Social media is a constantly evolving entity, both in terms the number of tools available and their range of features. The rate of growth within this market is also significant, with relatively new additions such as Snapchat quickly accruing over 100 million active monthly users.

Like all social media platforms, LinkedIn has continued to evolve in terms of its purpose and range of features. The result of this is that LinkedIn can now be used by both B2B and B2C organisations, as professionals use the sites resources to create engaging content that effectively targets customers.

If LinkedIn can effectively be used by business owners to target new customers, then it also offers individual professionals and job seekers the opportunity to market themselves and drive their careers forward. If you can optimize your LinkedIn profile, you will have the chance to leverage social media and create a thriving, prosperous network.

Are you a LinkedIn Star? 3 Ways to Optimize your Profile and Boost your Career

With this in mind, what practical steps can you take to optimize your presence on LinkedIn and achieve specific career goals? Consider the following ideas: –

Create a Consistent, Informative and Relevant Profile Page

Your profile page essentially serves as an online resume, so it is crucial that this adequately reflects your skill-sets, experience and future career goals. There are three crucial steps towards achieving this, and you should start by ensuring that the information in your profile in consistent with any existing resumes or job seeker accounts. You should apply this theory to all data, paying particular attention to personal contact details, accreditation details and dates of employment.

The next step is to ensure that your profile is detailed and informative. An incomplete profile page is not appealing to potential collaborators or employers, so you must take the time to fill out all sections that relate to your relevant experience and help to market your credentials. You can also reinforce your expertise with a concise summary paragraph, which clearly defines your proposition and career goals as an individual. You may also want to close with a succinct call to action, which encourages members to interact further.

Finally, it is important that you update your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis. Although you do not necessarily need to alter your historical workplace or educational information, it is crucial that you constantly refresh your work portfolio and add any newly acquired industry qualifications to your profile. This is particularly important in competitive and evolutionary markets such as software development and marketing, as these fields demand a constantly changing skill-set and an awareness of real-time trends.

Use Media-rich Content to add Depth to your Profile and Engage Members

With your profile established, the next step is to effectively engage members and add depth to your page. You can do this through the creation of informative, media-rich content, which is relevant to your connections and capable of developing a platform from which you can establish yourself as a thought leader.

This process starts with LinkedIn’s innovative trending content tools, which can be used to analyse posts and updates before identifying information that is relevant to you, your industry and your connections. From here, you can cultivate topical content ideas that have the best possible chance to engage your audience. LinkedIn has also altered its blogging platform recently, so that you no longer need to be an influencer to craft concise and insightful posts and share these with your connections.

LinkedIn’s video feature is also an underrated business tool; especially in an age where an estimated 71% of marketers believe that audio-visual content delivers a better sales conversion rate. By uploading informative videos or authentic client testimonials to your profile page (for those who have worked independently), you can successfully share your expertise and distinguish yourself in a competitive marketplace.

Optimise your LinkedIn Profile for Search

The final step in this process is to optimise your LinkedIn profile, in the same way that you would enhance your professional website to increase its visibility. After all, the majority of LinkedIn profiles are visually similar, so by optimizing your content you can achieve improved ranking results and set yourself apart from your rivals.

The way to achieve this is to identify the keywords that are synonymous with your industry, as these are the terms that brands use to search for talent. You can use Google’s analytical tools to identify relevant keywords, before integrating these into your profile and published content in an organic manner. Companies will then find it easier to find your profile and enjoy your uniquely crafted industry insights, creating the opportunity for future collaborations and partnerships.

Just be sure to use your chosen keywords sparingly, as overly optimized copy will undermine your core messaging and diminish the value offered to LinkedIn members.