LinkedIn has been one of the simplest ways to continue to network and remain relevant during a pandemic that has shut down many opportunities for relationship building and networking. It’s a social media platform that many have in place, but not everyone is using their LinkedIn presence to its greatest effect. Below are 3 strategies for using LinkedIn effectively in 2021.
1. Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter anymore.
Or Instagram. Even before the pandemic moved in and changed the way we do business, LinkedIn created a framework to encourage hashtag use, connecting users and influencers through commonalities and shared interests. Like other social platforms, you can use hashtags on LinkedIn to create a stronger message that resonates with more people.
Use them in your post. Turn post keywords into hashtags or add them to the end to remain a part of the conversation. Hashtags also help other users find you when they express an interest in topics that you post about frequently.
Follow them. To stay on top of hashtags that are relevant to your industry or interests, you can follow a hashtag in the same way you might follow another user or company. In the image below you can see how popular the hashtag is by how many followers it has. Consider following (and using) hashtags that a lot of other people follow. It works similarly as on the other big social media platforms, and it’s an important way to curate your LinkedIn feed and help the algorithm work FOR you.
2. Publish directly on the platform to reach your audience in longer form.
While Facebook still offers Notes and Instagram recently rolled out Guides, LinkedIn has its own on-platform publishing option. Creating content directly on the LinkedIn platform gives your followers the quickest and most direct access to you and your company . It is still perfectly acceptable to continue cross posting content from your company’s blog to your company’s LinkedIn feed, but consider elevating your profile to thought leader status by publishing articles directly onto the LinkedIn platform. By publishing often and increasing your followers, you may even unlock LinkedIn’s new and coveted Newsletters, a feature only offered to select users with a certain follower threshold and who publish articles frequently. We predict seeing a lot more LinkedIn Newsletters rolling out in 2021 as it’s offered to more content creators who will use this option to amplify their voices and reach more people. LinkedIn Newsletters live on the platform, and once you’ve created a newsletter presence, users can subscribe and be notified when a new newsletter from their favorite content creator is available.
But if you’re like most LinkedIn users and you don’t have enough followers or the publishing history to have the Newsletters feature yet, the comments section of newsletters is a fantastic place to lurk and/or post if you want to find insight, networking and thought leadership.
3. Don’t forget about the virtual networking platform right at your fingertips.
While it is certainly more challenging to build a strong business relationship online, many organizations, including the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, have done a great job of implementing new and exciting resources to help members network and get to know each other virtually. Check out their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programming in 2021.
But don’t discount your existing network of connections that you’ve created on LinkedIn. It may take a bit of practice to learn how to reach out, but instead of using LinkedIn as a dusty rolodex, we predict in 2021 many users will start to see how 10-15 minutes of using the platform each day to connect, share and dig into relevant topics can help them grow connect more meaningfully with their network.
The frontier of virtual networking started well before 2020, but you can get ahead of the crowd in 2021 by making your LinkedIn profile more accessible, robust and helpful.