BSME breakfast briefing: LinkedIn tips and tricks

Q&A this morning with Richard George, Corporate Communications Manager for LinkedIn. Thanks to The Hospital Club for hosting this meeting in London.

Richard started by urging everyone to complete their profiles on LInkedIn with:

1) A photo – because people remember faces and so when they are looking online for someone they met it will help them to identify the right person.

2) Important keywords will help your profile to be found in LinkedIn

3) Endorsements – they all add up to raise your profile.

Using LinkedIn for journalism

A useful tool for journalism is the Advanced Search – the top right button can you help find the right people to provide comment on a story for example. You can search by keywords and important words form a job title like ‘director’ or ‘publisher’. You can then connect with them using a mutual contact (shown on right) or through a Premium account. You can also filter it by past employees, who may be more inclined to comment about a former employer than those currently employed by that company. Results are customised for each member and their network. Company profiles include recent changes such as staff changes that may be leads for stories.

Promoting your magazine

Your magazine readers are probably already on LInkedIn, and it’s a professional environment particularly useful for B2B magazines. There’s less flaming and trolling than on other social networks. You can promote your magazine through the Company Profile or by forming a Group. Running a LinkedIn Group is like running a magazine, he suggested, and requires planning out your activity according to the editorial diary, what’s new, what you want readers to engage with, and listening to readers. LinkedIn Pulse shows what professionals are talking about and sharing, which could provide story ideas. Get a story trending at will float to the top of the Pulse page. There is also Influencers; Richard Branson now has more followers on LinkedIn than on Twitter. Peak periods on LinkedIn used to be weekdays, 9 to 5, but the LinkedIn app is extending this into the mornings and evenings.

Making and breaking Connections

There were many questions about ‘curating’ contacts. To ‘unconnect’ with someone, just open a profile and choose the last option on the prominent pulldown menu. LinkedIn won’t let contacts know they have been ‘disconnected’, nor that you have turned down a request to connect. If you don’t want them to see you have looked at their profile, you can ensure they don’t in your settings through ‘Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile’, where you can customise your level of privacy as often as you like. You can also customise the alerts on Connections’ work anniversaries.

Richard recommends members should choose quality over quantity of connections, although journalists might expect to have more contacts than other professionals.

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