The other day during a LinkedIn workshop someone asked if CEOs were using LinkedIn. He mentioned that he thought a lot of CEOs had incomplete and less than stellar profiles. He made a great point, one I completely agree.
There are a lot of poor profiles on LinkedIn and many of them are owners, CEOs, CFO, presidents. Why? Perhaps one or more of the following come into play.
They signed up a while back and then forgot about it.
They don’t understand social media.
They are interested in understanding social media.
They are busy.
They have more important things to worry about.
They don’t have time.
These are all legitimate reasons, no doubt. They all make sense and are all understandable. Now, let’s think about why, even though they are all real reasons, they are not reason enough to not engage in LinkedIn.
The C-Suite is the face of the organization.
As leaders, chief cheerleaders, eminent business developer and forward-thinking evangelists they need to present themselves to the business world well.
LinkedIn [and all social media] is a great leveler.
Today thought leadership and intellectual capital rule, developed overtime by strategic-thinking leaders who understand how to engage their internal and external stakeholders.
You propel your brand. Once again, as the face they are responsible for increasing the reach and engagement around their business. In the B2B world, LinkedIn is the best place to do that. Whether it’s blogging, a strong profile, tweeting, keynote speeches, the C-Suite’s messages influence revenue.
The C-Suite has the potential to influence and create sales opportunities. In today’s economy, that is critical. Everyone, across the organization, needs to be in business development mode. The C-Suite, by virtue of your roles and access, are able to introduce your salespeople to other key decision makers. LinkedIn provides visibility into these potential relationships. You will see where you can connect-the-dots.
Business is happening locally, regionally, nationally and internationally on LinkedIn and you can choose to join in, build-out your profile, create a presence and connect or not. If you don’t, just know, your competitors may be.
Let’s look at five ways, you, as a member of the C-Suite can up your presence on LinkedIn:
- A headline [who you are and what you do]; not your title
- Your summary
- Your specialties
- Create a succinct and keyword rich narrative for your current and past positions; include all past positions [it helps LinkedIn suggest people you may know]
- Add your education
- Include three recommendations
- Upload a current photo
3. Decide who you want in your professional network; other C-Level professionals? Your employees? [Perhaps, not]. Decide and stick to it.
4. Once you have decided, connect and begin to create a highly engaged network. The number of connections is less important than the level of activity and engagement within it.
5. Check LinkedIn three to five times a week; read your activity feed and comment where appropriate. If you use Outlook, integrate LinkedIn into Outlook, it’s a great way to help you begin.
If you have ten+ years of experience set aside five to seven hours; under ten hours of experience set aside three to five.
Even if you don’t check your page everyday or want to connect, set your settings to say you are not accepting new invitations or inmail, [go to the email section of your settings and select appropriately] that’s ok. At least your profile represents a level of professionalism that matches your position and title.
At the very least, ask someone in your marketing department to complete it for you…let them interview you first to capture your tone and style. Your LinkedIn profile should also reflect you as a business professional and leader. If you are a great communicator, that should come across. You get the idea.
Don’t wait, and don’t disregard LinkedIn. It is the most important social media platform for business professionals and will become increasingly more important as more and more business is done on LinkedIn, yes, that’s right, business related to revenue, not just networking. Every company everywhere that is looking for new ways to drive revenue.
Take it seriously because when you do, your marketing and sales teams will as well. Set the tone, lead the activity, watch and engage and measure how well connected your company becomes. Want some success stories, I have lots of them, just ask.
As a member of the C-Suite how are you using LinkedIn today? How could you use LinkedIn? Answer those questions, and fill in the gap, today.