Saturday, January 11, 2014

What You Wish You Knew About LinkedIn Marketing

Social Media Marketing Classes Learn How to Market Themselves

Last semester in my social media classes at +Aurora University  my students developed LinkedIn Profiles with the goal of helping them in their job search upon graduation or to improve their careers if they were already employed. LinkedIn is the leading business networking site and is rapidly becoming THE clearinghouse for job applications.  We employed best practices in LinkedIn Marketing to achieve extraordinary results for the students.  I taught two sections of the class, one that was primarily adult learners and the other that was primarily traditional undergraduates.  This photo shows +Eric James  presenting his personal social media marketing plan to our class.

Linked in, social media marketing
Eric James Presenting his Personal Social Media Plan
December, 2013, MKTG 4610

Search is Strategy:  Know Yourself

In both cases the students based their LinkedIn profiles on the principles of Melonie Dodaro, acknowledged expert in LinkedIn marketing.  Ms. Dodaro suggests, what I also believe, that search and strategy are 'linked' together.  Therefore, in developing the LinkedIn strategy, the first step is to go online and see 'who am I' and what message you present to the world.  You really need to figure out who you are, what your strengths are and then put those keywords in your LinkedIn profile.  Ms Dodaro suggests that keywords describing yourself and what you do should be favored over job descriptions in the first section of your profile.  Then these keywords should be used throughout your profile so you come up in the searches of those looking for people with your competencies and so LinkedIn can make suggestions about jobs that would be a good fit.

Results Came Quickly

The results in this case were striking.  Not only did my day students report that they were seeing more possible jobs and internships served up to them that were a fit with their interests, but the night class, adult learners, were actually getting contacted by possible employers.  The first week after we improved our profiles, several students reported getting calls for jobs.  As we continued to improve our profiles as the class progressed, one student actually accepted a job interview for a position with a Fortune 500 company. Another student reported that a her manager's manager saw her profile on LinkedIn and said that the company needed to bring her in to talk about upward mobility!  I also got contacted for several possible consulting and teaching projects.

Just by understanding who you are and what you do and putting keywords to reflect those competencies in your profile can lead to extraordinary results on LinkedIn.  This is just the first step to creating a great LinkedIn profile.  As an educator, this approach also allows me to reinforce strategic concepts in class and help the students understand how to market themselves for career success.

By Debra Zahay-Blatz.
You can find Debra on  and Twitter as well as LinkedIn.

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