Category Archives: LinkedIn

6 Tips On How To Improve Your Social Media Engagement on Twitter

Multicolored Group of Speech Bubbles

So you have your social media accounts set up and are updating on a regular basis but why are your accounts not receiving any likes or followers?

We have already written a Blog about what you could do to improve engagement on Twitter but this post aims to give you a few ideas on what you could do across all of your Social Media profiles.

1. Complete your Social Media profiles

It might seem quite obvious but this is an easy thing to overlook. Ensure all the relevant information is filled out such as your name, where you are and website links as well as uploading a suitable profile picture and cover photo. Thinking about the more common social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ you may need to add additional information such as interests, a short bio and more importantly, you might need to ensure your website is verified (specifically on your Google+ profile).

2. Research your Competitors

Do you know who your competitors are? Make a list on Twitter and add their profiles to that list – remember you don’t have to ‘follow’ your competitors in order to add them to this list. Bookmark the main social media pages for your competition in your web browser so you can pop in whenever you have the time and see how they engage with their audiences. What sort of content are they posting? How regularly are they engaging with their fans/followers? What is it they are doing differently? Is there anything you could learn here?

3. Connect with customers, influencers and other industry specialists

You want to make your social networks really work as a network.  So look at how you can be connecting with relevant audiences via social channels too.  You may already have quite a lot of information about your customers via your database – so if you have their email addresses, you can search for them on Twitter and other social networks that way too.

Also, if you know who your key influencers are from other marketing means such as website registrations and email subscriptions – you can also go find them on social media channels too.

Search for industry blogs and look at the main authors and contributors and add them to your social media profiles too. Take some time to do your research, seeing who follows who and topics being discussed.

4. Interact and appreciate your audience

Everyone likes a compliment every now and then so as well as posting on a regular basis remember to ‘Like’ and ‘RT’ or ‘Favourite’ others’  updates. And if people engage with your updates, take the time to send them a message or tweet them back to say thank you.  Also – you could take a look at their profile and find out what their interests are so that when you respond you can ask them something or say something relevant on a more personal level.

5. Find communities and participate in them

There are many groups and communities on Facebook and LinkedIn and a lot of them are easy to find via the search function. Type in industry relevant keywords and see what comes up, but don’t just join any old community, have a good look through to find out more about the community or group and how many contributors there are, in order to find out how active and up to date it is. Do note that some communities and groups are ‘closed’ – which means you may not be added to the group immediately as the group moderator will have to accept your request to join.  You’ll be alerted once you’re accepted – so keep a watch out for those.

6. Respond to your stats

Look at your Facebook Insights, what times are your posts more popular? Post at those times for a week and see if that helps engagement, if not, tweak it. Review what type of posts are more popular than others? It might be that a random post about FAQ’s proved more popular than one you posted about a cute looking cat (or vice versa) so use this knowledge to your advantage and give the audience what they want!

Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas in terms of generating more engagement on Twitter. Let us know how you get on in the comments below and do share your tips for improving engagement too.

Tweet Us @carvillcreative

8 Common Social Media Mistakes To Avoid

Fotolia_61778996_XSIf you’ve made the decision to get your business started on social media, then it is important to be active on there in order to reach your potential customers. However it’s important to remember that one little error could hurt your brand’s reputation.

Some of the most common mistakes companies make with social media are related to lack of knowledge. It can be an extremely dangerous medium if not handled with care – therefore to help you out we thought we’d highlight some of the most common social media mistakes that are easily avoidable:

  1. Failing To Create A Social Media Strategy

When first starting off on social media, people often rush to set up a Twitter and Facebook account so that they can say their company is all over social. However it’s not as easy as that. There’s nothing worse than seeing a company struggling to create a social media presence – don’t just start posting random messages that you think is going to be relevant – have a strategy in place.

The best social media strategies are carefully planned out – clearly defining what your objectives are, the type of ‘voice’ you want to use, what kind of messages will be posted (content, content, content) and what channels are best for your company.

  1. Not Sharing The Right Links On Your Website

When we’re browsing the web we often come across company websites that make the ultimate mistake of having social buttons on their website that don’t link to their accounts, instead they encourage users to tweet or share the page. This is a big no no! You want your customers to know you’re on social yes – but you also want them to be following and interacting with you. And they’re far more likely to do this if you make it easy for them to find you by linking directly to your accounts.

  1. Paying For Fans

After creating an account – everyone seems to focus on increasing the number of followers and likes they have. Whilst it’s great to have a large following and looks impressive on your site – it’s not what you should be most focussed on. There are many accounts that pay for their 1000’s of fans – but these fake fans add very little to your community and they won’t be as engaged as real fans of your brand. There are no shortcuts in social media – you need endeavour to build authentic relationships with your audience before expecting anything from them.

  1. Not Creating Original Content

You want to build share of mind or establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry, as well as engage your audience. But you can’t do that just by sharing the work of others. That’s not to say it’s not great to share relevant articles or blogs that you think your audience might enjoy reading – it just means that you should also be creating original content too – that you know your target audience is going to love. When you’re able to balance your original content with content of others, you’ll increase traffic; gain new followers and fans – getting people to ‘like you, know you, trust you – ultimately do business with you’ (in that order).

  1. Talking Too Much

Posting too much about irrelevant things and sharing too many ‘salesy’ posts provides very little useful, educational or compelling content for your audience. Such posts rarely get a lot of attention. Remember that social media is about creating conversations – you need to talk less and listen more. (As we say, we have two eyes, two ears and just one mouth). People will be more drawn to you if you’re building discussions with your customers and actually listening to what they’re saying rather than forcing your sales messages upon them. Remember, the social channels are conversational channels – pushing traditional marketing messages directly into a conversational channel isn’t what social stand for.

  1. Spelling Mistakes

Making mistakes with your spelling and grammar can really nosedive your reputation. If you’re posting something that has either a grammatical or punctuation error – then you’re automatically sending out a red flag to viewers. Not only will this put people off your company, but it’s likely that no one will be commenting or sharing that post – or even worse you’ll get a number of people who feel compelled to correct your error – making you look a little stupid. So be sure to double check everything before you post – take a step back and re- read what you’ve written. Mistakes are highly likely to generate negative attention, so be certain that your work is flawless – otherwise you may never hear the end of it!

  1. Too Many Hashtags

There’s no doubt that you’ve used a hashtag here and there and that’s all very well, and is a useful way to join relevant conversations. However,  sharing too many hashtags becomes a problem. Studies have shown that posts that include more than three hashtags receive fewer actions to those only using one or two.

While we’re on the subject of hashtags, it is also best practice to make sure that you are only sharing hashtags on the channels that use them – by these we mean Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. We often see people sharing the same message on LinkedIn as they did on Twitter and forgetting to take the hashtags out – this just looks messy.

  1. Not Tracking Your Activity

Your social media activity is almost pointless if you’re not tracking your activity. How do you know if your updates are reaching the right people? Are your efforts bringing return on your investment? Without consistently monitoring these things you’re unable to see the effectiveness of your activity or campaigns. Even if you’re just tracking your activity at the end of every month and comparing your results with the month before, this is still enough to give you an insight into how things are going, which content works and what you can be focusing on going forward.

If you can think of any other mistakes you have come across or made in the past, be sure to tweet us and let us know via @carvillcreative. In the meantime, we hope we’ve given you enough warning – don’t make the same mistake twice.

How To Sponsor Content On Your LinkedIn Showcase Page

If you’re not sure what LinkedIn showcase pages are, then be sure to have a read of our previous blog written earlier this year when we said farewell to LinkedIn’s ‘Products and Services’ page.

Meanwhile here’s a little reminder…

A showcase page, enables you to highlight a particular brand or product line and extend your company’s page presence. The aim is to get as many LinkedIn members as possible to follow your product’s page in the hope that it’s something they’re interested in. They’re useful for building long term relationships with those who want to follow specific aspects of your business.

The followers of your showcase page know to expect news about your product/service and are looking forward to hearing all about it. The updates on this page work just like company updates, but with added benefit of LinkedIn members being able to find the product or service through search.

Now that you’ve come to an understanding about showcase pages – the next step is to get people following and interested in your page. If you’re struggling to get people to following your showcase page, then it might be worth paying for some advertising – using ‘sponsored updates.’

Sponsored Updates

A sponsored update is used to promote a piece of content to a wider audience. Sponsoring a piece of content on your showcase page will help to get your message out to the right people as well as raising greater brand awareness, generating quality leads and promote deeper relationships with your audience.

In order to create the relationships that matter to you – the first step is to publish the content that you want to sponsor – directly in your showcase page’s feed.

Once you’ve published the content, you can then go on to targeting your audience. All you need to do is click on the picture in the top right hand side of your screen and scroll down to click on ‘Advertising.’

sponsor 1





Once your advertising dashboard is open, you need to make sure you have an account set up so that you can pay for the advertising on your sponsored page. Click on the drop down arrow where it lists your page names and select ‘create your business account.’

sponsor 2

This window will then open up and it is here where you can set up the advertising for your showcase page rather than your actual company page. Select the second option ‘Company Page URL’ – and then copy and paste the URL of your showcase page into the text box.

You can then go on to giving your business account a title – something that is clear and easy to remember – and don’t forget to also select the correct currency you’re going to be using. Once everything is filled out you can select ‘Create’ – this will then create a business account for your showcase page.

sponsor 3









When it comes to creating the actual ad, make sure the correct business account is selected at the top of the screen (preferably the one you’ve just created) – in our case we are sponsoring from ‘Carvill Creative Limited.’ You then have to pick between the two advertising options LinkedIn gives you – one is to create an ad for the page and the other is to sponsor content – the one you want to select is ‘Sponsor Content’.

sponsor 4

Once you’ve selected your ad choice, scroll down and select the piece of content you want to sponsor. This content should be something you think is relevant and will get people wanting to follow your showcase page – this content might be an important blog post, press, news item or simply a link to that product or service on your website. Click on the correct post and then make your way through the targeting options you want to use – you can target these ads by country, locations, seniority, function, business size etc.

Whatever you decide to sponsor – it’s often best practice to post that piece of content first and leave it to simmer for a while before sponsoring. This will then give you the opportunity to compare your sponsored post to your organic post and you can see how well your post is doing just by looking back and comparing the engagement rates.

Happy Sponsoring Folks!

Is LinkedIn Following the Footsteps of Facebook too?

Many of us have come to the conclusion that Twitter’s redesign brings it in line with Facebook but is LinkedIn also following in similar footsteps?

Although LinkedIn haven’t gone as far as Twitter in announcing a big redesign – they have made a few changes to their homepage.

LinkedIn are clearly looking for ways to improve the way content is shared within the feed – making sure that job related information stands out in the homepage.

Their updated homepage takes advantage of the separation of stories shared with easily digestible updates from your connections.

You can now customise everything you want to see directly from your LinkedIn homepage – where you can segment your updates by ‘all updates’, ‘shares’, ‘connections’, ‘profiles’, ‘news groups’, ‘companies’ and ‘jobs’. This feature makes it easier to see what’s going on as it allows you to view what’s happening in your network from each different perspective (Twitter brought out something similar with their redesign).

Another feature that LinkedIn have applied, that is also similar to Facebook, is the ‘hide feature’ – this is where you can hide someone’s updates from your homepage. For those people who continuously post similar and repeated updates which hit your feed – whilst you don’t necessarily want to lose them as a connection, you don’t necessarily want to see everything they publish – so you can hide their updates. To action the ‘hide’ feature – all you need to do is scroll over their name in blue (in the homepage) and the hide button will appear to the right.

Images also seem to have increased in size – and you can now clearly see images of your connections or clearer images of the articles that they are sharing. Not only this, but there are larger ‘share’ and ‘connect’ buttons, making it easier for users to network interact and broadcast status updates.

It seems that every social media platform is setting out with the aim of everything looking bigger, and everything being made easier for users to share and view stories/status updates.

So, with all of these changes being made to LinkedIn – have you noticed the similarities to Facebook?

Do let us know your thoughts and opinions on this topic – share your comments below or simply tweet us at @carvillcreative.

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

Big Changes at LinkedIn – ‘Products & Services’ Page Retires

LinkedIn are constantly evaluating their platform to ensure they are creating timely and engaging content to their members. This sometimes results in the retirement of certain features and this time, they have come to the decision to remove the ‘Products & Services’ feature as of April 14th.

So what does this mean for your LinkedIn Profile? And, where can you share content about your products and services now?

The great thing about this change is that you’ll now have two new alternatives for sharing your ‘Products & Services’ content – these are through ‘Company Updates’ and/or new ‘Showcase Pages.’

  • Company Updates

‘Company Updates’ are updates that appear on your company page and in your followers’ feeds. These are key to building relationships with your page followers and show up when they engage with your updates – when they do, it spreads your message to their networks (through their newsfeeds), therefore spreading your message even further!

Not only do company updates let you share images and information about your product but also lets you share compelling visual content, including videos that play directly in the newsfeed and directly in members customised landing pages.

  • Showcase Pages

Showcase Pages enable you to highlight a particular brand or product line and extend your company page presence. They’re also useful for building long term relationships with those who want to follow specific aspects of your business. (So, far more targeted content).

The followers of your ‘Showcase Page(s)’ know to expect news about your product/service and are looking forward to it. The updates on this page work just like company updates, but with the added benefit of LinkedIn members being able to find the Product or Service through search.  This is a key change – so you want to ensure that the names for your ‘Showcase’ pages are keyword search friendly.

Currently, LinkedIn will allow you to have a maximum of 10 ‘Showcase Pages’ before you have to start paying for them!

What you’ll need to get started with a LinkedIn Showcase Page:

  • A new cover photo for each page – they are a different dimensions to the one you used on your Products and Services tab before so these will probably need to be re-designed.
  • A name for each page
  • A very short description about the product/service you’re showcasing

Here’s how to get started:

1. Identify the business areas that need a Showcase Page.

2. Click the “Edit” menu on the top right hand side of your Company Page. Click on the dropdown arrow and Select “Create a Showcase Page.”

3. Create a ‘Showcase Page’ box (as shown below) appears – here you’ll need to have a name prepared for whatever it is that you’re showcasing. You’re also given the option to add other administrators to that particular page (these are usually the same people that are admins on your company page).

4. Now you’re ready to start sharing your content!

If Showcase Pages have any advantage over the previous ‘Products & Services’ tab, it’s that they really will allow you to forge closer relationships with different customers, because you’ll be able to target your content at them more narrowly. And of course, the fact that they can now be found in LinkedIn search is a potentially significant advantage.

The only disadvantage that we can think of is that you may have more than 10 pages to promote (potentially costing you more money).

Overall, LinkedIn Showcase Pages offer you the opportunity to really showcase key products and services – and enables other people / businesses to tune in to the updates they want to receive from you.

For more information and queries, we recommend you have a look at the LinkedIn ‘Showcase Pages’ FAQs page

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

10 Ways to Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile – via Google Hangout

Following on from our recent blog post 10 Tips to Leverage LinkedIn for Business – if you prefer to listen and watch the tips via Google Hangout – here’s the recording of a recent webinar with Business Training Made Simple – featuring Carvill Creative’s director @michellecarvill sharing insights.



10 Tips for Leveraging LinkedIn for Business

  1. Change your LinkedIn URL to your name. This way you have a public URL which you can promote and share on email footers or business cards – to showcase you.   And be sure to add other URLs such as your Website, Blog or Twitter URL too. Consider this your ‘personal PR profile’ where people can find out everything about you that you wish them to know.
  2. Create a Search Friendly ‘Does what it says on the tin’ Headline.  You get 120 characters to create your ‘Headline’ on LinkedIn. Your Headline is the first thing people get to see when looking at your profile. Your photo and your headline. Therefore, make sure it makes sense.  If it just says something generic such as ‘Partner at Blogs and Co’ or ‘Product Manager’ – then that’s not specific enough. People are likely to search for you including some form of sector or specialising eg: Construction and Dispute Resolution Expert Lawyer and Partner at Blogs and Co.  ‘Product Manager in Leading Inbound Marketing Software organisation Blogs & Co’.
  3. Optimise your profile with relevant ‘Keywords’.  Following on from point 2 – be sure you continue to build the rest of the content within your profile keeping those all important search keywords in mind.  This will help your profile to appear as high as possible on Google and LinkedIn searches.
  4. Get to All Star.  Keep your profile as ‘full’ as possible– LinkedIn provide you with a gauge of ‘completeness’ (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, All Star).  Strive to be All Star – it really should take you no more than an hour to get your profile to All Star.  Getting to All Star means that you show up more in searches – and it looks more professional too – who wants to be a beginner on the largest professional network in the world?
  5. Personalise all messages when inviting people to connect (don’t use the standard message).  Research has shown that people are more likely to accept and appreciate the connection if you provide some personal context – eg: Great meeting you at ABC the other day – I’d like to keep in touch by connecting on LinkedIn.
  6. Endeavour to look at your Profile Page everyday.  Every time you update your profile and show activity – you are ‘visible’. In the off-line world of networking there is a saying: Visibility + Credibility = Profitability. In simple terms – the more you are visible in your contacts’ minds the more they know what you are up to the more likely they are to contact you or think of you for a relevant reason – which may lead to business referral, hence profitability. Participation is key.
  7. Don’t attempt to spam or directly sell. People will disconnect with you faster than you know if they think you are just there to sell your wares. Think of offline networking, you wouldn’t start a partnership or conversation by trying to sell someone something – engage, listen and nurture your contacts – don’t spam them. If someone is specifically discussing something you have a solution for – then sure, engage – but listen in first – don’t spam. Relevancy is key. I often get spammed about social media training – or do I want a marketing plan! Er no thanks – have you even bothered to look at my profile!
  8. Be targeted. You may want to promote a product or service directly into an audience. And the beauty of LinkedIn is that the demographic information is really very granular (more so on social networks than on any other medium). The Advanced Search feature gives you an idea of what you can drill down to beyond age and title. It may be that you consider running a LinkedIn Ad whereby you serve advertising to a highly targeted audience.
  9. Grow your authority. Join relevant groups and get involved in relevant discussions and share your knowledge. With groups you can add a new topic to garner opinion or advice. If there isn’t a relevant group for what you do – then you can easily create a group and then search for relevant contacts and people and invite them to that group. If you’re not directly connected to a person – then you can always ask one of your contacts that is connected to invite them. The ‘get introduced’ referral process is very powerful for that purpose. See the Groups tab to create a Group – and search Groups to find relevant groups.
  10. Get recommendations. Asking contacts, colleagues, peers, clients, delegates etc for recommendations couldn’t be easier on LinkedIn. It’s a very simple process. Click your Profile and Recommendations and then you can simply select which contacts you want to get Recommendations from. There is research to say that those users with recommendations grow credibility and are more likely to get requests for advice and to be found in searches – and of course, you can use the recommendations in other marketing materials and on your website etc.

So – there are my 10 quick tips for Leveraging LinkedIn – any other tips or tactics you may have, then please do share – always keen to hear more.

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

Social Karma – Doing Someone a Small Favour Creates Advocacy and Makes Good Business Sense

We received a request via our website  for a quote to assist someone with uploading images to their LinkedIn Company Page.

A 5 minute phone call later, we quickly ascertained that it was probably a resizing and formatting issue.

We advised that we could fix things very quickly for them – and of course, we were asked, ‘How much will it charge – as I will have to get a PO approved before we can go ahead.’

The job was realistically a 10 min job to fix – and all in all we probably spent  a total of 30 minutes end to end.

We could have charged a fee for this task – however, as an agency, whilst we’re commercial, we’re also fair and reasonable.

Instead, we said, there’s no charge. It’s a small job, won’t take more than 10 minutes – and instead, tell people how nice we are.

We fixed the problem – and by the time we’d fixed the problem – they had made a post on our Facebook Page, their own Facebook Page, personal Twitter and business Twitter accounts – sharing the news that we were indeed; friendly, personable, knowledgable , refreshing and impressive – and come highly recommended.

It transpires that the person we spoke to is a consultant – and works with many organisations – and so she too will be spreading the news beyond that organisation and recommending us to her other clients.  In her words – I’ll return that favour over and over again.  Thank you so much.

Had I tried to pay for such promotional advocacy – then it would have cost much more than we would have charged for this small job.  And it would have given her a very different viewpoint on who we are as an agency.  Penny pinching charge by the minute – or who we are, fair and reasonable.

So, next time, you’re asked to do a small job – think about the advocacy factor – I guarantee doing a good turn for someone once, will pay much higher dividends in the end.

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with creating content or anything else then do get in touch with us.

Why businesses are using Social Media and more…

There’s so much going on in the world of social networking and social media. This insightful infographic showcases some interesting findings – which platforms people are using, changes afoot, Facebook is still definitely King when it comes to users – but who’s nipping at their heels, Why businesses are using social media, number of hours on social… (for us it’s pretty much all hours!). Take a look and be social and share…

Selling Social: How Companies Are Connecting with Social Media

Image source:

LinkedIn – Connect your Employees and Strengthen your Online Visibility

Over 10million people in the UK have a LinkedIn Profile.

Often referred to as the ‘professional’s’ social network – where people come, not to play games, but to do business.

For organisations of all sizes, it’s highly likely that many of your employees are on LinkedIn – however, I often find, that many employees are not aligned to the Company Profile.

Linkedin help and linkedin tips for employees on linkedin









If you look at the above model – this diagram outlines a seamless process of the LinkedIn Company Page – being a signpost through to your Company Website – and (vice versa) – and also that every employee is also a gateway through to your LinkedIn Company Page (and vice versa).

If your employees are out on LinkedIn – then you want to ensure that their connections are aware of your organisation – what it is you do – and of course, you can keep on their radar by publishing regularly.

Here are 3 simple steps to follow to help you ensure all your employees are aligned with your LinkedIn Company Profile.

  1.  Get the name right – Ensure that for all of your employees they have clarity in the name of your organisation.  By this I mean ensure each employee knows exactly how your Company Profile is positioned.  For example – let’s take the Company name Marks and Spencer – are you M&S, Marks & Spencer, Marks and Spencer Ltd – etc.  Ensure you provide all employees with a guideline so they have absolute clarity of the company name – so that when they are inserting into their own profiles that they now work for Marks and Spencer – they spell it exactly as it should be – rather than make their own interpretation.  Many employees are not aligned with the correct company profile – purely down to this very simple yet often missed process.
  2.  I currently work here – ticked – This again, is a simple process to ensure that all employees that work at your organisation are showcasing the fact that they work there.  In their own profiles when inserting details of their work experience – in order for the current role to show first and create a live hyperlink directly through to the Company Profile – the employee has to have ticked the ‘I currently work here’ box.

linkedin tips and advice from linkedin marketing expert

3)      Follow the Company – Ensure that all employees Follow your company Profile. Just as with Facebook we can gather ‘Likes’ and on follower we can gain, followers – so too can people follow your company profile on LinkedIn.  This is effectively the same as subscribing to receive your updates – so be sure that all employees are following the company so that they are listening in to what the company is saying through the Company Profile Status updates – and have the opportunity to amplify these core messages to their connections too.

That’s it – simple – but surprising just how many companies miss out by not having these elements aligned.

Enjoy – and any questions or insights you’d like to share, please get in touch – and of course – Follow Carvill Creative on LinkedIn too…

Michelle Carvill is Founder and Marketing Consultant at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts, providing social media, marketing, digital and web solutions.  Also, Co-Author of The Business of Being Social – Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Business – available in paperback and Kindle via Crimson Publishing or Amazon.

Michelle Carvill’s Chapter Insights – LinkedIn

Introducing the LinkedIn Chapter of ‘The Business of Being Social.’

Michelle Carvill, the Founder and Director of Carvill Creative has co-authored the book ‘The Business of Being Social.’

We’ll be sharing some taster videos with you over the next few days, sharing ‘Michelle Carvill’s Social Media insights’ – discussing chapters within the book.

Introducing the third Social Media Insight – LinkedIn

See the video to find out more…

We hope that THIS social media insights video has given you a taster of what to expect from the book!

If you haven’t got your copy already… You can order yours here!

For further updates visit

Also, you can stay tuned by following the book on Twitter!

LinkedIn – 5 Ways to Boost Your Visibility with the New LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has become a serious business tool for professionals and organisations.

With more than 10 million UK members and more than 200 million globally – LinkedIn is a significant resource forBoost your linkedin Profile, get to all star with linkedin, linkedin profile optimisation people to be tapping into.

Whilst the platform is still vitally useful for those looking for employment, or finding new talent – it is increasingly used by organisations or decision makers as a first port of call when looking to reach out for new suppliers too.

Unlike, Twitter or Facebook where you may visit for ‘entertainment’ value as well as for business – LinkedIn is the serious business to business network.  Whether you are looking for employment, talent, business development opportunities or looking for new suppliers – LinkedIn is the social network people visit to ‘do business’.

In the latter part of 2012, LinkedIn made a number of revamps to the look and feel and functionality of the platform. Removing some assets such as, LinkedIn Events (still not clear why that useful element was removed, perhaps  to become a paid for option in the near future), LinkedIn Answers – and LinkedIn Applications – to name a few.

However, whilst many of these elements changed, it’s not all doom and gloom. The new look and feel platform offers individuals the opportunity to develop a more ‘media rich’ profile experience. Also , the profile look is simpler and looks cleaner and definitely more 2013 – and the changes to the Company Profile, offers companies the opportunity to recreate keyword targeted, media rich landing pages to create a valuable and well optimised LinkedIn Company Profile.

LinkedIn – A Big Database

If you think about it – LinkedIn is a huge database, one which is increasing daily (stats reveal that 2 people sign up to LinkedIn every second!).  Therefore, the task of getting your profile visible to people who are searching is becoming increasingly difficult.

As with all huge databases, the ability to search for what you require and have relevant results delivered is critical. LinkedIn has search algorithms in place to help users find what they are looking for.

Understanding how to stand out and ensure that these algorithms can view and sort your Profile is key.  There are things that you can do to optimise your LinkedIn Profile for search and visibility – so let’s take a look at 5 Key Ways to Boost Your LinkedIn Profile’s visibility.

1              Getting to ‘All Star’ (previously 100% CompletePre the LinkedIn changes back in late 2012 – you may recall that when you created your profile you were presented with a ‘completeness score’.  Effectively, this ‘score’ – provided you with a gauge as to how ‘complete’ your LinkedIn Profile was – eg: Your Profile is 15% complete or Your Profile is 55% complete.

There are a number of facets within your Profile to complete before you reached the ultimate  100%.  Now with the new look and feel LinkedIn Profile – the same concept remains, however, the facets you need to complete to get your profile as complete as possible has changed slightly – and is now made up of the following:

  • Your industry and location
  • An up-to-date current position with description (please note that if you want your current position to align with the Company LinkedIn Profile that may already exist – be sure that you use the correct wording for the company name you work with – and to hyperlink your profile directly across to the LinkedIn Company Page – be sure to have ticked the ‘current position’ box.
  • Two past positions
  • Your education (again, this is what you choose to insert – you don’t have to give a running commentary from age 11).
  • Your skills (min of 3)
  • Profile photo (not the one of you over on Facebook enjoying a glass of wine with friends – but instead, your business persona).
  • At least 50 connections.

The other change is the terminology. The words have changed from the easily understood, ‘100% Complete’ to ‘All Star’.  Not sure why they decided to change the terminology – and the new terms certainly remind us that the platform was founded in the US – however, we are where we are – and the new terminology applies.

To summarise – the % of completeness of your LinkedIn Profile sends a signal to the algorithms to favour your profile above those profiles which are less complete than yours.

So, the message is to ensure that you have completed the facets as outlined above – to get your LinkedIn Profile to ‘All Star’ status.

2              Connect to All Stars  – There is cause to believe that the ‘completeness theme’ continues with those that you connect with.  Our networks play a big influence on how visible we are on LinkedIn – and research has identified that when people are connected to other ‘All Stars’ – that this plays a part in influencing your own visibility.  So, spread the good word – and ensure that your colleagues and the contacts that you are connected with are all up to ‘All Star’ status – as this will help all of you.  This may influence who you connect with.

3              Connections – As I alluded to in point 2 above – our networks play a big part in our own visibility on LinkedIn.   To get to All Star status – you need to have at least 50 connections. However, research has shown that those with more connections gain more visibility.  Is it a case of connecting with all and everyone? One would hope that LinkedIn’s search algorithms were more intelligent than simply just working on a network reach perspective – however, at this time of writing – then there isn’t any evidence to show that being more targeted in who you connect with provides you with any search Brownie Points.  Of course, whilst the person you initially connect with may not seem to be directly relevant to you – remember they will have a large network – and many of those within their network could be really useful.

However,  I would suggest that you do keep in mind why you are on LinkedIn in the first place – and be as targeted as possible in who you connect with – but just ensure that you connect with a lot of people.  After all – the 1,2,3 layers of connection – very quickly get you into millions of peoples networks.  Therefore – if visibility is your aim – then currently, growing your connections is a key tactic to employ.

4              Keywords – As with any database searching – the search results returned do their best to match the search queries you are looking for.  Therefore, being a big database, the same applies with LinkedIn.

As with all ‘search’ principles, as users, we utilise ‘keywords’ when searching. Think about your own search habits. If you are looking for someone to provide a cat grooming service to your non pampered moggie – then you are likely to visit the mighty Google and type in just a few keyword terms such as, cat groomer, or even, cat groomer Guildford (adding a location).

Our search habits extend to social networks – and when searching on LinkedIn, again, we’ll utilise just a few keywords to find who or what we are looking for.

Of course, in order for your LinkedIn Profile to be returned in search results, you need to optimise your profile with relevant keywords.

Where to insert your keywords

Your LinkedIn Profile is limited to the amount of characters you can use in each section.  And whilst first and foremost you are writing to appeal and make sense to human beings reading your profile – be mindful that they won’t be able to find you if you don’t optimise your profile to become as visible as possible.

  • Header   
    • The Header section is limited to 120 characters. This is one of the key areas to optimise as it’s the headline asset of your personal LinkedIn Profile. Currently, my profile is optimised around social media consultancy, training and author. I could optimise my profile for other areas of expertise, such as marketing consultancy, internal communication programs, business transformation programs etc – however, rather than my Headline trying to showcase everything I have done in my career – I am optimising to be found for what I want to be found for right now.  Be mindful that what you want to be found for may change – so do ensure your profile is working towards achieving your current objectives.
    • Summary
      • Here you get  2,000 characters to tell your story, which of course presents you with significant room to include relevant keywords when sharing your accomplishments.
      • Experience/Position Title
        • 100 characters to sum up your official title, and of course opportunity to share something more creative and include those relevant keywords.
        • Experience/Position Description
          • 2,000 characters to use keywords to sum up your role and your key accomplishments. Remember, you may wish to create your content in ‘word’ so that you can format it a little more than you can within LinkedIn. This way, it makes long pieces of text easier to scan and read online.
          • Skills & Expertise
            • You can list up to 50 areas of skills and expertise. And within each one you get to use 61 characters. Again, think about those all important keywords.
            • Status updates
              • You can include 700 characters within each status update – and there is currently no limit on how often you make an update.  However,  LinkedIn is nowhere near as fluid as a platform like Twitter, and so status updates stay around a lot longer. Therefore, be mindful of this. You may want to consider just one or two updates per day.  And remember, if you need to say more, you can add a hyperlink to a blog or article to continue the conversation.
              • Groups
                •  You are limited to joining 50 groups.  More on Groups in point 5 below.
                • Education/Degree
                  • You have 100 characters to explain your degree and again, another opportunity to include relevant keyword phrases.
                  • Education/Activities & Societies
                    • 500 characters to give an overview that can tie into your career.
                    • Education Description
                      • 1,000 characters where you can share an overview of what you have  studied and how your education is relevant to your career.
                      • Additional Info/Interests
                        • 1,000 characters where you can add more information about yourself – projects you’ve participated in etc. Again, keep it keyword relevant.
                        • Honours & Awards
                          •  1,000 characters to share any awards or achievements. It could be an award for best salesperson of the year, or customer service, or voted best blogger etc.

As you can ascertain from the above, there is quite a lot of equity within your LinkedIn Profile for you to showcase exactly what you want people to know about you. Remember, you are in control of the data you insert into your profile – and you can make it as keyword relevant as you require, dependent upon your specific objectives at the time. Of course, your objectives will change – and so you can tailor your profile accordingly.  You are in total control.

5              Groups – So, we mentioned that you can become a member of 50 Groups on LinkedIn – and you can also create your own Groups too.  Group are a great way of connecting with like-minded people in your industry – and you can leverage Groups to showcase your expertise and knowledge – becoming a ‘thought leader’ in your space.

The challenge with Groups is that there are just so many of them.   So which ones are the right ones for you?

Our advice is to first do your research. Search for Groups that you think you would be interested in – or indeed, look at your influential connections and you can see which Groups they are members of.

When you search Groups you will see that there are indications as to how active a Group is – eg: Very Active – or Active.  Plus, you will see that it provides you with some information about how many of your network are within the Group you are looking at.

And of course, LinkedIn will recommend Groups you may be interested in – based on the Groups you are in and the people you are connected to.

Research shows that the more Groups you belong to the more that boosts your visibility – however, you do need to be realistic about what is and isn’t manageable from a contribution perspective.

Creating your own Group

If you think there’s a gap that needs filling – or that it would be beneficial to start your own Group – then you can easily Create a Group – and decide whether that Group is open to all  on LinkedIn or is a closed group, by invitation only.

The objective as to why you are creating the Group in the first place will determine whether it’s open or closed – (it could be that you are creating a Group to manage an internal project for example – and therefore, you wouldn’t want that Group open to all on LinkedIn). Or it may be that you are developing a Group to attract leading lights in a particular field – and so you would want it to be open so that others could join the Group.

Fish Where the Fish Are

Of course, with Groups, we automatically think of the Groups that we should belong to – and align ourselves to Groups packed with people just like us.

If you are utilising LinkedIn for business development, generating leads and opening direct conversations with people – then you should definitely be considering the Groups where your potential target audience reside.  Where are they conversing?  You also need to be thinking about their needs and what you can bring to the conversation to engage with them – and get them to know you, like you trust – and ultimately think about doing business with you.

Within Groups – you can have direct discussions with other Group members. However, do be careful not to come across as too ‘spammy’ – Groups are moderated and usually have Group Rules to abide by. People don’t want to be ‘sold to consistently’ – within Groups – so instead, remember that you are part of a network – albeit a social one – and the rules of networking apply.  Build relationships first, be useful and purposeful, grow trust and then the referrals and opportunities will come.

So that’s just 5 ways you can be boosting your visibility on LinkedIn. 

Keep us posted on your stories with LinkedIn – how it’s working for you and any tips you’d can share with others.  After all – it’s networking!

Michelle Carvill is Founder and  Director of Carvill Creative, Online Visibility agency – covering social media, web optimisation and online marketing.  Co-author of social media book of the year – The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube for Business.