12 ⁄ 28 2016
In my previous article, I discussed why higher education professionals and executives should be using social media to increase their influence and visibility. In this post, I share insider tips and strategies on how these educators can best use LinkedIn to promote their thought leadership and build vibrant communities.
Preparing for LinkedIn Success
In all likelihood, your university or department has a social media policy in place. Be sure to familiarize yourself with established guidelines and institutional objectives. And while one of your goals on an individual level should be to establish yourself as an expert in your field, it’s important to be fully aware of your university’s goals and restrictions.
Create a complete, value-based profile, and don’t skimp on the details; your profile is the place where first impressions are made with connections. With a generous 2,000-character limit, LinkedIn allows ample space to showcase your talents and help improve your visibility and establish yourself as a leader in your field.
Be sure to fill out all relevant sections: Your summary, experience, and education areas are core components of a professional profile; but do not neglect the secondary sections, such as publications, honors & awards, organizations, volunteering experience, causes, certifications, interests, and languages. All of these sections provide more details about your expertise, the value you provide, and your personal and professional passions.
Writing and posting a strong profile is a matter of identifying and communicating your value in a concise, yet persuasive manner. And if you prefer to hire one of our experienced LinkedIn Profile Writers, help is just a click away.
Join professional groups. This is another great way to affirm your status as a thought leader, but it’s also a great way to connect with professionals with similar interests and grow your following even more. There are literally millions of groups on LinkedIn, so finding those that match your professional interests will not be challenging. On LinkedIn, the protocol is to apply for membership in a group (by clicking a button) and then wait for the group’s administrator to accept.
Promoting Thought Leadership
Once accepted into the professional groups you’ve selected, make the most of your membership by posting discussion starters, “liking” others’ posts, and commenting on ongoing discussions. Conversations in groups are compiled in daily or weekly digests, and then emailed to members. This alone is a terrific opportunity to reach a broad group of educators and administrators across the nation and around the globe.
In addition to group discussions, you can also post “status updates,” which are visible by your LinkedIn connections. Establish a routine and consistently post relevant content from the university’s website, education publications, and trade publications that relate to your specialty or any causes with which you are affiliated. Posting one or two updates daily is a great way to keep you at the forefront of your field and at the top of mind of those within your network.
For those with more to say than can be relayed in a status update, you have the opportunity to post a long-form article on LinkedIn’s Pulse feature. These blog-style posts are attached to your profile and can be accessed easily by anyone with a simple mouse click.
Posting your own updates, however, is just one part of the formula. Generously share content from influencers and colleagues with similar messages. They’ll notice your actions and could very well return the favor. When others on LinkedIn like or share your posts, your content is then visible to everyone within their network as well. And whether it’s posting status updates, originating group discussions, authoring long-form posts, or sharing content from others, one point bears repeating: consistency is essential.
Building a Strong Community
“If an educator posts a bit of brilliance on LinkedIn and no one is around to read it, does it make an impact?” This newfangled spin on an age-old question is relevant for our LinkedIn discussion, as only the people within your network are able to see your status updates. Connecting to colleagues, educators, administrators, students, influencers, and other industry professionals will expand your visibility and reach on the network. Reach out to those with whom you would like to connect with a personalized invitation to join your network.
Finding the time to create and manage an effective, personalized LinkedIn campaign can be elusive. To learn more about how to partner with us to bolster your presence on social media, you can view our programs here: