has to do with the strictly business vibe the site offers. People think it’s just about posting your resume and that’s it. They don’t realize that there’s a very social component on the site now which means it’s not enough to just post your best work and walk away. You have to actually engage there, too.
While I don’t have the bandwidth to cover everything there is to know about LinkedIn here, I am going to offer up a few tips that will make it easier for you to customize your profile and interact with your community.
Customizing Your LinkedIn Profile
Here are a few quick ways to customize your profile so you can make the best impression with your potential clients and customers:
- Customize your profile URL. Instead of your profile URL ending in numbers, you can pick what the URL says. For a personal profile, your name is your best bet. Or, if you have a company, you can use your company name in the URL instead. To make this change, just go to your public profile customization page and input your desired URL on the right-hand side of the screen.
- Make sure your site URL is optimized. By default, LinkedIn will make your site or blog’s link text read as a “Personal Website.” Not very descriptive, right? A good way to encourage more people to click through from your profile to your site is to customize this anchor text. To do this go to Profile > Edit Profile > Contact Info > Other than input what you want your site to be linked as. Try something like “MyBusinessName Industry Insights” rather than “My Blog.”
- Fill out every section. A blank spot on your profile (or a sparse section) looks bad so don’t let that happen to you. Even if it’s not true, an incomplete profile makes it seems like you lack attention to detail. You can also add, remove, or rearrange sections if you’d like. There’s a double-sided arrow on each section in Edit mode that allows you to drag-and-drop sections to where you’d like. And here’s a comprehensive list of all the sections you can add/remove.
- Thinking about SEO. While over-the-top blatant keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore (and hasn’t for a long time) being mindful of the keywords you use in key areas like your profile’s headline or summary can make it easier for people to find.
- Take advantage of style opportunities. LinkedIn is kind of ho-hum to look at. There’s no getting around that. But you can jazz up your profile a bit by adding a background. To do this go to Profile > Edit Profile > Add a background photo. 1400 x 425px makes for the best-looking image.
- Add media. While you used to be able to just write up a description of the work you did on LinkedIn, you can now actually feature that work, which is just plain better in a myriad of ways. You can add samples of your work under the Summary, Education, and Experience sections. Show off your latest projects, your very best work, or presentations. You’re allowed to upload images, documents, and videos to illustrate your skills.
- Make your profile visible. Pouring a ton of work into your profile will be all for naught if you fail to adjust your privacy settings. Click on your thumbnail image then Privacy & Settings > Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile. Click the “Your Name and headline” option.
Interact With Your Community
Now that you’ve got your profile working in your favor, you can focus on how to better interact with the connections on LinkedIn. Here are a few tips for doing that:
- Get endorsements. A good way to show that you know what you’re doing in your particular field is to fill out the Skills section. Seriously, list out every single skill you have. Then, over time, your connections will start to endorse you for these skills. And that looks really good because it adds legitimacy to your profile.
- Get introduced to prospects. For the most part, LinkedIn only lets you talk with those you have second-degree connections with. However, you can request an introduction with those out of your network using the Get Introduced function. You’ll need to write someone you’re connected with and request they introduce you to someone they’re connected with. It doesn’t always guarantee a connection but it’s worth a shot, especially if you really want to establish a relationship with someone outside of your existing network.
- Read your network updates (and interact). It seems every social site has taken a cue from Facebook and offers a news feed. Take some time to read through your “network updates” on LinkedIn and like, comment on, and/or share content from those in your network. This is a good way to build community by being an active member yourself.
- Use LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are awesome. Seriously. If you’re a member of a group with someone, you can message them directly without needing to be officially connected. You can also view the full profiles of group members, even if you’re not connected. Plus, interacting on Groups helps you to become a recognized voice in your industry. Participating in an active group can help to yield you and your brand a ton of respect.
There’s more you can do with LinkedIn, of course, but the above tips should help you to get more out of your time spent on the network.
Integrating LinkedIn With Plugins
Beyond the official site integration LinkedIn offers, there are several third-party tools available as well. These typically come in the form of plugins for WordPress. These plugins seamlessly add elements of LinkedIn onto your site. These features are sometimes quite low profile, like a simple share button and other times more complex. What level of a plugin you choose depends largely on your specific needs for LinkedIn integration.
One thing I did notice is that the selection of third-party LinkedIn plugins for WordPress is sort of lacking. And of the ones that do exist, many of them have low ratings and/or very few downloads. So developers, you might want to get on that!
I think this might largely be the case because social sharing to LinkedIn and profile integration are often features rolled into comprehensive social media plugins. And as you likely know, a ton of those already exist. I know we’ve talked about them in exhaustive detail here at WPMU DEV already. Still, it’s worth noting that some of the very best social plugins out there that include LinkedIn integration are Social Media Feather, and Social Login.
Here are a few LinkedIn-specific plugins to consider:
LinkedIn Master is another plugin that makes integrating LinkedIn into a WordPress site simple. You can display your profile, a company profile, or both to more readily expand your network connections. It can be displayed in widgets anywhere your theme allows and can also be displayed within posts and pages.
The Lite version lets you change the widget title and includes buttons for sharing, following, and recommending. The Advanced version contains many more features including the buttons described above, widgets for member profiles, company profiles, insiders, available jobs, and alumni. Plus it includes shortcodes for inserting these buttons and widgets. Everything’s SEO optimized, too.
The Advanced version ranges in price from about $27 for one website to $47 for unlimited websites.
LinkedIn Auto Publish is a plugin that allows you to post network updates to LinkedIn through WordPress. You can publish a simple text-based message to LinkedIn, post a message with an image, and filter items to be published based on categories or custom post types. You can also opt to have your posts shared with the public or with just your LinkedIn connections.
You can select from several blog post elements to be published on LinkedIn including the post title, description, or excerpt, the blog’s title or permalink, and the user’s nickname.
The last plugin I’m going to talk about here today is LinkedIn Post Planner/Scheduler. This plugin makes it possible to share posts from your site on your LinkedIn profile with ease. While you can automate everything, you can also pick and choose what posts are shared with your LinkedIn network.
The posts you share can include your blog post title, description, and permalink. Another feature is the ability to add a custom comment and image. It also has a scheduler with email confirmation.
This one’s easy to set up and ideal for those looking to engage more on LinkedIn without hopping over to the site itself. LinkedIn Post Planner/Scheduler is $19.
LinkedIn is a popular social network for the business set and it’s a place you should probably spend more time engaging if you want to build your network of industry professionals. By integrating LinkedIn into your WordPress site, you make that task just a little bit easier.
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