LinkedIn is questionably the world’s largest business networking event – with one major difference, its online. With over 300 million attendees eagerly waiting to introduce themselves and make new connections, just like your usual networking event, first impressions have a huge impact. And while you wouldn’t think twice about getting suited and booted for a traditional event, there are too many professionals who are failing to do this when it comes to the virtual world. LinkedIn is littered with outdated profiles, missing photos, vague summaries (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg). This is the virtual equivalent of showing up to the party half dressed, shirt untucked and scruffy hair.

So if you’re wondering why your faultless, real-life networking success isn’t translating into comparable results online, it might be time take a good look in the mirror, or more accurately the ‘screen’, to assess whether you’re representing yourself as the business professional you truly are.

Today your digital presence is almost as important as your physical one, and simply ‘being online’ is not enough – you need to be proactive in managing, maintaining and updating your social channels to ensure that they best reflect you, your values and achievements – effectively marketing your own personal brand.

Not only does a poorly composed profile look lazy and off putting, it also has a massive impact on your visibility both on and off the LinkedIn platform. As more and more professionals scour the internet for like-minded professionals, potential partners and future employees, the fact that LinkedIn is usually the first Google hit when someone searches your name, means ensuring it is fully optimised for this purpose is crucial!

So what are you waiting for, get online and get optimising. Once again XIBO are here to share with you three tips for profile optimization;

Choose the right profile picture

This may seem obvious – but getting your profile picture right makes a massive impact. According to Forbes, by just uploading a picture you’re profile is 11x more likely to be viewed! Without a photograph, visitors often question your credibility as a professional, and even more seriously as an actual person. But remember to keep it professional, so party pictures are a no-go – as a general rule, we recommend showing up on LinkedIn as you would show up to a job interview: professional and approachable.

Personalise your URL

Who knew something as simple as customizing your profile URL could hugely improve its search performance? By changing your default assigned URL to something appropriate – such as your name – your profile’s search ranking on Google will improve and so will your overall visibility online.

Summary & Experience

Writing your LinkedIn summary may seem like a daunting task. No one wants to come across seeming self-important and arrogant, but to be honest, this again looks even worse when left blank. This is the ideal place to showcase your professional achievements, personality and personal interests, particularly as it’s the main component search engines use in their search algorithms. So to improve your presence in any relevant searches, keep those keywords in mind! Consider who and why someone might want to reach you, and try to build this into your summary.

Finally, balance your summary with engaging visual and interactive content where possible – according to LinkedIn themselves, more than 2.5 million pieces of rich media have already been added. This could be a link to your portfolio of work, a site that you blog for or even your company webpage – be creative.

Now, these tips really are just scratching the surface. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool when used correctly – it just takes time, effort and a little bit of creativity. So, next time you log on, hold a mirror up to your social media presence and ask yourself: what does it say about you?

XIBO’s Profile Plus optimisation service launches this week. So whether you’re looking to maximise the performance of your latest campaign, or just wanting to strengthen your online networking potential, we’d love to help you reach these goals. Email Fiona Bassett at info@xibomarketing.com to find out more on Profile Plus.