When I first began to use social media, I started a Facebook profile and then a LinkedIn account. For quite some time, I poured a great deal of energy and time into LinkedIn because I loved the level of conversation in the groups I joined.
People graciously shared their expertise. Were they looking for clients? Sure. But they also disseminated information that I was able to put to use in my writing and marketing.
Lately, however, I’ve all but ignored LinkedIn. (As much as I hate to admit this, it’s true!) My focus is instead on my Facebook page and Twitter, and to a lesser degree Pinterest and Google+. So writing this post is helping me to recall why LinkedIn is an important part of a writer’s marketing platform (including mine). And if you’re a writer/entrepreneur, LinkedIn is where you’re most likely to find your next client.
Four Facts About LinkedIn You Need to Know
Presently, LinkedIn enjoys more than 200 million users.
- I recently wrote about the importance of having a Goodreads account. After all, there are 20 million readers on that platform. When I review the demographics for LinkedIn, I realize that considering the education of most users and their average salary ($50,000), most of these users are probably avid readers as well.
Sixty-one percent of LinkedIn users live outside of the U.S.
- Wouldn’t you love to sell your books everywhere English spoken? LinkedIn can help to promote your books to an international audience, just as Twitter can.
Two new users join LinkedIn every second.
- This network continues to grow. It’s important to be on social media channels that are dynamic and resistant to stagnation.
There are 1.5 million groups on LinkedIn and 81% of users join at least one.
- If you’re not in a group, join a few today. This is where you can share your expertise, help others, make new connections, gain more Twitter followers, and join in conversations that will further your understanding in your niche.
9 LinkedIn Best Practices
Reacquaint yourself to LinkedIn by following these best practices.
- Think about keywords when you review your profile. What words is someone most likely to type into a Google search bar in order to find the type of book you’ve written? Have you published a book about gardening in Northern California? Then use those keywords.
- Use bullet points to make your specialties stand out. The human eye does not like long blocks of black text. Type your specialties in Word or Pages and then cut and paste them onto your LinkedIn profile.
- Connect with people you know. Are colleagues from your book club and writing groups on LinkedIn? Look for them. Did you make new friends at a writers conference? Search for them. Connect with as many people as you can.
- Give (and receive) recommendations. Did you hire one of your connections to edit your most recent book? Why not offer a recommendation? If you give testimonials, they will be easier to drum up for yourself.
- Personalize your LinkedIn URL. For example, mine is www.linkedin.com/in/francescaballo/. Once you personalize your URL, include it in your email signature to encourage your colleagues to connect with you.
- Update your status twice daily. It’s best to post between 7 and 7:30 am and 5 – 5:30 pm, M-F. However, on Fridays the afternoon post should be no later than 3:30 pm.
- Join groups. After you join couple, try to remain actively involved.
- Install applications, such as the publications app. This will help you to showcase the books and stories you’ve written.
- Include tags to highlight your areas of expertise. When other users endorse you, be sure to thank them and given them an endorsement as well.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.