LinkedIn is a go-to platform for anyone looking to reach professional audiences.
That said, knowing how to use LinkedIn can take some trial and error, especially if you’re new to the platform.
In this blog post, we’re covering everything you need to get started — from setting up your profile to sharing your first post!
What Is LinkedIn?
Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn is used for sharing and creating content, connecting with other users, and growing a community. But what sets LinkedIn apart is its professional focus.
It’s a place to find job opportunities, showcase your skills, join discussions with industry experts, promote your brand or products, and even drive traffic to your website.
Global life and style brand Kate Spade, for example, uses LinkedIn to reach a targeted audience of professional women and build a community around the brand’s values and products.
Individuals can also use LinkedIn to promote their work, network, and raise awareness with potential employers.
Whether you want to showcase your skills or reach new audiences, using LinkedIn is a great place to start.
Ready to get started on LinkedIn? You can now plan, schedule, and publish your LinkedIn posts with Later — for free!
How to Use LinkedIn for Beginners
Having a LinkedIn page is a powerful tool you can use to get your personal brand or company seen. Here’s how to get started:
Step #1: Set Up Your LinkedIn Page
The first step to getting started on LinkedIn is to create a profile page.
You can sign up for a free basic LinkedIn profile or choose from a number of paid subscription plans: the Sales plan, Career plan, or Business plan.
How to Create a Personal LinkedIn Profile:
Visit LinkedIn and sign up for an account using your name, email address, and chosen password.
Choose a profile picture that reflects the way you’d like to be seen in a professional context. Research shows that people are 14x more likely to view your page if you have a photo.
Add a banner image that sits behind your profile photo to make your page stand out.
Write a snappy job headline and a summary where you showcase your skills, strong points, and achievements. LinkedIn also lets you upload up to six examples of your work to highlight your best projects.
Finally, add your work history, education, and core skills just like you would on a resume.
TIP: Customize your LinkedIn URL to look even more professional. To change your URL, click the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage and choose “View profile” from the drop-down menu. Click “Edit public profile & URL” on the right-hand side of the page, then “Edit your custom URL.”
How to Create a LinkedIn Business Page:
On your LinkedIn home screen, click the “Work” icon in the upper right corner.
Scroll down to “Create a Company Page” and select the category that best describes your company.
Fill out the information when prompted, then upload your company logo or profile picture.
Step #2: Build Your Network
Once you’ve completed your profile, you can start building your LinkedIn network.
LinkedIn gives you the option to “Connect” and “Follow” other members.
A connection is a two-way relationship initiated through an invitation. Accepting a connection means both parties can see each other’s content and networks.
It also means you can send direct messages to one another through LinkedIn’s messenger tool.
By following a user, you can stay up to date with all their activity — without being directly connected.
This is a great way to follow industry-relevant posts from brands, influencers, and thought leaders.
Be selective and curate your network to reflect who you want to work (or collaborate) with, learn from, and how you want to be seen in your industry.
TIP: Include a personalized message when you send a connection request. A quick note introducing yourself or explaining why you want to connect can go a long way in building a strong relationship with someone new.
Step #3: Create Engaging Content
Here are some of the best ways to reach new audiences on LinkedIn:
Engagement Tip #1: Post Status Updates
Sharing status updates is a quick and easy way for you to connect with your LinkedIn audience.
Check out how WeWork uses a simple status update to share a humanized brand story with a link to their website:
Many LinkedIn influencers are achieving viral reach by posting longer updates about their career journeys, the obstacles they’ve faced, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Adam Frisby, founder and CEO of In The Style, regularly shares snippets of his story on the platform, including the struggles that have shaped his business journey:
Authentic, inspiring storytelling builds trust with your audience and gives them insight into your brand or company’s progress. Posts that are professionally relevant and personal engage people straight away.
TIP: Optimize your reach by including relevant hashtags and tagging experts, industry leaders, or companies.
Engagement Tip #2: Publish and Share Articles on LinkedIn
LinkedIn prioritizes content published on its built in “Publishing Platform,” so it’s a good idea to use this platform to share long-form articles that showcase your thought leadership.
Bill Gates is one of the top LinkedIn influencers using the platform to raise awareness around climate change:
If your connections like your article enough to share it, it can open doors to new audiences!
Engagement Tip #3: Post Video Content
Video posts are one of the most successful types of content on LinkedIn with users reported to be 20 times more likely to share them over other types of posts.
Videos can bring to life your ideas and show your personality in a richer, more engaging way.
Check out how design platform Figma uses fun, animated video content to promote their new product tool:
Brands also use video posts to promote their story and ethos. By showing audiences that there are people behind the company, you can boost trust in your brand and create a relatable online persona.
Take a look at how McDonalds features a personal story from one of their employees and their connection to the global brand:
Video content tends to hold a viewer’s attention for longer — and the longer a person engages with a piece of content on the platform, the more likely it is that the LinkedIn algorithm will boost it to a wider audience.
Step #4: Post Consistently
One of the best LinkedIn tips for beginners is to be consistent. Not only with how often you post, but with your tone, brand marketing, messages, and the way you engage with your audience.
Later’s free LinkedIn tool lets you plan and schedule your LinkedIn posts in advance, so you can create multiple LinkedIn posts and schedule them to go live at your optimal posting times.
Scheduling your posts in advance will help you save time and keep organized when it comes to having a regular content calendar. By keeping a consistent content schedule, you can better tap into LinkedIn’s thriving professional network and generate leads for your brand or business.
Step #5: Foster Community
One of the best ways to get involved in the LinkedIn community is by commenting and reacting to other people’s posts.
Not only does post engagement help you build valuable connections by showing them you’re an active LinkedIn member, it can also help you demonstrate your industry knowledge to new audiences.
Initiate conversations by posting questions and asking your audience to share their insights and opinions. Engaging with the LinkedIn community in an interactive way helps to boost post engagement and gives you an opportunity to learn more about your audience.
Check out how travel company TUI uses LinkedIn polls to gauge what their audience is looking for in a vacation:
As a LinkedIn member, you can also set up or join LinkedIn Groups to swap ideas, share industry news, and gain valuable connections.
Once you’re a group member, join conversations, ask questions, send messages to other members, and build your reputation as a knowledgeable leader in your field.
Follow these steps on how to use LinkedIn and you’ll be on top of your game in no time. Whether you want to find a job, promote your brand, market your content or build a network of contacts, LinkedIn is the best online platform to achieve your professional goals.
Ready to level-up your LinkedIn strategy? Plan and schedule your Linkedin posts in advance with Later — available on all new free and paid plans.