I’ve blogged extensively on how to use social media for PR purposes. And pretty much every single one of these posts has focused on Facebook and its kid brother, Twitter. However, that leaves LinkedIn — a business social media giant — completely out of the equation.
So without further ado, I’d like to present to you some different ways you can use your LinkedIn account for something other than networking for future job possibilities; instead, turn your profile into a fine tuned PR machine!
Connect with journalists. Did you know that it’s a not-so-well-known fact that LinkedIn is considered the number one social media site for journalists? But more than likely you’ve been busy trying to connect with them on Twitter, unaware that research overwhelming shows that journalists come to LinkedIn to find legit sources for their stories. It makes sense, right? Since the network is founded on publicly displaying your business credentials, journalists can see your experience in your profile and find reputable people to interview and quote. With that in mind, make sure your profile portrays you as an expert in your field and perhaps you can appear useful to the journalists.
Befriend bloggers. Remember, traditional journalists are no longer the end all, be all. In this digital age, the power is slowly shifting to the hands of the bloggers. So it only makes sense that you use LinkedIn to try and connect with some of them. Just be careful — everyone seems to be a blogger these days. So don’t waste your time by connecting with some guy that just started a blog yesterday. Look for reputable, highly trafficked blogs.
Research. Because LinkedIn profiles are packed full of so much info, it’s a good place to do market research. Whether you’re simply doing your homework on bloggers and journalists to target, or you’re running polls to accumulate data for your next marketing campaign (a great feature, by the way!), LinkedIn is ideal for aggregating useful information for PR purposes.
Don’t go overboard with status updates. Remember that this isn’t Twitter or Facebook. While status updates on LinkedIn are a good way to help others get to know you, LinkedIn is not a microblogging site. When you go overboard you risk annoying everyone and alienating yourself. So keep it clean and professional — talk about your vacations and your dinner elsewhere.
Create a group. Of course, social media is all about conversation, regardless of what platform you’re using. LinkedIn allows you to create groups to foster such conversation. Or you can even join other’s groups to jump in and share with them.
Are you using LinkedIn for PR? How are you doing it? What has worked best? What seems to be a waste of time? Let us know in the comments section!